Why are some positions so hard to fill?

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Sometimes there are positions that are harder to fill than others, but why? Here are some answers:

“We want one just like the last one.”

It’s not uncommon for a job to evolve over time around a current employee’s skill set.

In the IT realm, there may be a .NET developer that also has additional skills like graphic design and since they had an added bonus on their resume, it may be something you will not find in another .NET developer and therefore, the position can be harder to fill.

 “I’m leaving, but I can’t let go.”

Ownership can be a double-edged sword. We all want our employees to take ownership of their jobs. But this can become a problem if an outgoing employee is involved in the process of hiring their own replacement. Some people may feel so possessive of their job that they can’t imagine anyone else taking their place.

“They have worked at too many companies.”

In this changing world of work, traditional career paths are becoming less common. Fewer people are working for the same company for five years or more. Especially in IT, many employees may even work in temporary, part-time and project-based jobs as independent contractors. Do not dismiss these types of candidates as job hoppers you may miss out on some very talented prospects.

“They don’t have a degree? I’ll pass.”

Before you require a degree for a position, ask yourself whether it’s really necessary. Could a certain amount of related experience be substituted for a degree? Many of the IT skills that someone needs are not always learned in the classroom, but through on-the-job training.

“They don’t have all the skill requirements.”

Don’t treat a job description like a checklist! You need to understand the essential job requirements that the candidate must have, and which ones you can train them to do.

“We don’t really know the full duties of the position.”

Jobs that are poorly defined, or that have no real job descriptions, can be very hard to fill. And employees in those roles can be set up for failure. Unless you can find a true jack of all trades (and don’t forget the rest of that saying, which is “master of none”), you’ll probably have a revolving door.

“Java Ninja can be a job title.”

Make sure that the job title accurately and professionally represents what the position entails. If you are trying to be clever, it may work against you and not people may not apply or you will get people who don’t fit the role.

“They seem over-qualified.”

Many people shy away from a resume with too much experience, assuming that an overqualified employee will be unhappy and leave their job quickly. Before you make that assumption, talk to the candidate!

“I want it all and I want it NOW!”

When you find a great candidate who is currently employed, it’s important to realize they need to give their current employer sufficient notice. You’d appreciate that if they were leaving your business. Don’t pass them up simply because you have to wait a couple of weeks. After all, you’ll hopefully have them in your business for a good long while.

The wrap-up:

If you see yourself, or your business, in any of these scenarios, it’s probably time to reassess what you’re doing. Be aware that while your job sits vacant, and is advertised week after week, great talent is getting quickly snapped up by your competitors. On top of that, active job seekers who see a job advertised endlessly begin wondering just what is wrong with the position or with your business and stay away.

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