I read something very insightful in an Inc. article about the Great Resignation sharing that a recent study revealed that 80% of CEOs and executives across 10 industries worldwide cite labor shortages as a concern. The author’s comment that struck me most was this:
“These CEOs have proper cause for concern, for it is largely their own leadership practices and attitudes toward employees that are at the root of these labor shortages.”
I could not agree more with this statement. People are leaving jobs (actually, leaders) that are not helping them fulfill their individual purpose and potential. They are searching for roles that make their lives better and give them an opportunity to be appreciated and recognized for their work.
Now more than ever, job seekers want meaningful work that gives them an opportunity to contribute to something bigger than themselves. We all want to feel a sense of belonging and appreciation.
If employees are working for leaders who are not being intentional about creating a great experience for the team, they will not stick around. Period.
The reason for this is simply because the last couple of years gave us all a chance to reflect on what is really important to us and a vast majority of folks have determined that they do not have to settle for anything less than a great workplace. They are committed to finding and joining organizations that align with their values and dreams.
For those of us growing businesses, hiring new team members is a critical part of your growth. It’s not something we can just add to our to-do list and get it done this week. We must be consistently intentional in our approach to attracting, hiring, and retaining the talent we depend on to take our businesses to the next level.
In my experience growing a fully remote team of freelance virtual assistants (75 and counting) with an additional headcount of seven corporate team members, we have learned a lot about what attracts applicants to opportunities to work with Trusty Oak. Here are some thoughts to consider for your next new hire.
Of course, having the right skills are important to any role within your organization, but nothing will cause more regret than hiring someone who does not align with your core values. Skills can be learned quickly in many cases, however, values go deep and are shaped by someone’s worldview and years of past experiences and learnings. You do not have the capacity to change someone’s values so search until you find someone that already aligns with yours. This does not mean that they have to share your personality or interests – diversity is still essential to scaling your organization effectively. It just means that your new hire must be able to truly be an extension of you and your business by demonstrating the core values you have used to forge your path towards goals for your organization.
Our organization has five core values that we commit to memory and use to filter every decision we make, including who we hire. This starts with the interview. Our recruiter shares each core value, one at a time, and asks the applicant what that value statement means to them. After the answer, we acknowledge if they interpreted it correctly (or correct them and share the true meaning) and then ask them to tell us about a time when they demonstrated that core value. We do this for the remaining core values one by one. The answers to these questions reveal a lot more about the candidate than traditional interview questions and you get closer to the heart of who they really are and what they really want.
At the risk of being called Captain Obvious, it’s still worth saying this. If you are clear about what you need you are more equipped to attract, hire, and retain your new hire. I have had numerous conversations with friends who accepted jobs they were originally excited about but either quickly or eventually realized that it wasn’t what they thought it would be. As a leader, we have better employee retention and overall success when we are prepared and transparent about our expectations even before we bring someone on.
Take the time to document details about what you need and use that information to craft a clear job description and requirements.
You may already be realizing that hiring is a time-consuming process and you may feel tempted to hurry through it to get your new person productive ASAP. Resist the temptation! If you rush, you will likely spend more time dealing with issues, or worse – losing what you thought was a good fit employee and then starting the process all over again.
The days of skating by without a solid hiring and vetting process are gone – if they ever truly existed to begin with. In today’s labor market, leaders can’t afford to ignore best practices in the hiring process. The time you spend on getting the right people through the door – and then rewarding them and providing them with meaningful work after that – will be paid back ten times over.