I think of talent acquisition like a venn diagram.
One circle represents the candidate. The other circle represents the client / opportunity.
Candidates want the circles to intersect, but ideally remain as far apart as possible. No one wants to feel out of their depth - but we all want a new challenge.
Conversely... even the most idealistic hiring managers want the circles to sit on top of each other. And, even if they're willing to hire someone who doesn't meet key criteria, they're likely to be facing huge internal pressures to make a hiring decision that yields immediate impact - particularly in tough times.
In buoyant markets, the circles move a little further apart; and, in bad markets, they move closer together.
In 2020, they basically sat on top of one another. Organisations had a huge luxury of choice - and there were a lot of candidates who desperately needed to find a new employer, so were willing to compromise on their aspirations.
With the news of the vaccines, 2021 looks markedly better. However, we're not out of the woods yet - so when the chips are down, businesses will still want to de-risk their decision and will often turn to the conservative choice.
That being said, every role needs room to growth. Otherwise, when the market picks up, the hire will be approached for something bigger and better - and they'll pack their bags and say farewell. We've seen it before. There are a lot of CVs that read 2008 - 2009. And there'll be a bunch that read 2020 - 2021.
Ultimately, you want to make a hiring decision that pays off over 5 years, not 12 months.
I believe that, as a search firm, our role is to identify fair value exchange between the two parties. So - what does fair value exchange feel like in this market?
For my money, it's 80/20. A client should reasonably expect a candidate to bring at least 80% of the required skills to the table - but, in turn, they should expect to teach at least 20%.
As a hiring manager, the trick is to work out which 20% of the role is most easily learned - and what sits in the 80% that you can't compromise on.
With this approach in mind, you'll get great engagement - and hopefully make a hire that offers immediately value, but also you'll find someone who's challenged and grows in the organisation. Ultimately, you'll be making a decision that pays off for years to come.