Why You Should Seek Talent Now

9.10.2020 | In the late 1940s, a technology company called Hewlett-Packard (HP) was struggling. Much like many organizations at the time, business was slow and finances were tight. Meanwhile, U.S. military labs were closing and throngs of talented engineers were out of work. It was then that HP founders, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, saw a golden opportunity and hired many of these engineers.

When asked how they could afford to hire amid hard times they said, “How could we afford not to!” Years later, they attributed much of their success to investing in talent regardless of the financial climate.

This anecdote about HP, which grew to become one of the best-known technology companies, was recently cited in The Harvard Business Review’s article, “Now Is an Unprecedented Opportunity to Hire Great Talent.”

An Overlooked Opportunity

It may be an unprecedented opportunity, but many companies are overlooking it. According to a CEO survey conducted in mid-June by Fortune magazine and Deloitte, in response to the pandemic, 55% of CEOs froze hiring, 35% laid off/furloughed employees, and only 18% increased their workforce.

Why It’s Unprecedented

The pandemic has not only overturned the talent shortage, it has shifted other facets that affect hiring.

  • The candidate pool is filling fast as more companies shutter or downsize their operations. After years of wadding in a shallow candidate pool, employers have become flooded with applicants. These job seekers vary from fresh college graduates to seasoned professionals who are updating their resumes for the first time in decades.
  • Geographic barriers are vanishing as more employers embrace remote work. According to the Fortune/Deloitte survey, CEOs say remote work will be part of the new normal. Your candidate options may no longer be limited by city, state, region, or even country. Is your perfect candidate three states away? Not a problem.
  • A large number of employed people are looking for a change. While some may seek more stable positions, others are driven by new priorities and increasing needs. Through a July poll, Monster.com discovered that of those still working, 85% are considering searching for a new job due to their desire to have flexibility in their work schedule (47%) and more pay (44%).

If you’ve had your eye on a hard-to-land candidate, now may be the time to make a move. If a competitor closed its doors, consider opening yours. Hiring during this time seems counter-intuitive, but it may be exactly what you need to survive and thrive in the future.

Consider it. How could you afford not to?

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