One of the most frequent hiring complaints I hear in a gathering of business people is “It’s too hard to find and keep good people.” When asked why, responses typically include: there are no qualified candidates available, larger companies take the best applicants, or, the most frequent excuse, no one has a strong work ethic anymore.
How would you feel if I told you your hiring complaints are false. Qualified candidates are available, the large companies don’t have a monopoly on high performers, and the work ethic is alive and well? You’d probably tell me I must be stuck in the 1980s.
Here’s the problem with those thoughts. They are false!
Here are five reasons why:
1. Hiring is often rushed and hurried.
When you want to rush something to get it over with, you send the message that spending time on this task is taking you away from other more important things. When you rush, mistakes happen because you are doing the work, but not in a meaningful way. This means you are likely to do a poor job, waste your time, and sadly, your money. Candidates sense when you feel they are low on your priority list and the good ones move on to other opportunities where they feel valued.
2. Creativity and innovation are missing from your hiring strategy.
There are plenty of great candidates for everyone. First, you have to be flexible and believe there are ways to find the right people. Think about those individuals (you know at least one or two) who feel that there is a “perfect” spouse somewhere out there in the world. They are committed to finding him or her no matter what. The surprising thing is, most of our spouses fail the “perfect” test. There are usually a few things that might be missing. Who wants a spouse who snores? Well, there is a fix for the snoring problem. There is also a fix for the “perfect” employee problem. You just need to be flexible and open-minded about it.
3. You focus on your needs instead of your candidates.
A common mistake is believing your needs are more important than your potential employee’s needs. The economy is at full employment. What this means is that perfect employee you need to hire works for someone else. They are okay where they are yet open to learning about new opportunities. Because of that, your job is to appeal to what your candidates need. Instead of talking about how great your business is, talk about what it’s like to work for you and what the job is really like.
4. You ignore the candidate experience.
Are you excited by new features added to a product you currently enjoy? That’s because the product manufacturer listened to your needs and then created features to meet those needs. The candidate experience is a similar concept. Your job may have the same essential duties and responsibilities as other companies, yet it is your additional features that set you apart. It may be a simple thing like blocking time to talk with your team about their work and get feedback and ideas on how to improve processes, increase efficiencies, or create new products. When you create an experience, you become different.
5. You fail to set clear expectations.
If you are unclear about where you’re going, there are many ways to get there. Do you often feel the person you hired is different from the person you interviewed? Perhaps you are frustrated because your new employee lacks mind reading skills. Remember, we have different backgrounds and experiences. Context is important. Set clear parameters around roles and responsibilities, as well as performance standards. Make sure you define these in a way that creates a common understanding.
Quite often a candidate’s decision to work for you versus your competitor depends on your ability to know what to say to appeal to their needs. Your goal is to be the solution to their challenges. When you present your jobs as opportunities that meet the needs of your candidates, you will find plenty of great people.
What questions do you have for me? Click this link to schedule a complimentary Insight session. It’s an investment of 20 minutes of your time that will pay huge dividends.
I’m guessing you haven’t gotten around to reading The YOLO Principle: The Ultimate Hiring Guide for Small Business yet. You can purchase your copy here or on Amazon.com. It’s packed with tools, templates, and step-by-step instructions to solve your hiring puzzle.