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November 26, 2014 / Molly Moseley

Can the evergreen jobs concept win the battle for top talent?

shutterstock_230292064The economy may be improving, but the battle for top talent wages on. Recruiters are all too familiar with the situation, as they are always fighting to fill those critical positions that always seem to be in demand. There just doesn’t seem to be enough adequate candidates to fill all the necessary roles, and this makes competition fierce.

A unique approach to hiring strives to change this problem, and it involves creating evergreen jobs programs.

If you don’t know what an evergreen job is, the concept is rather simple. An evergreen job is the top critical positions that are always open at an organization. It could be that the employer has many people filling a similar role or that the position has high turnover. Either way, evergreen jobs are particularly common in industries like health care, retail, technology and customer service. Much like an evergreen tree never loses its needles, these jobs always need to be filled.

Forward-thinking organizations develop evergreen jobs programs. Rather than creating a pipeline of talent and filling a position only to stop when a candidate is selected and an offer accepted, evergreen jobs programs allow for hiring to happen on a continual basis for these mission-critical jobs. Basically, the company deliberately over-hires in anticipation of future demand so the additional talent found does not go elsewhere for work.

For many companies, an evergreen jobs program is a radical concept. Traditional hiring methodology calls for demand prior to searching for a candidate. Businesses in high-growth mode or those in industries that consistently fight for talent are most likely to consider the concept of having a hiring surplus through a program like this.

What are the advantages of an evergreen jobs program? Here are five to consider:

1. Never miss a great candidate
When multiple awesome candidates apply for an open position, it can be difficult to select just one. An evergreen jobs program allows a company to hire multiple people due to anticipated future demand, so you don’t have to miss out on nabbing the runner-up who you think would still be a great fit for the company.

2. Select the best of the best
Traditional hiring means selecting the best person who is currently available and interested in the job. The stars must align at that perfect point in time for both parties. An evergreen jobs program lets you select the best candidate without time constrictions, which eliminates that aspect of coincidence that is so unpredictable.

3. Adequate training opportunities
A reactive hiring approach involves getting someone in and trained as quickly as possible. An evergreen jobs program, on the other hand, involves hiring quality candidates right now before the demand emerges, providing the opportunity for extra time to on-board and train the candidate. Then the candidate is fully up to speed when the position becomes available.

4. It saves time
Advertising, recruiting and interviewing all require a lot of time and resources. When you consolidate efforts and decide to hire more than one person, you eliminate having to start the whole process over again at a later date. The hiring steps are streamlined and the hiring manager is typically happier.

5. It saves money
How can hiring when there really isn’t a need be cost-effective? In addition to eliminating duplicate recruiting costs, it’s important to assess the negative impact an employee shortage will have on the company versus having a surplus for a short time. For example, if a company goes for two months without filling a necessary position, and then it takes another month of training to get the employee up to speed, three months of productivity will have been lost. If a candidate were hired two months early, however, he would already be trained and only one month of extra pay would be required. Obviously this is a very basic example, but you get the picture. Planning ahead can ultimately save the company financially, as well as reduce stress and anxiety at the workplace.