Unemployment rates are holding firm at 3.7 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. 

While that’s great for the country, if you are an employer looking for talent, not so much. It makes it even harder to find exceptional talent to hire. Dan Iny, author of Leveraged Learning: How the Disruption of Education Helps Lifelong Learners and Experts with Something to Teach, suggests rethinking how and who you recruit. Here some of his ideas for finding top employees in an ever-tightening talent pool:

Quit making a college degree a criteria

Take a long, hard look at what really leads to success and performance in the position, and recognize that a degree from a university isn’t always critical. Revise your job postings to reflect the skills and knowledge that actually matter. You never know, a highly experienced candidate could be out there, who learned on the job, but never obtained a college degree.

Look at candidates who have pursued more progressive options

Many students are now choosing hybrid programs like the one offered by Minerva Schools at KGI, or a “last mile” training offered by MissionU, or a program like Praxis, whose slogan is “The degree is dead. You need experience.”

Ditch the résumé requirement

To be blunt, people lie on resumes, anyway, so they aren’t the best way to gain insight on candidates. Instead, ask candidates to fill out an online application that includes behavior questions and asks people to complete tasks they’ll do on the job. You’ll gain a clearer picture of whether the candidate can do the work and be able to more quickly weed out applicants who can’t meet the basic requirements of the job.

Pay candidates to take on a project

If the work is complex or requires a high level of expertise, hire applicants on a contract basis to do the work and pay them. You can test their abilities before you offer them a permanent position.

Focus mostly on chemistry and culture fit during the interview

If you follow this other advice, you will already know that candidates have the skills and expertise to do the job. During the face-to-face meeting, you can focus on whether they will be a good fit, from an attitude and personality perspective, for the team. You want to make sure you will get along, so ask questions that will provide insight on whether the employee will thrive in your work environment. For example, you could ask for examples of when they worked in an extremely fast-paced work environment.

“Remember that talent comes in all shapes and sizes, and that the value of the degree you might have earned decades ago is very different from the value of degrees offered by institutions of higher learning today,” writes Iny. “As a business leader, it is your job to take the actions that lead your organization into the future, and this is how to do it.”

About the Author:
Danny Iny is the author of Leveraged Learning: How the Disruption of Education Helps Lifelong Learners and Experts with Something to Teach. He is a lifelong entrepreneur, best-selling author, and CEO of the online business education company Mirasee. Best known for his value-driven approach to business, his nine published books include Engagement from Scratch!, The Audience Revolution, and two editions of Teach and Grow Rich. For more information, please visit www.mirasee.com.


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