The economy seems to ebb and flow as far as the talent pool. Sometimes it seems like everybody wants a job. Other times it seems like everyone is happy and has plenty of options. The latter can be difficult for managers and business owners.
You put your listing out there. You talk to people that come in for interviews. It doesn’t seem to be working.
What can you to do make the opening more appealing?
Here are a few thoughts…
1. Better Hours
It’s not always the money that gets people interested in leaving a job or taking a job for the first time. They likely have interests outside of work. Family. Friends. Hobbies. Hours are important for a lot of people. If you’re able to offer typical hours or something that meets a person’s individual needs then you’re going to be more appealing.
It might be as simple as offering something that’s 9am to 5pm every weekday. No weekends. No holidays. Just a straightforward job that allows the person to check in and check out every day.
And that’s another aspect that is appealing to many people: predictability. Some may want something, perhaps a side job, where they are on call. But many want something consistent. Especially if they have family and kids.
This may not be possible depending on your business and industry. But it’s all relative. Can you offer something better relative to the competition?
2. Fewer Notifications
A big thing these days is the smartphone. It’s easy to communicate with people all the time. That’s not necessarily a good thing. Especially in a work situation. It can be so easy to send a text message to an employee at 8pm after a day of work. You’re thinking through your end of the day tasks. You have one reminder or one question. You send off the text.
One time is harmless perhaps. But a routine of this can burn people out. They feel obligated to respond even if you don’t necessarily feel that they need to respond. It’s up to you to set the standard.
In terms of a job listing or opening, communicate your policy and practice on work/life separation. Talk about the importance of privacy or balance.
3. Clear Growth Opportunities
I used to love the show Undercover Boss. I remember once on the 7-Eleven episode that an employee working at the counter mentioned that he felt he needed to look for another job eventually so that he could grow within the company. The CEO of 7-Eleven was listening to this astounded. He would love for any employee to want to grow their career with the company. And there were paths to do that.
But they weren’t well understood by employees.
And if current employees don’t understand then potential employees most likely won’t see the opportunities as well.
Talk to potential employees. Ask what their short-term and long-term goals are for work. No right or wrong answers. And certainly things can change. Learn what they want. See how your business can provide what people are looking for from their careers.
Some may want to be managers. Others may want to stay in the same role and really master it. Or maybe work on several things and find what they like best and then focus on that.
Learn it. Develop it. Communicate it.
4. Someone To Listen & Encourage
This might be tricky to work into a listing. But in so many work situations there are people that are really good at listening. Managers. Coworkers. So many people are starved for those that understand. They feel they can’t talk through things with anybody.
And we spend so much time at work that it makes sense that we would seek out this type of treatment. And it doesn’t have to be anything major. Just a little encouragement. Just someone not to brush things aside when we bring up something that is bothering us. Someone that will ask questions. Someone that will see if they can help ease a burden.
5. More Pay
And obviously pay is important. Look at your number situation. If you’re able to offer more pay than the competition it can be a real advantage. It could be just offering a higher salary or more per hour. But you could get creative with the pay as well. Bonuses. Taking on more tasks. Options for additional work beyond the normal hours. Performance metrics. Reliability metrics.
You don’t want to make it too complicated. Sometimes the best situations are the most simple. It could just be that you offering more than others brings the best people to you.
6. Talk To Existing Employees
Talking to your current employees can lead to insights that lead to better listings. See what they value most. Then express that in your listing. Perhaps even use their quotes in the listings. Maybe make a short video of it. An interview with employees.
At the very least you can learn about your business from the employee’s point of view. They probably won’t be entirely honest, but encourage them to be. It can lead to other changes you can make, but it can really help you understand what new employees might really value and you can focus on those items in the listings.
There are times when it’s very difficult to find new employees. There is a lot of competition. Maybe there is a wave of retirement. It could be all kinds of things. But you can find ways beyond money that can lead to your listings getting more interest. And obviously money is important. Hopefully these tips can at least spark a little inspiration for finding the secret sauce that brings you the most and the best employees.