Sage Conversations: Where is the Talent to Feed My Business?

This article originally appeared in the August 2012 issue of SD&I magazine

Many integrators say it’s increasingly difficult to find experienced people to meet business demand. Whether it is a design engineer, project or business development manager, the availability of strong candidates continues to be a struggle. Why is that?

Is it the industry failing to attract the best and brightest? Is it the failure to believe that other industry candidates can succeed in security? Is it the compensation? Has the security industry been unable to dispel the notion that it is low tech and not a good career move?

Or, have they been faced with an all-too-familiar situation with their human resources that they are facing with their services? Customers may buy your product or service, but, depending on how it is sold, they may not value it.

The process of prospecting

When it comes to marketing, do you post jobs? Or do you actively sell the company? If you post, your advertisement is offered side by side with big businesses who all claim to have great benefits, brand recognition and career opportunities. And you seem smaller, less significant, with just enough street credibility to compete for second tier candidates. However, there is an opportunity to turn weaknesses into strengths. For example, where else can the best candidates find the opportunity to lead, develop proficiencies across multiple disciplines, to have an impact that is visible, recognized and rewarded?

You must treat marketing for employee acquisition much like building business value. We call this the mind of the market. Have you done adequate research around emerging trends in the competencies you will need to sustain your business? Have you profiled the candidates who would most likely meet those requirements? Do you understand what influences their career decisions? Do you know who the best in the business are in your geographical and vertical markets? And, finally, does your marketing reflect this data in a compelling way?

Next month I will move from the marketing to the actual sales process; known as the interview cycle.

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