The LLoyd blog: hidden talent.

Strategic Ways to Broaden Talent Acquisition Pipelines

By Nancy Schuman, CSP


As recruitment and talent acquisition professionals, we’re all too familiar with the common refrain of having numerous job openings and a shortage of qualified talent. As of a January 2024 report, there are currently 1.4 jobs available for every unemployed worker. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce shows that there are 9.5 million job openings in the U.S., but only 6.5 million unemployed workers. The demand for labor still exceeds the supply – clearly it is a competitive job market.


Reassessing Hiring Criteria

In a challenging job market, where the demand for talent outweighs the supply, companies are urged to reconsider their hiring criteria. While stringent standards may be necessary in a reverse job market, the current landscape calls for revisiting whether these criteria are truly essential for job performance or merely “nice to have.”


Talent Acquisition
Talent Acquisition

Easing Screening Standards Can Widen the Application Pool

When considering qualified candidates, the traditional screening process often leads to rejections based on predefined standards. Hiring experts recommend a reassessment of these screening standards, urging employers to apply a degree of leniency. This introspection, though industry-dependent, can significantly widen the talent pool. It’s essential to balance risk tolerance with the prospective employee’s skill set, ensuring they meet organizational requirements while mitigating potential risks.


Flexibility in Screening Criteria

Staffing recruiters understand the importance of widening the talent pool. Introducing flexibility in screening criteria, such as considering work experience and some college as alternatives to a four-year degree, can open doors to a more diverse talent pool.


Adapting to Legal Changes

With the legalization of medical marijuana in numerous states, companies are reevaluating pre-employment drug screening policies. Many have removed marijuana screening requirements, except for safety and security-sensitive roles or those bound by federal or state contracts. Companies need to understand that removing a requirement does not imply it’s irrelevant to the job; rather, it means it alone cannot determine a candidate’s fitness for the position. In New York State, the DOL notes that employers may not include marijuana on its drug testing panel for most employees.


Smarter Hiring Methods – Identifying Essential Requirements

Employers should differentiate between essential and non-essential job requirements. While increasing the talent pool is crucial, compromising on truly essential requirements can lead to bad hires and potential legal challenges. Clear understanding of why a requirement is important helps maintain consistency in hiring methods.


Questions to Consider

To determine the necessity of screening criteria, employers should ask:

  • Why is it important?
  • What capabilities are assumed to be gained through experience or education?
  • Could these capabilities be developed in alternative ways?


While relaxing screening standards may not be suitable for every employer, it’s a concept worth considering, especially in a competitive job market when it is essential to employ strategic recruitment . Embracing inclusivity in recruitment practices can transform your talent pool and provide economic opportunities for individuals often deemed unemployable. In times of scarcity, the mantra should be to “Screen In, Not Out,” using today’s tools as a layer of protection to complement hiring decisions and welcome significant contributors to your organization.


Talent Acquisition
Talent Acquisition

If you are an employer feeling limited by your talent options, Lloyd welcomes hearing from you to review ways you can broaden your talent pipeline.  REQUEST TALENT





Nancy Schuman, CSP is the semi-retired Chief Commuicatioins Officer for LLoyd Staffing.
A recruitment and career specialist, Nancy has 43 years in the staffing industry 27 of them with LLoyd.  She is an advocate for career education and has advised thousands of candidates on their resumes and job searches while serving as the Careers columnist for a large weekly Long Island newspaper and writing 11 popular books for job seekers and business professionals.  You can find her Author’s page and books on Amazon.

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