Staffing appears to be a hot topic right now, and that’s because it is. People are reassessing both their lives and the type of work or job they want, and businesses are struggling to fill vacancies within their teams. How will your business stand out from the competition so that you can bring on the right new staff? And once you have the right people on board, how will you keep them?
You want to attract and find a thriving team, the right team, a team that gets things done and works well together. And once you have them, you want them to stick around for the long haul because, let's face it, staff turnover is a huge burden and cost to businesses. Recruitment and retention were hard enough a couple of years ago. But in more recent times, it has become increasingly difficult to find good people, let alone consider everything else that comes with creating a long-lasting, goal-kicking team.
Most people have spent the last two years watching the world around them change dramatically, so, naturally, they’ve reassessed what is essential to them. Unsurprisingly for some people, their job, or the traditional notion of one, has shifted a few levels lower in their hierarchy of needs. This shift has led to increased job vacancies, which has resulted in an increase in employee options, a classic example of an employee’s market. Job supply has far outweighed job demand, and small business owners are feeling the brunt of it.
How to hire the right people in an employee’s market and set them up for success
I speak with clients and business owners every day who deal with this exact challenge. It’s not just limited to one industry either; I’m seeing it in hospitality, construction, manufacturing, professional services and agriculture, to name a few. We could go into all the reasons why this is happening, from closed borders to a shortage of skilled labour, but that won’t help you. We know the problem, so let’s look at both short-term and long-term practical solutions that you can implement right now to make your business stand out from the rest to a potential new employee.
Before you begin, it is important to understand that you will need to think outside the box and do things differently from how you have done them before. Why? Because the world has changed and your potential new team member is thinking differently. Writing and posting a job ad is no longer going to cut it. It never did, in my opinion, not if you wanted to create an amazing, productive team with a great culture. Ask yourself these questions: How will I attract the right people? Why would someone even want to work for me? What can I offer them that the next business can’t?
Now you may be saying, “This is ridiculous. Why do I have to put in so much effort? I’m giving them an opportunity, a job, and a wage at the end of it”. Well, aside from the supply and demand issue I highlighted above, we have entered a new era, an era that is more heart-centred than ever before. People want to do something meaningful with their time. They want to be happy at work and feel a part of something, and they want a more balanced approach to their employment. They want flexibility, collaboration, and an understanding that their work is only a part of their lives.
The first step is to take an authentic look at your business. Do you have a great team culture? Are you organised and set up to ensure every new staff member excels in their role? Are you a great leader that people want to be around? Do you have systems and processes in place so that people can do their job easily?
Next, create a robust recruitment strategy that addresses both short-term and long-term staffing requirements. Observe what your industry is doing, then do something completely different. You need to stand out if you want to attract the right people. For example, say you are a trade-based business dealing with a shortage of skilled labour. As a part of your strategy, you should consider establishing relationships with training organisations to obtain referrals for apprentices seeking work. Align yourself with schools and deliver talks to students as part of their careers programs. Create a great training program so that you are known as the business that gives apprentices the best possible start. Align with migration agents and sponsor overseas labour to fill the gap on a shorter-term basis.
Finally, create the systems and processes that will set your business apart from the competition. Your people are the most critical part of your business, so start by creating a robust recruitment process. The process I use and incorporate into other businesses is one where we look at three things. First is value-fit for the business. Does the potential staff member’s value system align with yours? Next is productivity. Is this person a productive individual that thrives on producing results? And lastly, does this person have the relevant skills required to do the job? When looking for a new team member, I always look at these three elements in the order above. Considering values and productivity before skills is how you build a business where your team thrives and you are able to retain staff for the long term.
After you've mastered the recruitment process, you'll need to create systems and processes for the rest of the business. These are necessary because a great employee - a productive one - will not stay around if your business is disorganised and it is difficult for them to do their job. They want to come in and thrive in the organised environment that you have created, not get caught up in chaos.
As the business owner, only you can create the right environment to attract and retain the right team. If you’re ready to do the work and think a bit differently, there are plenty of fantastic people out there who would love to join your team.