Monday, October 15, 2012

Higher hire

With unemployment being what it is in this country -- high, improving only gradually and with many more job seekers than available jobs, you'd think that employers would have the pick of the litter.

It ain't necessarily so. Or so it seems.

Business owners with whom I meet or work who have jobs to fill are decrying the lack of qualified applicants for those positions.   The constant refrain that I hear is, "No one wants to work anymore," or some variation on that theme.  There is certainly some be truth to that, but as the saying goes: "If you say you can't, then you won't."

There is always talent out there.  Lots of talent. Gobs of it.  It may seem counter-intuitive, but in this employment economy, you have to compete for talent if you want to hire more than mediocrity. 

Many employers are trapped in either a Lake Woebegone mentality: they offer an above-average choice and that they don't need to attractively structure or promote the position.  Or they channel Wayne & Garth and consign themselves to a lesser result.

From an employee's perspective, it is a huge risk to change employers right now.  The devil you know, and all that.

How do you compete?  Hiring well is like marketing well:  you must match your offering to the audience for value to be perceived.  And you must address "what's in it for me?" clearly and compellingly.  You are, after all, selling a product:  You.

Do you have an attractive value proposition for your company and for each position within it?  Ask yourself:
  • What is the profile of someone who would be attracted to this position?
  • Would someone aspire to this position, or settle for it?  If the former, who is this person?
  • Do you offer "competitive"compensation or something that meets the needs of standouts?
  • What are you offering in terms of what really motivates prospective employees, as described in the video below?

The bottom line is that today, like so many other aspects of running a small business, the hiring environment has changed.  You can rant, you can rend, or you can evolve your hiring approach and leapfrog those who can't, don't or won't.

You have everything to gain.

1 comment:

Chuck Smith said...

Good points Al. We like to say that when looking for a new position, top talent seeks to "Learn More, Earn More or Do More!" Employers should make sure that the talent they are targeting can easily understand how they will learn more, earn more or do more in job being offered.