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You see it everywhere, on plumbing trucks, heating and cooling vans, in shop windows, and posted to every social media platform under the sun…it’s the phrase, “We’re Hiring!” Through April of 2019 the national unemployment rate was at 3.6%, which indicates individuals looking for work are finding work (source: ncsl.org). That’s great news, right? Not for most business owners I speak with…they’re having trouble finding good people to hire. They dangle their help wanted signs out there like fishing hooks waiting to see who bites. The challenge with this approach is, while you might catch that prized employee, you also might land someone you didn’t want, and be afraid to throw them back for fear you won’t find anyone else.
Shift Your Focus
For those business owners who struggle to find and hire that perfect employee, it is time to shift your focus. There are more jobs available than people to fill them and experts agree this trend will continue for the near term, increasing competition between businesses looking to grow their workforce. The shift you need to make is going from hiring employees to recruiting them. Just like your favorite college basketball coach hits the road to land the next great player, you need to be just as proactive. Here are a couple of questions I ask my clients when we start discussing the recruitment process.
- Do you have a clear picture of the qualified candidate you’re looking to bring on?
- Do you have the job description written out, complete with expectations, roles and responsibilities, and clear key performance indicators?
- Is your company’s culture one that attracts people or repels them?
- Do you have a thorough on-boarding process for your new team member?
- What is your strategy to retain top talent?
These are just a few of the questions I work through with clients as I teach them the ActionCOACH recruiting process. Making them aware that you get the people you deserve in your business, and if your team isn’t performing at the desired level you want, then you need to take a hard look at the behaviors you are accepting and be prepared to take action on making the necessary changes.
As the song goes, “The times they are a changing” or, more accurately, the times have already changed. The business philosophy of, “It’s my way or the highway” is no longer viable. With the increase of available jobs and the decrease in the workforce able to fill those jobs, employees who are unhappy or feel the environment is toxic will simply move on.
Sometimes other life events occur that can leave you shorthanded. That’s when reactive hiring mode usually kicks in and you hire quickly to fill the position, only to find out that your quick hire is costing you more than not having someone in the role at all. That’s why I work with my clients to shift their focus from hiring reactively to Always Be Recruiting, or A.B.R. You never know when you might find the team member you’ve been searching for. By proactively recruiting talented people you build a buzz that starts attracting other top people to your company.
I challenge you to go back and look at the results you’ve been getting from your current team. If you’re not satisfied, or know your team could be doing better, I encourage you to reflect on why that is happening. Always Be Recruiting and take your next hire from fogs-the-mirror to stays-here-for-a-career. And remember, “You get what you get so don’t throw a fit!”
Author: Drew Schwegman, Business Coach in Northern Kentucky