6 Signs It’s Time to Hire New Talent

Let’s face it — talent acquisition is a challenge even for the most successful companies in any industry. For many growing organizations, it’s easier to simply lean on the people they already have in place rather than putting lots of time and energy into attracting, interviewing and hiring new talent.

That said, upgrading your company’s talent is often the difference between staying ahead of the game and falling far behind the competition. The quality of your talent is what drives innovation and growth within your company — and since talent begets talent, making sure you have the right people on your team can positively impact just about every facet of your business.

Not sure if your team is up to snuff? Keep an eye out for these 6 telltale signs that it’s time to upgrade your company’s talent.

You’re experiencing fast and frequent turnover.

It’s true that the tenure of an average employee is shorter today than it was just a few years ago. According to a 2016 census by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average employee stays with the same company for about 4.2 years on average — down from 4.6 in 2014.

What most employers don’t know, however, is that average employee tenure today is actually higher than it was 25 years ago — about a year more on average, in fact. So while it’s tempting to say that high employee turnover boils down to generational differences or a lack of employee loyalty, the reality is that a revolving door of talent is almost always an indicator that something is amiss within your recruitment process and your employer branding.

Factors like company culture, the competitiveness of benefits and pay and even the flexibility of working hours can contribute to higher employee satisfaction and retention — but the talent within your organization matters, too. Birds of a feather flock together, and if retaining high-performing employees is a priority for your organization, then make sure those employees are in good company within your current team.

There are regular squabbles between your current employees.

Company culture is an important factor in attracting and retaining the right employees, but it can sometimes be hard to tell if your organizational culture is on-point of off the mark. While many leaders are quick to treat year-on-year employee retention rates and productivity as the most reliable cultural litmus tests, the relationships within your team are the most telling indicator of whether or not your talent acquisition strategy is working.

In fact, a recent study published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Review discovered that the relationships employees have with their coworkers can have an impact not just on their productivity within the office, but on their health and wellbeing overall. Discord within the office undoubtedly impacts your team’s ability to meet and exceed expectations, and if your employees’ personalities simply don’t mesh, no amount of team building or training can turn things around.

Your business is struggling to launch a new vertical.

Most hiring managers have a clear understanding of which skills and strengths are most important for roles they are familiar with, but the same cannot always be said for roles within new verticals or departments. While they may know how to hire for a company’s culture, hiring managers that are not especially familiar with a certain vertical won’t be as knowledgeable about which technical skills and qualities to look for in potential candidates.

While internal hiring and promotion is a great way to retain key organizational knowledge, launching a new vertical in your business also requires fresh ideas and skills that are best found outside of your current team. Plus, external candidates with lots of experience within a particular vertical are likely to have a network that reflects their experience — a network that could help jumpstart growth and awareness.

You consistently see major gaps in your current team’s knowledge and skills.

It’s natural for your team to sometimes find themselves wading into unfamiliar waters in their work — sometimes, having the opportunity to flex new professional muscles can have a positive impact on employee engagement and satisfaction. But if you consistently see your employees scratching their heads with new projects, it might be time to look outside of your company’s current resources.

In fact, plenty of experienced recruiters laud the benefits of hiring externally, especially when there are significant skills and knowledge gaps within your own team. Doing so can not only meet critical requirements for a new role, but level up the knowledge and skill of your current team in the process.

Competitors and disruptors are routinely outpacing you.

Today’s business landscape is full of disruption, with innovative start-ups regularly challenging legacy companies and snatching up critical customer mindshare in the process. To keep up, these legacy organizations are beginning to launch dedicated teams with the sole focus of finding the “next big thing” within their industries.

This poses a big potential risk for companies not scaling up their own recruitment efforts. Companies whose teams consistently operate with the “we’ve always done it this way” mindset will ultimately fall behind — perhaps even to the point where they’re no longer relevant.

Not sure if you’re at risk? Take a good look at how your company’s competitive landscape has changed over the past five years. If you’re struggling to keep up with your industry’s pace of innovation, it might be time to consider how new talent could help bring your company back up to speed.

You’re regularly outsourcing key projects to independent contractors.

External agencies and freelancers are often a godsend for companies struggling to think outside the box — but when a company is regularly outsourcing their most important projects and initiatives to other teams, this is a good indicator that internal talent might be lacking.

A consistent skills gap is something you simply can’t afford to ignore if sustainable business growth is a priority, and regularly relying on external support to get your most important projects across the finish line can be costly and time-consuming. Plus, routinely handing the reins to external contractors can negatively impact employee satisfaction and even undermine your own team’s growth.

If there’s a particular area or department that needs consistent external support, choosing to upgrade your own talent can make for a much more sustainable solution.

The bottom line is this: Your business strategy, tools or processes can only get you so far in today’s business landscape. Having great talent is a critical element in your company’s growth and sustainability, and getting the right people on board with your business is a critical part of getting the competitive edge in your industry.