Many companies are currently cannibalizing themselves and the labor market more and more in the battle for the
most exciting talents of today and tomorrow. Skilled workers, managers and specialists are recruited or enticed away from the competition and qualified. While the poaching of exciting talent and experienced professionals has always existed, the way many companies are currently recruiting is leading to industries such as SAP consulting becoming increasingly cannibalized.

By poaching employees* from market competitors, only a short-term shift of the workforce, from one company to another, is brought about. There is no expansion of the market to include qualified workers*. The qualification of lateral entrants is still very expensive and can usually only be implemented sustainably by larger companies. Small companies, on the other hand, usually always fish in the same pond to add fresh blood to their own team. Specialists* and candidates* who meet the usually very extensive requirement profiles are usually located in the immediate vicinity, at the competitor.

Many years ago, I already noticed that skill-based recruiting, especially with a focus on soft skills, was receiving very little attention and that a completely different approach to recruiting would be needed in the future. As a result of demographic change and unstoppable digitization, the labor market will increasingly and likewise unstoppably develop into an applicant market in which the respective protagonists will have to readjust to each other.

In the current form of recruiting, decisions are usually still based on a correspondingly high percentage FIT of hard facts. Job postings are very specific and should be served by equally very specific information from the applicant’s resume*. However, the likelihood that someone will be a complete match for an advertised position is still relatively low. Many company-specific and correspondingly relevant characteristics or product knowledge may not be available despite the candidate*’s high level of fit, so the new employee still has to go through a long and costly qualification phase.

However, the current system is completely overwhelmed as far as the TARGET – ACTUAL comparison is concerned. Hard facts are compared with hard facts and in the rarest cases it is looked whether the candidate* fits the advertised position by the already existing and mostly very distinctive soft skills.

That’s why we at hrXperts have been propagating for a very long time that a soft-skill-based search for new employees is the better way to go in the medium term. Factors such as the willingness to learn and perform or the ability to deal with success-critical influences are therefore more important than, for example, a school-leaving certificate from 15 years ago or basic knowledge of SAP R3. However, those who attach greater importance to soft skills in the recruiting process will often fill vacancies in a much more targeted manner, retain employees and actively engage in employer branding.

A good example of this is a new, very impulsive and emotional employee* for an already very restless and temperamental team. Here, a backfill is already preprogrammed. The new employee*, who is similar in the area of soft skills and who may already have several years of experience in the field, can quickly become a miscast. Despite the required experience, no relief is provided at this point. At this point, it makes much more sense to recruit a calm, rational pole, which ensures heterogeneity through the existing soft skills alone and thus also quite automatically for a lower fluctuation in the whole. Professional qualification measures will be lower over time than further recruitment costs.

Today, there are systems and tools that already help recruiters implement just such approaches. Suitability diagnostics of candidates, anchored early in the selection process, help in the decision-making process for sustainable staffing.

In certain specialist areas, of course, you still need the technical expertise. Hard facts will also continue to play a major role. If a company is looking for a carpenter*, it is unlikely to hire an electrician*. If I am looking for an oral surgeon, I will not recruit an ophthalmologist either. At this point, there is no way around the most important hard facts. However, in sub-sectors where there is a very severe shortage of skilled workers, it is certainly possible to open up the prospects for a locksmith* to use and integrate existing and in-depth craft skills elsewhere. In this context, higher costs for qualification often have a more positive economic effect than regularly high costs in cooperation with external service providers in personnel recruitment.
In past projects, for example, we have been very successful in recruiting site managers for the construction industry by looking for craft specialists who understand and master the processes and peculiarities of construction sites very well. Missing knowledge in specific trades can be eliminated in the shortest possible time through a sustainably structured knowledge transfer. In this way, we were also able to develop older craftsmen, journeymen and master craftsmen from other disciplines to take on responsibility without having to do physically demanding work themselves for a long time. Through further knowledge and many years of experience of these craftsmen, additional new competences flowed into the construction site.

Of course, though, you have to remember that a plumbing heating specialist* would never have applied for such a site manager* position. Here it is necessary to actively convince both the hiring company and the candidate* that existing intersections are already sufficient for a successful performance of the job or that only a small effort in the area of qualification is necessary.

In the future, it will not be easier to find exactly the candidates you need. Via the classic channels that are usually available to recruiters (StepStone & Co), companies then continue to receive only those applicants* who are proactively looking for a job. Tomorrow’s recruiting must change and will be different. In the future, employees will be found where they do not expect to be, in a context that implies a new idea and opens up new horizons. Soft-Skill Based. Without resume.