As I travel around the country working with top organizations, this what they are saying:

  • We can’t find talent
  • We can’t keep talent
  • We can’t keep talent engaged

I could write an entire book on this topic. In fact I have (Talent Magnetism). For our purposes, I’m going to stick to the topic of why you can’t find talent and what you can do to change this since you won’t have to worry about the other topics if you don’t have any people.

You need a talent strategy.

Telling your hiring managers or your recruitment team that they need to staff the open requisitions is like telling a bunch of kindergartners they need to pick up their toys after playtime. The results speak for themselves. All you have to do is look around and see the chaos that abounds. Your people need a long-term plan that will yield long-term results. This is hard to do when you are in the middle of complete disorder and confusion.

You’ll need to look at a bunch of things when creating your talent strategy including current and future workforce needs, the skills and potential of the team you have in place and your plans for future growth. Once you know what you need, you can then work backwards to establish a plan. This should not take three years to do even if you are a global organization. In fact, if you a small company you can do this on the back of a napkin. Just be sure you do it!

Take action.

Strategy without implementation is a complete waste of time and money. When you are 80 percent there, take action. You can tweak things along the way once you establish what’s working for you and what’s not. The sooner you get going the better, as you cannot win the race for talent from a position of inertia.

Put your money where your mouth is.

I was meeting with a prospect the other day whose recruitment team consisted of two people. That’s fine when you have 20 openings. Not so fine when you have 200 openings. Every day a position remains vacant is an opportunity wasted, although some people think it’s more money in the company coffer due to the illusion of keeping payroll costs down. If you can thrive without filling these positions then why bother trying to fill them in the first place?

Your recruitment team needs resources to be successful and ironically they need people as well. Fully staff your recruitment team with experienced personnel. There is simply no time in this tough employment market to train junior people. If you try to do so, you’ll wind up with two non-producing people in your recruitment department. The person doing the training and the trainee.

Set realistic expectations.

All of us can remember a time when our boss set expectations that were as realistic as scoring tickets to the Super Bowl game. The end result was lots of frustration and in some cases our departure from the organization. Look at the bench strength on your recruitment team and set goals accordingly. If you have no bench strength, then you know where you need to start.

Develop your entire team into talent magnets. 

What’s the point of pulling good candidates into your organization if your hiring managers are repelling them? Help your front line managers understand the important role they play when it comes to attracting and hiring talent. Every hiring manager should be required to demonstrate their ability to properly interact with candidates before they are asked to do so.

My most successful clients involve all employees in the hiring process. By that I mean, time is invested to help employees understand that the recruitment of talent is everyone’s job. Referral bonuses are given out to those who refer candidates that are hired. Some of my clients involve employees at all levels of the organization in the hiring process.

I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that finding good people to work for your organization is an easy thing to do. However, I do know that it doesn’t have to be as difficult as a lot of companies are making it.

If you are serious about finding talent, then make a commitment to your organization to do things differently. The hunt for talent will be even more fierce in 2015. Will you claim your share of the talent pool or will those people go to your competitors?

Roberta Matuson is an expert on talent and is known globally as The Talent Maximizer®. She is the author of the recently released Talent Magnetism and the best-selling Suddenly in Charge. You can subscribe to her e-newsletter and follow her on Twitter.


This article was written by Roberta Matuson and Contributor from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.