On the heels of the “Great Resignation,” business owners are struggling more and more with the recruitment of qualified candidates to fill their roles. This issue affects businesses across the country and is not specific to just labor positions, but rather, an assortment of roles ranging from entry to professional and C-suite levels.
Simply put, how do you find the diamond in the rough? There is little you can do to change the current market, but there are things you can do to position your organization and the role(s) you are seeking to improve positioning and attract ideal candidates.
Start with what you can control. It begins with your narrative. Why would someone want this position? If you read your own posting on Indeed or Zip Recruiter, would you apply to it? Why or why not? Potential candidates are looking for the best opportunity. Opportunity can be defined in many ways by different people. How do you go about casting the widest net while pulling in the truly qualified?
Here are five areas to focus on right now.
1. BE HONEST.
Really. Don’t exaggerate the perks and compensation of the position(s). When a candidate applies and snags an interview, there is nothing worse than being “surprised” about the compensation of the position. Be clear. Be transparent. If you allude that the compensation is way more than it actually is and / or there is a caveat to whatever was offered in the posting, it is the quickest way to piss potential candidates off. Everything after that point will sour the candidate’s experience. Don’t do it. If you find there aren't enough applicants, maybe it's time to review your compensation rates and determine if you are meeting the same median rate as your competitors.
2. WHAT’S THE POINT?
Does your organization have a mission? Does anyone know about it? Candidates are looking for a sense of purpose. If during the interview the mission of what the organization does is not made clear, it can very well turn folks off. Let’s face it, no one wants to work with an organization whose mission changes every week on a whim or due to an ill-fated decision by an executive. Think about what everyone’s mission is and be sure it is reflected in the posting and backed up in the interview.
3. HEY YOU, WANNA LEARN SOMETHING?
One of the most coveted perks an organization can offer is training and development. Many businesses believe they are a learning organization when truthfully, they don't even come close. A learning organization is one that continually develops all levels to improve knowledge, skills, and abilities. The keyword here is “continually.” True learning organizations reward collective learning. Employees develop through many modes of learning. The focus is always on development.
Offering a few courses to a select few people can hardly be considered a true learning organization. Think about your current training programs. Are they set up for this type of growth and continuity? If they are not, be conscious of the narrative surrounding this area on your job postings, it can be misleading to those who are truly looking for development opportunities.
4. THANKS FOR THE JOB, NOW WHAT?
Another area of focus is on succession and promotion. Succession is the process in which employees are hired and developed with the intent of filling key roles within an organization. When a business hires with succession in mind, they are constantly planning and preparing to replace old leaders as they get promoted, leave, or retire.
Why is this important? I don't know many people who want to do the same exact thing every day without any advancement for the next 30+ years. Do you?
The employees who are now developing and gaining more knowledge, skills, and abilities need more challenging tasks so they can apply those skills. See how that works?
If your recruiting efforts seem like a revolving door, maybe it's because the position really doesn't have growth potential. That is OK, depending on what the role may be, but that must be conveyed in the position role description. Many potential candidates will look at positions like that and see "dead end" job and avoid it at all costs unless there are other attributes of the position that make it worth their while.
5. SPREAD THE LOVE.
Employee appreciation may sound like the easiest thing to do, but how many employers can you name off the top of your head who actually do a good job at it? Probably not many. Therein lies one of the biggest retention issues...employees simply don't feel appreciated.
Let’s pretend we are in a relationship together. If I continually give you feedback and communicate how great I thought you were, wouldn't it help you feel more confident about how things were going between us and your approach to our relationship? Would you be more likely to reciprocate, be more open about your feelings and feel overall happier? I'm thinking...yes!!!!
Now, let's pretend I only gave you feedback and communicated once or maybe twice a year? What if I never let you know how I feel about the job you're doing? What if you had no idea how I felt about you as time progressed? Would you have the same confidence? Would you feel the same way about our relationship? Probably not.
There is one thing that most employees want and it's not money. It’s focused attention. All relationships depend on this, including employers and employees.
Why is employee appreciation so important when trying to attract qualified candidates? Because people talk. It's human nature to share information. If your organization doesn't have a great reputation with regard to how employees are treated and communicated to overall, you can bet that information will get out and that can include those applying.
Finding the right one is not easy. There is no tried and true approach that works for every business or every position. The points above are ones to focus on which resonate with most candidates looking for opportunities today.
Just remember, the more realistic and truthful you are in your job postings, the greater chances those applying are looking for exactly what you are offering.