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by Jeriann Watkins Ireland | January 18, 2017


If you’re new to management, making your first couple hires can be intimidating and difficult, especially in this economy. Unemployment is down, which is great, but it can mean that finding qualified work can be difficult. This is exacerbated by the widening of the skills gap, which is caused at its core by students not being taught necessary job skills, sometimes even in trade-specific programs. Here are some steps to follow when you’re having difficulty finding qualified candidates.

Alter Your Job Description

Is your job ad targeting the right people? Look at the job description. Make sure it focuses on the tasks that the employee will be accountable for and the skills necessary for that task. Focus on skills and talent, not necessarily on experience with the exact job title. List other job tasks that you think would translate well into this position, such as people who have worked extensively with clients, or employees experienced with specific types of coding. Including other job keywords and titles that are transferrable to your opening could possibly bring in people who would ignore your ad because the headline seems irrelevant to them.

Hire Internally

Sometimes, the best person to solve your hiring needs is right in front of you. Make sure to make job openings known to current employees, and make clear what skills are necessary to thrive in this position, and who they will be answering to. If you get interest and interview current employees, be sure to talk about how different (or similar) their role in the company will be, and talk to them about being involved in filling their current position, should they be selected.

Hiring internally often leads to you still needing to fill a position, but it could lower the bar for external hires. Someone familiar with the daily functions of your company may be able to take a position with more responsibility more quickly, while their old position may be an entry-level job that requires less training and orientation.

Expand Your Radius

If you’re only targeting people in your immediate area, consider expanding your radius. Could this job be worked remotely? Or can your company afford to relocate someone from afar? There are lots of factors to corporate relocation, but it can bring in people with new perspectives and the right qualifications.


Maybe this is a job that doesn’t require an employee. There are a lot of benefits to having in-house employees overseeing all your company’s functions, but outsourcing can save you a lot of time and money. If you break down the priority tasks of this position and realize that you don’t need a full-time employee to get these done, then you might look for a company that handles those functions externally. Often, companies save money when outsourcing bookkeeping, accounting, and web marketing functions, because experts who work in these fields can accomplish the tasks a lot faster than someone who specializes in your field but has introductory knowledge about the position’s criteria.

Train Your New Hires

Sometimes, you just have to acknowledge that if you want something done, you’ll have to do it yourself. Maybe you won’t be able to find someone who has all the skills you want. Find someone with the willingness to learn and the personality to be a good fit in your company. Then teach them the skills they don’t already have. Hopefully, you’ll be able to find candidates with some of the skills, so you may be able to choose which functions you’re willing to spend time training on, and hire accordingly.

Being new to management can be challenging, especially when it comes to hiring. Working with human resource departments can seem slow and difficult. Answering to your bosses for position openings or failed hires is daunting and tough. But if you look at all your options, you can find a creative, effective way to hire successful employees that suit your company’s needs.