In the last several months I’ve spoken at a few dozen conferences. And at every single one of them – big ones, small ones, and basically every industry there is – the people at those conferences have been talking about exactly two things: supply chain, and the labor shortage. Your company probably is, too. Those two issues absolutely dominate the current business landscape.
Supply chain is a challenging one to answer, since “make stuff faster and get it here quicker” is not exactly a strategy that’s easy to immediately put into practice. However, there are some things you can do to immediately improve the labor shortage, or at least insofar as it affects your ability to find and hire the people you’re looking for.
Let’s start with what you’re offering. If your job postings are like everyone else’s, then you’ll be certainly using phrases like “competitive salary,” “great benefits,” or “flexible working schedule.” But if that’s all you’re saying, or if it’s the main way you’re attempting to attract good applicants, then your job postings probably aren’t accomplishing what you want them to. Why? Because as I said at the beginning of this paragraph, your job postings are like everyone else’s.
It’s important to understand that things like good pay, good benefits, and a flexible schedule aren’t differentiators – they’re expected. They’re expected the same way it is expected that every plane we choose to get on is going to land safely in the place we bought a ticket to. An airline that tries to distinguish itself from its competition by creating an experience that’s safer than every other airline is going to be incapable of doing so, because all of them are safe. Worse, they’ll be wasting time and resources trying to convince people of something that has no bearing on the decisions their customers make.
In the same way, your prospective customers – aka potential hires – can’t be persuaded by a job posting that offers a salary and benefits package that looks exactly like what they would get anywhere else.
However, your potential hires can be persuaded by a job posting that talks about how meaningful the work they’ll do with you is, or how much fun they’ll have doing it, or how challenging the job is, or how they’ll make lifelong friendships with their soon-to-be colleagues. Of course you should let people know that they’ll be well-rewarded financially by working for you; but there are other things that motivate people to accept jobs, and some of those things aren’t going to appear in every other job posting they see.
You might also consider changing the way that you post your openings. Everyone writes a job posting, right? So why not do a video posting? Why not put together a montage of testimonials from your existing employees talking about how much they enjoy working there? Maybe you could put together a 2-minute video “touring” people around your facility or showing them how much fun you had at your last holiday party. Most businesses aren’t going to go to the trouble of putting that kind of thing together for people who don’t even work for them yet, which is exactly why you should think about doing it.
In a competitive labor market, any advantage is worth considering. These aren’t revolutionary ideas by any means. They’re more like incremental improvements. But an incremental change in your hiring strategy could be the difference between having your pick of a solid labor pool, or wondering where all the good workers have gone.