4 'impossible' IT hiring scenarios (and how to beat them)

Sharon Florentine


  • Are we asking too much of a person in this role, for this pay?
  • Are we asking them to take a step down?
  • If we took the brand off the job, would they want to work here?


Scenario 3: Unreasonable Work Situation or Geography Demands

Many candidates are mobile and are looking for flexible work arrangements, and if you can offer flexibility, you can often attract higher quality candidates without regard to physical location. But getting your hiring manager to understand this can be challenging.

"You also have to take into account cost of living and compensation based on different regions," says Berkowitz. "If you're trying to pay the same salary to someone in South Dakota as you are in New York City, well, one of those positions is going to be extremely hard to fill based on salary alone," he says.

You must again educate your executives and stakeholders. Encourage your hiring managers to carefully consider whether or not a certain role must be in a certain geographic location, and why, write Williams and Vecchio. Could you or should you allow an alternative, remote-work arrangement? If you can untie the role from the geographic location, you open up your talent market to a much broader pool and solve difficult geographic issues, they say, by asking these questions:

Is it necessary for the role to be onsite? If so, how often? If it is necessary, why is it necessary?

Encourage stakeholders to rethink where a certain position must be based. Educate hiring managers on the hiring implications and available talent pool.

For talent-deficient geographic markets, see if your company can offer higher compensation rates than the local market.

Encourage your company to be willing to pay for relocation.

Scenario 4: Lack of a Talent Pipeline to Fill Critical Roles

Critical roles are key positions in companies that are required to achieve and maintain strategic success, according to Williams and Vecchio, and when they stand empty, they cost your company revenue. Ideally, your company knows what those critical roles are and has succession plans in place but, if not, it's critical to have a prospective talent pipeline in place.

"To build a talent community means to identify those people who fall within the skill set you're looking for, in the geography you're looking for, and who would be willing to accept overtures from your company," says Berkowitz.

"Developing this type of talent community does take time and money, so it's important to start well before you have an open position. Consider ongoing engagement with folks who've applied in the past, or who interviewed with your firm and didn't get a job, for starters," he says. In additions, say Williams and Vecchio, make sure you are asking these questions:

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