Many small businesses suffer from hiring dukkha. Dukkha is an important Buddhist concept commonly translated as pain or suffering. However, this translation is not 100 percent accurate. Some feel that suffering is too limited a translation and others leave it untranslated. No matter your preference, dukkha has three categories:
- Dukkha-dukkha—painful experiences
- Viparinama-dukkha—the changing nature of all things
- Sankhara-dukkha—conditioned experience
These categories perfectly describe how some small businesses feel about their hiring process. As a small business owner, you might find hiring painful, lament the way things keep changing, and keep hiring the way you always have. You know there are other small business owners who have more success finding and hiring the right people and wonder why that success continues to elude you.
Why do you keep doing the same things even though you fail to achieve the results you need? You used to get great results with your recruiting process. You believe you’ve hit a streak of bad luck and that eventually things will go back to “normal.” Except they probably never will because:
- It’s easier for you to keep doing the same thing (sankhara-dukkha).
- The way you did things in the past was successful (sankhara-dukkha).
- You lack the time to keep up with everything going on around you (viparinama-dukkha).
- Change is hard (dukkha-dukkha).
Let’s use the concept of dukkha to gain some insights into the conditions that cause your recruiting and hiring to be difficult and how to overcome them.
It’s easy to blame a lack of skilled workers, fierce competition from larger companies who can pay bigger salaries and offer better benefits, or some other excuse. Some of those things may be out of your control, however, you do have the ability to interrupt the pattern when your process stops working.
Why did your recruiting process stop working? The answer is right in front of you. It’s crazy out there! Today, we’ve got an environment that changes rapidly (viparinama-dukkha), whether it’s education, technology, the economy, or your competition, and it’s almost impossible to stay on top of everything. The labor market is tight and getting tighter and top performers have more choices. It’s a buyers’ market for candidates.
Traditional recruiting focuses on screening out unqualified candidates. You create lists of skills and screen resumes against them. The results are predictable—you miss qualified people who could add value, and instead hire people who have the right keyword match yet lack the ability to perform well. Who has time today to read hundreds of resumes? The screening process is time-consuming and mind-numbing. This sounds like a dukkha-dukkha experience to me.
The way people are finding and applying for jobs has changed. Viparinama-dukkha means that in modern recruiting, it’s about reaching your candidates where they are, instead of where it’s most convenient for you. Job seekers are increasingly basing their decisions about where they work using online research and social media interactions. Many candidates will ignore a job with a boring ad. Time is at a premium for everyone. This means you have about five to seven seconds to grab someone’s attention.
To catch the attention of great candidates, the first two lines of your ad are critical. Remember to make those sentences grab great candidates by their eyeballs and suck them in to read more instead of wasting those two lines on boring stuff about your company.
Attracting great candidates takes less time than screening out unqualified candidates, and you get better results. If you do some research, you’ll find that great candidates are looking for information on company culture, whether your company has the values they like, innovative work practices, and diversity. Put on your marketing hat and figure out what about your company and your jobs will be attractive to the best candidates. Or, simply ask your employees what makes your company a great place to work?
It’s about relationships in modern recruiting. You need to make people feel good about your business. That means remembering that you are dealing with humans who want interaction, instead of automated responses. A candidate I recently worked with thanked me for keeping her informed of the status of her application. She stated that it “…speaks a lot to you and your commitment, and I really appreciate it.” If you want relationships based on honesty and professionalism in your employees, then you must create that relationship in your recruiting process.
While a personal response to every phone call or email from everyone who sends you a resume may be impossible, you must communicate with the candidates you have contacted or interviewed. If you think I’m wrong, check out these hashtags and learn what candidates hate about how companies recruit: #ihaterecruiters, #recruiterspam, #candidateexperience.
If you need some insights to change your hiring dukkha, schedule your insight session today or call me, send an email, or text MOMENTUM to 480-418-1411 to get more in-depth, step-by-step recruiting help. And, the best part is that it’s FREE!