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Employers employ skilled workers even if they have no openings




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Here is the new rally cry for highly qualified workers hoping to be employed by their favorite company:

No job opening? No problem.

With companies struggling to get vacancies among low unemployment and fewer unemployed, many adopt a new strategy: They make the most talented employees in areas such as information technology, social media and engineering on fear cannot be around when opening occurs. Labor shortages have led to long-term searches and lost revenue.

Employers say, "There is no immediate opening, but we shall bring you anyway," said Jacob Zabkowicz, global vice president for the recruitment of Korn Ferry. "The person helps build the job description".

57 percent of the recruits say they have employed a particular skill set even though there was no existing role for the candidate, according to a Korn ferry survey last year.

"They want to create a pipeline," said Jeanne Branthover, co-responsible and managing partner of executive search firm DHR International's New York office.

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Get talent in your door

The strategy is aimed at coordinating coveted specialists, such as computer scientists, software developers, digital media experts, artificial intelligence designers and some accounting and engineering professionals, staffing experts say.

Zabkowicz estimates that about 10 percent of jobs in such fields now occur when there is no special opening. The trend says he has picked up steam in the last couple of years as the labor market has tightened.

The unemployment rate for private individuals averaged 3.8 per cent last year, almost 50 years low, when the job search hit a record of 7.3 million in December. Candidates are far sharper in some fields, with employment of an average of 2.2 per cent for computer personnel and 1.8 per cent for science-related jobs, and architectural and engineering services, showing the work department's figures.

Four years ago, Audiogon, an e-commerce site for high-end audio systems, began to ask staff firm Robert Half International to continually hunt for software developers after finding it took as long as eight months to fill vacancies, says Lindsay Karlson, Audiogon Chief Operating Officer.

"If you can get the right person to fit our culture and have the skills set, I don't like to let that person go," says Charles. "For six months I don't know I find them."

Earlier, she says the 11-person company, located in Greenville, South Carolina, has not had enough programming at times, delays rolling out of new features and costing it thousands of dollars in sales.

"I just never want to be in that position again," says Karlson. The new approach led to the addition of five of the company's seven programmers in recent years. Sales growth has supported the new employees, with revenue growth of 18 per cent last year, says Karlson.

Spread of workload

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Jeff Dill, 33, an Audiogon programmer, said it was "surely flattering" that Karlson hired him a few years ago, even though she had no job opening. "It tells me a lot about the company – that they are open to exploring new things," he says. Dill says the approach gave him more creative freedom when working on his first project – developed an online showroom based on images from the consumer's home audio setup.

Often, employers simply commit a portion of existing workers' workload to new arrivals, as Audiogon does, so that sufficient staff are in place as income increases.

Landmark, an accounting firm with 115 employees, uses tactics to bring on both upscaled academics and experienced tax administrators. Many long-term baby boomers retire and leave periodic openings, says Katie Lejong, a partner of Fort Smith, Arkansas-based firm.

In the short term, she says: "It usually adds costs," since newcomers handle work that can be done by existing staff, she says. But, "it's a balance. We want to create capacity for the future."

Some companies are preparing new positions. Many recruiters are unclear about how to hire the new digital world and require businesses to bring digitally savvy candidates and then fulfill roles for them, such as digital sales or manufacturing experts, Zabkowicz says.

Creating positions

Recently, while searching for a chief digital officer for a financial firm, Branthover discovered a candidate so impressively that the company decided to create the position of chief executive officer, and put it on the pitch to become CEO .

Nevertheless, gathering new positions to harness the skills of job candidates can breed disgust among existing employees, says Steve Saah, CEO of Robert Half.

"(Employers) must have a plan to communicate it internally and be transparent with today's employees, he says. 19659036] CLOSE

Software developer is the fastest growing job in the technology industry.
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