The past several years, I’ve heard the same lament from business owners: “We’re in dire need of employees, but we cannot find help anywhere.” On-the-other-hand, I’ve also heard from job searchers that they are unable to find work or even receive a call-back from a job posting for which they applied. Why does this discrepancy exist? According to talent strategy expert, Nithya Vaduganathan, hiring managers are using outdated practices to fill 21st-century jobs. In her TED talk, Nithya addresses the changing nature of work and gives five hiring tips for companies to attract and retain talent.

1) Figure out what work needs to get done

Instead of listing every single thing an ideal candidate would possess, make the job profile about the work that needs to be done. An exhaustive list of desired qualifications may deter a candidate from applying for the job.

2) Screen candidates ‘in’ as opposed to screening them ‘out’

Hiring processes may use filters, such as degree requirements and years of experience, which are not predictive of job success. Would a candidate with 9 years of experience really not qualify for a job “requiring” at least 10 years of experience? Doing away with some of the unnecessary hiring filters will widen the talent pool.

3) Focus on the skills that matter most

Most candidates will not check every box of desired qualifications. However, that’s okay! If a candidate fits 80% of the skill-set required to do the work, internal training and upskilling can get them the rest of the way to 100%.

4) Use micro-internships to test the waters

Micro-internships are small-scale paid projects that are typically completed by college students. This allows both the company and candidate to determine if the relationship is a good fit before making a hiring commitment.

5) Hire/promote from within

Not only should companies provide opportunities for advancement within the company, but seek out candidates from other departments within the company. This can diversify teams and increase innovation and effectiveness. 

Click here to check out Nithya’s TED Talk, “5 Hiring Tips Every Company (and Job Seeker) Should Know.”