I went to the beach this weekend. For those of you who had to deal with snow, I’m sorry.
While I was relaxing and enjoying the sound of the waves and gulls, a young girl about two years old and her father arrived and began playing catch. The father would lightly toss the ball into the air and the little girl would put her arms straight out as if to catch the ball.
Except she never caught the ball. She stood perfectly still and watched the ball drop between her hands. Then she would giggle. Her father would explain how to catch the ball and then toss the ball into the air again. The little girl put her arms out and watched the ball drop between them. This scene repeated for about 10 minutes until the father finally got tired. The little girl wanted to keep playing the game because she was having a great time watching the ball drop between her hands. The father was frustrated and had lost any hope that his daughter would ever catch the ball.
What does this have to do with recruiting? One word: alignment. Your needs as a business owner need to be in alignment with your candidates’ needs. When these needs are out of alignment, stress, frustration, and loss of hope are the result.
The little girl’s objectives were out of alignment with her father’s. The father was trying to teach the little girl how to catch the ball, while the little girl was enjoying the fun of watching the ball drop between her arms and land in the sand at her feet. I’m sure that father started to feel hopeless as time and again, his little girl failed to catch the ball.
Have you ever felt hopeless when you were recruiting? I know I have. It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that there are no qualified candidates available and you must settle for the best of the average or subpar candidates who apply.
There is good news! You can restore hope (which is different from hope as a strategy) with these three things.
Clarity is probably the hardest to achieve. To find the right people, it’s important to know exactly what you need in terms of skills, attitudes, behaviors, and mindset. Otherwise, how will you know when you find it? Getting clear on your needs means finding a quiet moment to focus on the tasks you need to have done, what the results of the tasks will be, what skills are needed to achieve those results, and what type of person will be most successful.
This can be overwhelming for you as a busy small business owner. You have a lot to manage, so finding that quiet time to focus on your needs is difficult. Resist getting caught up in choosing the “best” from the first available. It’s better to be understaffed than to have a bad employee who will affect the performance and morale of the rest of your team. This can lead to future problems with productivity, turnover, training costs, and retention of good performers. Do yourself a favor and keep searching until you find the right fit.
Like people, your business has a unique personality or culture. Your business has core values, beliefs, and a unique mission. Your business is different from your competition’s. When you understand your business’ unique value proposition, you can use it to attract people who share your values, beliefs, and mission.
I often see small business owners ignoring their culture when they recruit. When you fail to identify your core values and beliefs, you end up on a hiring roller coaster. You are excited to hire that person with the perfect resume and are let down when he or she causes problems. You need more than great technical skills; you must hire for attitude in addition to skill.
Words mean different things to different people. Most of us have had moments when we were surprised, shocked or left speechless by behavior or actions that were very different from what we expected. Imagine how that father on the beach must have felt after explaining how to catch the ball, only to watch his daughter make no attempt to catch it. His two-year old daughter obviously failed to understand the meaning. This happens all the time in recruiting.
Communicate your culture in your job description, which is the outline of the role and responsibilities. Continue to communicate your culture in your job ad, which is your sales pitch to attract the right candidates for your business. Great candidates want to know why their work matters, how they can contribute to making a difference, and what it will be like to work for your company. They need to know that your business shares their core values. Communicate why what they do matters (the purpose or mission of their work). Show a clear line of sight from their work to achieving your mission. Give them visuals: charts, graphs, infographics, video, feedback from clients, the community, and your competitors. Share results, both successes and failures. Honestly communicate with them so they know what it will be like to work for your company.
Put Hope Back in Your Recruiting
As Christopher Reeve said, “Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.” If you need some help restoring hope to your recruiting process, give me a call at (843) 779-YOLO (9656) or schedule your free consultation today.