Whether it is a maintenance manager or your next driver, commit to identifying what may be a fit for each unique job opportunity you have. You may find that an open mind to a non-traditional hire and an investment in training may be your best hire to date.

By Nichole Causton

We have all seen the dating game on television, but if you would have told us in 2008 on the heels of the recession that the job market would one day mirror the dating game competition, I am certain we would have not believed you. As our economy continues to rebound, employers are struggling to find and retain leadership. Why? The answer is complex and requires further insight. There are no magic bullets; however, here are a few common mistakes employers make.

Common Mistakes
First, just like dating, employers often find themselves struggling to put their best foot forward. Candidates are often put through a very lengthy interview process with hiring managers that have never been trained on interviewing skills, oftentimes asking irrelevant questions or making hasty judgements. With the number of employment options for candidates, being expeditious with candidates is always a plus. This means collaborating prior to opening the position to determine who should be involved in the interviewing so each candidate understands the processes up front.

Another common mistake is not understanding what is needed versus what is desired for the role. What if there was a way to have an effective interview process and make each candidate feel as though they had won the golden ticket to even have a shot at this long-term career? Just like dating, knowing your company’s strengths is an important part of engaging each candidate and keeping them excited about the opportunity. The trends in long-term employees tends to be not looking for candidates with solid waste experience, but rather in identifying and searching for transferable skill sets.

A third example is oftentimes, employers find themselves looking for “plug and play” candidates that do not need much training investment or industry knowledge. The pitfalls with this strategy tends to be that these job seekers are aware of their waste experience and may bring a “know it all mentality” to their position. Additionally, if they find something that they are not enjoying about the position, they are more apt to go find another waste job as they already have experience and know that they would be a quick hire for another company.

First Steps
A good first step is to sit down with all members involved in the hiring process and map out the relevant skillsets, interviewing questions, what the hiring process looks like and what your onboarding experience looks like. How you handle these first critical interactions with a candidate can help land top talent for your organization.

Work with a recruiting company that has successfully placed non-traditional hires for exempt waste positions. Focus on candidates that possess a skill set that would translate well to the industry. This may not be as easy as you might think and requires an “out of the box” philosophy. For example, in some roles, retail experience might be a fit as those candidates would have focused on customer service, metrics and performances statistics, and would have encountered a variety of people throughout their day. Another example may be hiring someone for a junior manager that does not have many years of professional experience but may possess an exemplary college degree or sporting background. This would show dedication and commitment—another “long-term” employee win.

Whether it is a maintenance manager or your next driver, commit to identifying what may be a fit for each unique job opportunity you have. You may find that an open mind to a non-traditional hire and an investment in training may be your best hire to date.

Nichole Causton is the Founder of Rocket Recruiting Solutions (Destin, FL). With more than 15 years as an HR professional, her experience includes recruiting domestic and internationally for corporate and public sector. She is responsible for recruiting executive, professional and technical passive candidates for direct opportunities. In her role she focuses on working with clients to understand the candidate necessary skills and experience, position specific objectives and requirements of the position. Nichole specializes in talent management, staffing, and learning and development. Besides being the founder of Rocket Recruiting Solutions, roles that she has held in the past include Executive of Human resources, Recruiter and Recruiting Manager. Prior to Rocket Recruiting, Nichole led a team of 17 recruiters onsite and virtually across the U.S. with Waste Connections, Inc. She can be reached at (850) 424-3898 or via e-mail at nichole@rocketrecruitingsolutions.com.

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