By Josh McAfee
For the past year, every day, all day, I hear company leaders, social media talking heads, and news outlets talking about the “labor shortage.” I believe they are coming at it from the wrong angle.
There’s a hidden opportunity when we start thinking about hiring as a competition versus just a shortage of labor supply. Of course competition means there are winners and losers. If you want to be a winner, you have to do what winners do: Plan, prepare, practice, and perform. The prize is great people to help your business thrive and grow. Can you afford not to play to win?
If you’re going to get the edge on attracting great talent, you’ve got to leverage your team and enable them to reach more qualified candidates. Your messaging must communicate why your company has the best opportunity. Hiring strategies should make candidates feel valued and enthusiastic to join your team. All of this has to move like a well oiled machine to keep the process running quickly and smoothly for everyone involved.
Sure, it sounds like a lot. Winning any competition takes a lot. If you aren’t stepping up to do these things, there are other companies more than willing to and that’s where your talent will go.
Gone are the days where you could toss a couple vague sentences up on Indeed and have dozens of candidates ready to take whatever you were offering. You’re going to have to rise to the occasion and compete in today’s market. It’s going to take work and intentionality to attract and keep the best talent.
Here are 5 questions winners will ask themselves.
- Is the right person doing your recruiting and are they equipped to win? This is the first experience a candidate will have with your company. Make sure they are excited and knowledgeable about the company and what it does. Ensure they are engaging, responsive, know where and how to find candidates, and can agilely handle any questions potential new hires will have. Will they get candidates excited about your opportunity? Does this person have all the resources and skills to meet that challenge?
- What’s your hiring process look like? Every step must be intentional, designed to be engaging, and put the company’s best foot forward. Be prepared to move quickly without taking problematic short cuts. Everyone involved must be aligned, understand the job description, value the position being recruited, know what the best candidate would bring to the table, and be ready to move quickly when they find that ideal person. Don’t expect candidates to wait around for 6 or 7 interviews stretched out over weeks. Are you being proactive in finding and recruiting great talent or just reacting to resumes from postings?
- Are my people brand ambassadors? Anyone interacting with a candidate must be able to talk about why they love working for your company, why the organization is valuable to the applicant, what employees get out of working here, and why this role is compelling for the job seeker. Are candidates getting excited about working with your company when they talk to your team and leaders?
- Are salaries and benefits competitive? Like it or not, employee compensation has gone up. You’ve got to adjust with it. It just is what it is. Understand what the market is for the skill sets you need and be ready to make compelling and competitive offers to candidates. The big players like Google and Tesla are going remote at every opportunity and paying through the nose. That gives them a global labor pool and they have dollars to spend. You may have to get creative with other benefits and perks to overcome that kind of competition. Don’t forget there can be value in hiring remote employees for some positions.
- Does your business have a hemorrhoid? Sounds painful right? Whether it’s a person or a process, you must address the pain. Word gets out if someone or something is creating a miserable work environment. It’ll do you no good to attract great talent only for them to bail because of a bad employee, culture, or process. Can you afford to lose like that?
Once you find the problem, it needs to be resolved quickly. Determine if additional training, procedures, coaching, counseling, or replacement would fix the situation. Put a time limit on improvement expectations. Are you ready and willing to solve whatever or whomever is causing the issues?
Simply dismissing hiring woes by blaming a talent shortage is giving you and your team an excuse to not do your best. That sets you up to be the loser. Flip that thinking and stay out of that rut. As my grandpa said: “Winners focus on winning. Losers focus on winners”.
Recruiting is a numbers game. You’ll have to do more in less time using more resources to get the results you need. Don’t have time for all that? We can take the hassle out of hiring for you. Let’s talk about what you need in your next new hire. Ask us how the Recruiting as a Service subscription model will save you time and money!
Josh McAfee is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Humans Doing. With over 26 years of recruiting and team-building experience, Josh has worked with startups, SMBs, and large companies to determine hiring needs, develop our recruiting strategies and processes, and connect top talent to fuel growth. In 2021, he became a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author with his book Measure Up: Mastering Your Career Search Like a Boss.