Talent Circles

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Should You Hire for Skill or Will?

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

There’s a battle happening in Silicon Valley now that I’ve been living and working in the thick of it for over 6 months. Skilled and specialized candidates are in demand and recruiter is resorting to a myriad of tactics to find them. Job seekers have been cold called, LinkedIn messaged and even prompted on Secret, the anonymous sharing app to apply for company’s technical job openings. Recruiters are ruthless because the companies they work for and represent know the cost of skilled hiring. Just last week Silicon Valley giants settled a wage-fixing lawsuit to the tune of $350 million. They have tried to hire for skill, but tried to manipulate the cost, and it backfired.

Hiring for skills is tough. You pay premium for these qualified job seekers, which is why many companies are experimenting with recruiting alternatives. They are investing their efforts in hiring for will in unusual or creative ways. Take for example the Inmate Entrepreneur program. Inmates are charged with building a startup and coming up with creative technologies and businesses. Companies who are hiring for will need to focus their efforts on corporate apprenticeship and training programs for individuals in different places in their career progression and life.

Learning to hire for will instead of skill might be the new trend in these high-tech focused areas in order to save companies millions a year on hiring skilled workers. There are several pros and cons when hiring for will over skill. In order to make the best decision for your company here are some of those outlined. Each company you recruit for needs a different type of workforce so before you decide know what type of worker your company exactly needs.

Hiring for Skill vs. Will

  • Hiring for skill will generally foster more innovation in your company because these workers already know what they’re doing and their more prone to quicker thinking.
  • Skilled workers save your company more money upfront and our able to start jobs quicker due to a minimal learning curve.
  • The cost of hiring a skilled worker is much higher then hiring an employee who you have to train and develop their skills.
  • When hiring skilled workers there is much more competition in the area. Recruiters have to act a lot more proactively to get the best skilled workers for the best price.
These are only two on each pro/con side for hiring skilled workers over newer workers in the field, but there are hundreds more.

Do you have any issues on hiring skilled workers vs. will? Let us know and we might be able to help!

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

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