Management Tips: How to Have Negotiating Power – Even With Hard-to-Fill Jobs

April 14th, 2012

When it comes to filling jobs, some positions are harder to fill than others. Unfortunately, it’s even more important to get the right person for these “harder to fill” jobs than for more common positions where candidates and applicants abound. Even in a challenging job market, there are some jobs where it seems nearly impossible to find the perfect candidate.

You should never settle for an unacceptable candidate just because you need to fill a seat. That being said, what do you do when you really can’t afford to offer the moon to someone who is highly qualified for the job? How do you maintain a negotiating edge when you know the job is going to be difficult to fill?

Think Outside the Box

Sometimes, it’s better to look at the set of skills a candidate has rather than the specific job titles, degree, or experience the candidate has in a particular position. Shift your thinking just a little bit and seek out candidates that have a complementary set of skills that would fit within the scope of the job you’re trying to fill.

Consult a Professional Recruiter

Believe it or not, there are recruiters who specialize in the engineering and high-tech industries. If you have a hard to fill engineering position, chances are that this is a position that other businesses have a hard time filling as well.

A good recruiting agency or firm is going to know what these harder to fill positions are, and they will know if anyone in their system would be a good match for your company. More importantly, the recruiter is likely to be able to send you a selection of names you may have never found on your own. Now you’ve gone from an occasional candidate to a list of names that give you a little more bargaining room.

Be Creative with Benefits

Benefits packages are all the rage today. One of the most popular benefits you can offer is flexibility with work hours. It doesn’t even have to be offering additional days off. Today’s engineers are more diverse than ever before.

It could be that the engineer in question would like the option of working later or earlier in the day. It could be that the idea of working four, 10-hour days is more appealing to them than the traditional 8-hours a day, five days per week.

A little creativity in the offer can make a world of difference to many candidates – even over higher paying offers in the market. Another popular benefit is casual attire. While that’s not appropriate for all businesses, more and more workplaces are beginning to offer that as a major perk.

The bottom line is that you’re only as limited as you allow yourself to be when hiring new recruits. Some positions are harder to fill than others, but if you start thinking creatively instead, you could have more than your fill of candidates.

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