The unfillable job requisition.

We’ve all experienced it. That elusive role that just cannot be filled.

You cannot locate someone with the right experience. You cannot find someone who will accept the salary range you budgeted for the position or department. Perhaps you’ve already offered the role but the candidate turned it down because they did not want to relocate their family. Or maybe the hiring manager has turned this into a battle. One where every candidate has been okay but they are looking for the perfect fit. Someone who can come on board and hit the ground running, impacting their role and positively influencing their peers immediately. Yeah, we’ve all experienced it. 

And so the job sits. You post again on your site so when the aggregate sites scrub your site, they refresh and it looks like a new opportunity and not a stale position. You throw some more money behind it on Indeed so it sits at the top of the list when the active job seekers log in for their daily scroll. You update the ad on ZipRecruiter so any new candidates in the last 30–60 days might see it in their inbox. And you ask the rest of your team to reshare on their LinkedIn pages for the job to reach a broader audience. Check. Check. Check. But then you wait, passively.

Here’s a thought.

Instead of leaving that job requisition open for the next 3–4 months while you and the hiring manager look for the “perfect” candidate, hire someone right now who has a good attitude, is naturally curious, ready to learn, and expresses a desire to grow. 

Think about the impact you could make if you spent the next 3–4 months training an eager new hire a critical skill and see them steadily begin to learn and directly contribute to the organization. Decrease the advertising and administrative costs that go into hiring for this position for the next 6 months and increase the productivity and morale of the department by adding a member to the team.

Now you have someone in the role learning how to do the job according to your process and procedures. You have an employee who doesn’t just have a job, they have a new career with a clear growth plan. They become confident, grateful, loyal, and a cheerleader for your organization. Hello, employee referrals and positive reviews on Glassdoor! 

Now think about how that scales. Not just for one critical role, but 10, 20, 30+ happy employees learning a new career and serving as your company ambassadors! 

You know what? That sounds pretty similar to an apprenticeship model, if you ask me. And those have been successful (but recently neglected) for decades. 

So, why aren’t we trying that?

Because what we are doing now isn’t exactly working.

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