“We just can’t find anybody qualified to do the job for us” is a line that I hear repeated regularly lately in working with clients. It is apparent that in some parts of the country there is a drastic shortage of labor that is putting a strain on the ability of many leaders to fill spots in their organizations with qualified staff. The result has been that many management teams have members who are burning out due to overwork as a result of a lack of people.
While many companies have tried a variety of methods to recruit good candidates, most have continued to do what has worked for them in the past. The result is in many cases a failure to attract good talent.
Here are 5 things you can do to Attract Better Candidates to your organization.
1. Ensure that your salaries are in line with expectations. Recently I was working with a company that was struggling to fill a position. They asked me to review their job posting and it became apparent that they were on the low end of the pay scale for the job offering. They thought that they were offering a fair wage, however, with recent inflationary pressures and a job market where those who have skills can be choosy, I figured that they were on the very low end of the scale. While we must ensure that we are profitable, when it's difficult to hire good candidates, it is essential that we are competitive in our wages. People will not apply for a job where they are going to make less or equal money, unless of course there are many other benefits.
2. Have benefits that fit the candidate: I was speaking with an executive last week that was renewing his contract with a company I was working with. His concern was about the benefits that he was being offered. In the past benefits were something that were just a perk. Now, for many prospective employees including entry level positions, benefits are a determining factor on whether or not they actually apply for the job. Your benefit program needs to fit your budget, however, for a few hundred dollars a month you can have a number of programs that can make the difference between hiring great people or just warm bodies. Medical, dental, retirement and bonus programs, training, vehicle, phone, or technology stipends are all on the negotiating table for many employees right now.
3. Flexibility in the Work Schedule. The pandemic led many people to believe that they can have balance by working from home as well as being in the office. Many companies have found that they have needed to be flexible in providing some people with the ability to work from home on occasion. Additionally there are certain portions of the population that have decided that they don’t want to work 40-60 hours a week. You might find that you are better off hiring someone to work 25-30 hours a week during a period of the day that fits them than hiring someone who doesn’t have the right skills you need to work full time for you.
4. Hire with your Core Values. Many leaders just look at me with a blank stare when I ask if they are using their core values to find and hire the right candidates. In many cases this is due to the fact that they haven’t defined what their core values are. The core values of a company are those values that are the foundation of the business. We use our core values to hire and fire, pick our suppliers and attract and retain customers. Unfortunately, when we fail to understand our core values, or have some core values that are no longer in line with the company management philosophy, we are challenged to have clarity on the type of people we need to hire.
5. Be creative. What has worked in the past probably won’t work for you now when it comes to finding good candidates for jobs and filling positions. Try mixing up your job advertisements, consider optional ways to fill positions, think about hiring more from inside your firm, try to make the job look fun and attractive. When it's difficult to hire the same type of people you have in the past, think about how you might structure your positions so that they might be attractive to students, or seniors, immigrants, remote workers, or people with disabilities. Get your team to help you think creatively!
If your company is being hindered by its inability to attract and retain the right people, it is essential that you develop strategies to enable you to overcome this hurdle. Without a good team of people, companies like yours fail to achieve their goals, serve their clients and be profitable. We have seen businesses attract and hire good people by being patient and working diligently to ensure their success. You can too.