CrisisIt seems that talent shortages — or the debate about talent shortages — are set to persist into 2015, if this recent survey from CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Speclaistis Intl. is anything to go by. The study charts both the demand for and supply of talent over the last 12 months in the U.S. Currently, the average monthly gap between job postings and new hires is sitting at 21,084 for software developers, 19,118 for nurses, 18,151 for engineers, and 22,996 for marketing executives. If these statistics are to be taken at face value, then demand is vastly outstripping supply in several key professional areas.

Even in these extremely testing times, when many employers remain in the grips of talent shortages, it seems that employers are resisting the pressure to sacrifice quality to get talent in the door. We know this thanks to the LinkedIn 2015 Global Recruiting Trends survey, which showed that quality of hire (44 percent) is still the most valued hiring metric, more valuable than time-to-fill (25 percent) and hiring manager satisfaction (18 percent).

So, with quality of hire still being the crucial factor even in these desperate times, I thought out outline three tactics for improving your quality of hire, while of course keeping one eye on time-to-fill.

1. The Grass Is Greener on the Inside — Really!

Are you overdependent on external hiring? Does your organization hire external candidates without giving current employees a fighting chance? If so, you have an opportunity to improve your quality of hire, as this study from Wharton School of business professor Matthew Bidwell found that internal applicants outperform external applicants and are more profitable. An added bonus is that internal hires can often have a shorter time-to-fill, so why not bring a greater focus to internal advertising and internal promotion?

2. Start to Rely on Data Insights Over Instincts

Are you still developing your candidate profile based purely on gut instinct? If so, you may be missing out on an opportunity to increase quality of hire. Google and Xerox have been leading the way in building statistics-based ideal candidate profiles, which have improved their quality of hire. For example, Xerox cut attrition rates by half after performing a big data analysis and developing and implementing a big-data based success profile for the ideal call-center worker. There are massive gains to be made in hiring quality by incorporating a big data/analytics approach into the development of your success profiles.

3. Put Greater Emphasis on Personality Fit in Hiring

Of the 46 percent of new hires that fail in the first 18 months, just 11 percent fail due to a lack of technical skill, while 89 percent fail due to a lack of personality fit, according to this Leadership IQ study.

Start building a hiring process that puts more emphasis on screening for the right personality fit, and you’ll increase the quality of hires entering your business.

I’d love to hear what tactics you may be adopting to increase quality of hire during the talent crisis while keeping one eye on the very important time-to-fill metrics. 

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