Blog / CxOs and Tech leaders / Finding (finally?) that Hard-to-find Candidate

Finding (finally?) that Hard-to-find Candidate
by Jessica Stielau   3 minute read

So everyone you want is too expensive. And everyone you can afford is missing the skills or experience. Something’s gotta give, right?Humans aren’t perfect. So that must include employers, right? If your company is having trouble finding the “right” people, is it possible that the company itself may be at fault?

A commonly overlooked aspect of most “hard to fill” positions is that the employer’s filter may not be open-minded enough. For instance, are you looking for concrete experience, or aptitude and potential? Which is more important?

The first thing to do is to evaluate how this position, when filled with the right person, will affect your company. What are your goals, and how will this position help you get there? Can you afford a learning curve without taking a big risk? Do you need that person to hit the ground running, and if so, why? Figure out what skills you really need, and what you can live without.

Right fit candidatePersonality vs. Skillset

The first thing in truly evaluating the type of person you’re looking for is to measure their potential impact on two areas: productivity and office culture. It’s not enough to just determine how much their experience and skillset match what you need. You need to also consider how well this person will fit with your team. Will they motivate others to do better? Will they bring additional positive energy to your office? Sometimes these factors can outweigh a lack of experience, provided that the position can afford a learning curve. To attain an employee who will thrive long term in your organization, you’ll usually be looking for someone enthusiastic about your mission. If you’re hiring short term or contract to fill an immediate need, then skillset and experience are usually the more important factors.

Budget vs. Potential

So everyone you want is too expensive. And everyone you can afford is missing the skills or experience. Something’s gotta give, right? That something is you. Let’s face it, big risks bring big rewards. You can’t make a shot that you don’t take. No investment, no return. You get the picture. As it is parallel to life experience itself, anytime you are looking to evolve to another level in what you are doing, you must take a chance and get out of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to have a little discomfort in the meantime to ensure long term success. Pay to get what you want, or suck it up and train them in the areas you need.

Where can I find these people?


Well if it were easy, there wouldn’t be a multi-billion dollar industry built around this problem. However, you must choose your resources wisely. The first thing to determine is how much time and money you will end up putting into finding the right employees, as compared to how much time/money you would put into just training someone from scratch. If it will take longer to find your perfect candidate than to train someone who is ambitious and eager, hire them now and train them!

Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter below for more useful industry news, analysis, and recommendations regarding recruiting and how to land and develop world-class talent.

Share this article:

Join The Hiring Hall of Fame

Winning teams start with a winning talent strategy. Let’s build one.

Contact UsLearn More