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Can’t find top talent? Take a look in the mirror

The hiring process nowadays is different than what it used to be years ago, but attracting and retaining employees comes down to using the same strategies used to sell to customers.

August 30, 2021   by Shawn Casemore

Photo: © ink drop / Adobe Stock

Recalling being offered my first full-time job. It was working at Magna. I was so excited to receive the call to offer me the job, particularly after so many other people had applied.

The salary and benefits were all good, but I was just as excited for the opportunity to move into full-time employment after spending the majority of my life in school and working part-time jobs.
Fast-forward to today.

The job market is a much different place. Opportunities seem endless while talent seems scarce. Even McDonald’s is struggling to compete, with a shift manager receiving somewhere in the neighbourhood of $17 per hour.

This isn’t likely to change anytime soon.

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Recent studies suggest that the Canadian economy is about 80 per cent of the way back to pre-pandemic levels from an economic standpoint. Moreover, the fact that the pandemic was essentially a forced recession means the rebound is going to be strong.

Herein lies the challenge.

If you are already struggling to find and retain talent, the market is only going to get tighter.

Unlike my first job so many years ago, today’s employees are very sensitive to every aspect of a job offer, because there are so many to choose from, and the transparency in online information allows them to research and compare before they even get to the interview stage.

You might argue that wages are always a factor to consider, and that would be true. As are benefits, flexible time, vacation and the current leadership who set the goals, values and work environment.

However, what really attracts and retains an employee comes down to using the very same strategies you use to sell a customer.

Attraction: Why should the employee work for you?

Solution: What will you provide them if they do come to work for you?

Retention: How will you ensure you deliver on what you promised?

These aren’t questions you can or should answer yourself. Instead, tap into your existing, past and potential employees to gain insights that will inform your actions.

If you’re having trouble attracting new hires, then there is something wrong with how your company appears from afar.

Ask potential employees the following questions:

• Does our website represent
a company you’d want to work for?
• Are there comments you’ve found on sites like glassdoor.com that are concerning you?
• What have you heard from other’s about working here?

If you can attract applicants, but they don’t accept your job offer, then there’s something wrong with the offer itself.

Ask potential employees who turned down your offer the following questions:

• Was there something that was said (or missed) in the interview?
• Did our offer meet with your expectations? If not, why?
• Have you had other more attractive offers? What made them more attractive?

Recent studies suggest that the Canadian economy is about 80 per cent of the way back to pre-pandemic levels from an economic standpoint. Moreover, the fact that the pandemic was essentially a forced recession means the rebound is going to be strong.

If you don’t have a hiring problem, but you can’t seem to keep an employee, then there’s something wrong with the employee’s experience.

Ask existing employees or those who leave, the following questions:

• What was it that made you want to quit?
• How supportive was our leadership? Is there something you’d recommend we change or improve?
• Was your career path with us clear? What else is missing?

If this seems like it’s too labour intensive, feel free to ignore.

However, as you read this, your employees are receiving inquiries on LinkedIn, by email and even by text for job opportunities.

Take a closer look at each of these three areas to identify where your most significant challenges lie. Then begin asking existing employees, past employees and new applicants what changes or improvements they’d like to see.

There’s no shorter path to fixing your talent gap, then by making the changes your candidates and new employees want to see.
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Shawn Casemore helps companies accelerate their growth. To learn more, visit his web site at www.shawncasemore.com.


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Business Operations Manufacturing Economy Editor Pick employment Magna talent


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