Hiring Employees That Will Stick Around (and why it's so hard to do!)
By Tim Walker
One of the challenges of finding good employees for any business is making sure you’re attracting the best applicants in the first place. Despite a job market that remains in neutral in many places around the country (check out the latest unemployment rate and GDP stats), finding great employees remains difficult partly because the best candidates already have a job.
Let’s dig deeper. Indeed’s Job Market Competition compares the number of unemployed people with the number job postings on their site for the 40 biggest markets in the United States. These numbers show that many cities in the Southeast, including Raleigh, Nashville, Charlotte, Tampa, Birmingham, Orlando, Louisville, Memphis and Atlanta have 1:1 or 1:2 ratios. This means that there are only 1 or 2 people looking for work for every open job out there. That’s some pretty tough competition if you’re an employer.
Now let’s take a look at jobs in the state of Tennessee. Indeed’s posting statistics show a steady increase in job postings in the state. That’s at a time when the unemployment rate has held steady or slightly declined. That leads to a significant talent gap – a lack a qualified people compared with the number of available jobs
Meanwhile, the Labor Force Participation Rate
, which tracks the percentage of working age people are actually looking or participating in the workforce, has cratered to an all-time low. It’s the same old song; more jobs, less talent.
A recent article from Mashable
details the world of “Overemployed Web Developers,” an almost alien world where developers are fought over and given bonuses, stock options, flexible hours and sky high salaries for their services. This is just one example of an industry that’s dealing with a talent gap. And you can see the results. Scarcity makes things more expensive.
What does it all mean though? We've established that finding great talent is tough, even during a stagnant economy where so many people are still looking for work. What can we as business owners do to find and retain the best people?
First, we need to figure out why the good employees don’t stick around. Forbes has a great article
with the following 6 examples.
No Connection to the Big Picture
No Effective Motivation
Notice anything missing? How about things like the right skills, experience and education? Too many employment agencies spend too much time matching resumes with job descriptions based solely on whether or not the candidate has the right number of years experience or the right technical skills. Then then send them to employers with no real consideration for whether that person is the right fit for your company. Sure, the skills and qualifications are really important, but at the end of the day it’s not what is going to keep that employees happy and productive.
Culture is what matters. And for many in the Millennial Generation (between the ages of 18 and 30), being happy, balancing work and home life and making a difference is more important than the dollar sign on the paycheck. As recruiters, we should strive to look past bullet points on resumes and job descriptions in order to find those qualities in your job and in a candidate that will make the match last long term. Finding that candidate that fits the culture of your company has become increasingly important. If your employees or potential employees can see that vision, big picture, future and fun, they’re much more likely to want to be a part of what your organization does.
It’s our job as recruiters to make sure candidates are a good fit for your company culture. And that’s more than making sure they can do the job you need them to do. It’s more than what’s on their resume; a lot more. That makes it more important for recruiters to ask good questions. The kind of questions that get at the motivations of an employee. What are they looking for in a career? Why are they leaving their current job? What makes them thrive?
If we can do that, we’ll do a lot better job of keeping employees in their jobs. And that means more success and stability for both recruiters and the companies we work for.