Why would anyone want to work for you and your business?
I ask this of clients from time to time when the subject of hiring and retention comes up. Usually in the context of “I just can’t find good employees”. While there is nothing wrong with that statement on its face, it ignores an underlying cause – not being able to find good employees is a symptom. Let’s not address the symptom, let’s address the root cause.
There are usually a few root causes of this challenge for business owners.
First, they really don’t know what they actually want or have never defined what a “good” employee is. Is it in writing? Is there a job description with outlined responsibilities, more than the usual “I just need a salesperson.” Does it outline responsibilities, expectations, goals? Is it clear to a 4th grader what the person is truly responsible for? What they can do on their own without approvals? Behind that, if they do meet the criteria for “good”, what is in it for them? What’s possible? Where do they fall in the succession plan?
Second, the method of how they find employees is in question. “I’ve put the job on Indeed, I just get a bunch of junk.” I hear this one a lot. So my question is, why are you putting it on Indeed if all you get is junk?! I find that most businesses don’t really have a recruiting method or pipeline defined. Where are their current best employees coming from? How did they find you? How did you find them? Is there a common thread in those answers? As an example, in one business I coach that is more hands-on and industrial, they get their best employees from farms – farm kids. They already work with their hands, they understand machinery and they have a great work ethic. So that’s where they recruit.
This brings up another common theme I run into – the pipeline. You can no longer rely on the old way of gaining employees out of trade school or college – other employers are beating you to the punch if you just sit and wait for the next tranche of kids to come out of school. You need to identify the source and work to develop your own pipeline source and methods. This requires you to work on the last thing.
Last, why should someone come to work for you and your business? You cannot assume they just will. Why? What makes your place of business so enticing to come work that they’ll not go somewhere else? I’m not talking foosball tables and Friday beer parties (well, maybe). I’m talking culture. I’m talking atmosphere. I’m talking purpose. Why do you exist? If you can’t answer that question, you’re going to be faced with the same problem you have in finding clients – you cannot articulate why someone should trust you with their livelihood and why they should get out of bed, get up and come to work for you. It’s a unique value proposition, same as in marketing and sales. It may even be the exact same value proposition.
Address these three things and you may just find that “finding” good employees comes a lot easier. Don’t address these three things? Get ready for a lot of frustration ahead.
Need help addressing these three things? Give me a call. I can and have helped many businesses solve this problem.