With recent news of 4.1% U.S. GDP growth in the 2nd quarter, we should expect record low unemployment rates to continue. Nearly every hiring manager has stories about how tough it is to attract and retain talent. Today I talked with a hiring manager who told me that, while he recently attracted an experienced candidate for an open role, another employee left after she was recruited away.

While some employee turnover may be inevitable, a revolving door of talent can take its toll. If your talent pool seems too shallow, here are some steps you can take to expand the quantity of interested and qualified candidates.

1. Redefine Job Requirements. Examine job descriptions to determine which background and experience requirements are truly necessary. Often job descriptions include ten, or more line items of requirements. Lists that long were commonly used to weed out resumes when candidates were plentiful. With candidate shortages, however, look for ways to include candidates, not weed out.

2. Provide Immediate Upside. Lou Adler, CEO of The Adler Group tells job seekers to only change jobs that provide a 30% increase (not just salary, but a combination of compensation, career upside and lifestyle considerations). 30% may seem excessive, but every candidate wants to improve on their current situation. Even if you can only offer a modest compensation increase, look for ways to improve a talented candidates situation. That might include a bigger title, more responsibility, increased visibility or flexibility to work from home.

3. Invest in Initial and Ongoing Training and Development. Another benefit talented people seek is continuing education and training. By providing initial training and development, candidates build career value right away. Ongoing training and development will continue building career value, a perk that may be difficult to find elsewhere.

4. Develop a Career Planning Process. Succession planning and career planning are not the same. Succession plans start with an existing organization and determines who and how to fill future leadership roles. Career plans are customized for an individual. Few organizations provide true career planning. By doing so, you will differentiate your organization to career minded people.

Even though most talented people are currently working and doing well, a surprisingly high percentage are open to hearing about opportunities that will improve their career and lifestyle. Listening carefully to the people in the (talent) pool, including prospective candidates and current employees, will help you develop talent plans like these that will attract and retain the best people.

To learn how we can help you expand your talent pool visit our Talent Solutions page.

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