Listen up: Hiring Tidbits from Professionals



So, let’s look at some of the statistics around finding, hiring, and keeping employees. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics tells us that across the nation we have a 4% unemployment rate. Here in Oakland County we are at a 3.2% unemployment rate, which basically tells you that we are gainfully employed. People are working.

The other number that’s even more telling about what’s going on today is Georgetown University did a study and they have for 2020, and you know we are continuing in this cycle right now, but by 2020, thirty million Boomers will be exiting the market. We are also creating about 24 million jobs, which leaves us with a 5 million person deficit of qualified workers.

So when we’re talking about small and midsize business owners out there, how are those people, the people you want to attract going to find you, and what is it that you’re going to do in order to retain them long term?

Those are huge numbers that we need to pay attention to as business owners today.

Search time a year ago was about 6 to 8 weeks and in a lot of cases today we are at 12 to 15 weeks in our searches. And that’s just to find and hire someone, right? That’s not the onboarding period. So that kind of gives you an idea of what you need to be thinking about as a business owner looking for talent in the market today.

And what we are showing businesses today is that they really need to use all of their resources. If they’re just putting something out on a job board and hoping that the right person is going to show up, that may or may not get them what they are looking for today. Just the same on the candidate side. If they’re just perusing through the job boards, they may or may not be finding what they are looking for.

We’ve got to be really creative from a business perspective in trying to find the people we are looking for because we often are dealing with an educated employee base. They are interviewing us as much as we are interviewing them today. So they’ve already looked you up, they’ve already done their homework, they’ve already checked out your website, they’ve already looked at the reviews on Glassdoor about who you are.

And that is where some of the ghosting comes in, right? That’s when some of the people either don’t show or don’t pick up the phone, or don’t start the job that day. It’s because they’ve done their homework on who you are. What we find is absolutely essential is that when we are in the job search process, communication is the absolute key; every step of the way. People need to know what it is that we are doing and what that process is going to look like for them.

And, I already started talking about this a minute ago, but employees being our greatest assets. We always say that, right? We’re always talking about we know that our employees are our greatest assets; however, when we have this need to hire, sometimes we are delegating that off to the person who is the busiest person in our office to put a process together to try to find someone that we are calling our greatest asset. And we piecemeal this process together, hoping that it’s going to work out.

I can tell you that with the deficits that we are talking about today, that’s probably not a really good strategy from an ownership perspective on how we’re going to find and hire and keep talent long term in our organizations.

So let me give you some tools for your toolbox. When you are starting your process, when you are starting to look for someone, you really do need to have a process, and you need to stick to your process. If you’re piecemealing it together, eventually you’re going to lose good candidates because of the fact that everybody is hiring out there. The timeline on this is very short. When you start looking for someone, and they are actively looking, they are getting multiple offers today. You’ve got to cast a wide net. You’ve got to be open minded. We need to use all of your resources. Whether it’s social media, whether it’s the job boards, whether it’s colleges, military, trade schools. You’ve got placement agencies, which may be good for the higher end talent. And referrals as well. Referrals is another great market, but make sure that you are communicating.

Let’s talk about the interviewing process. That’s really what’s next on the list. First is you’ve got to cast a wide net because you have to find them, but then what does the process look like? They have to have both. They all go together.

What does your hiring process look like, and do you have a process? Or like I said, do you go to the busiest person in your office who already has a full-time job and say “ok, we’re going to hire this person. We need you to post this out. This is what we’re looking for,” and hope that the right person is going to come along.

If you don’t have someone dedicated to that process and keeping the lines of communication open. I mean hiring is no different than a sales process. You need to define what it is, outline it, and stick to it every single time. You do not want to deviate from that.

So let’s talk about hiring people. The three most important things that you need to know when you are in the interviewing stage and hiring talent: What is their attitude? Do they fit with my culture? And then: What is their skill set? And I can tell you that if you are making hiring decisions based on someone’s skill set, and ignoring the first two, you’ve already created an internal problem in your organization that you will deal with for a long period of time.

Hiring, again, is attitude, fit, and skill set.

So tools for the toolbox: In the hiring process, again we’re back to the same things. Always follow up. Let people know where they stand in the process, even the people you are not going to engage with or bring on board. Let them off the hook Keep dialogue with people. There’s nothing worse than not telling someone, “you know what, thank you so much for your time, but at this point we will not be moving forward with you in the process.”

Again, this is the stuff that’s ending up all over social media and Glassdoor. Hiring people today is about your brand, and all of your stories need to line up from start to finish. Who are you? What is the culture that you have? How are you telling your story? How are you sharing your story? And how are you showing up as an organization when you’re bringing people in.

I can tell you that if that story is different from what you told me when I walk in the door, that’s a game changer. And again, back to statistics, people are making decisions to leave organizations the day they walk in. Some of them are gone within six months now. That’s how quickly they are assessing who you are.

We’re back to a very educated employee market. Kind of like us going to the doctors’ today. We’re telling them what’s going on with us instead of vice versa. We are educated people.

Toolbox: Stick to your process, make sure you’re moving the process forward because people are getting multiple offers today. Listen to your team. Whoever is in charge of this process, listen to them, take their feedback into consideration, and make sure you’re building a positive brand.

Keeping employees. I want 100 percent. I want someone who comes with their batteries included, day one. Because I just spent three or four months finding you. When you walk in the door, I want all of you, but I want to ensure that you are successful in that process.

Let’s talk about onboarding and what that looks like. Because that’s what this question is designed around. How do I keep my employees? What is my onboarding process? What does that 30, 60, 90 days look like. We need to be making an investment in making sure that this person has all the tools and everything that they need to be successful going forward.

If you look at the timelines of something like this, if it took you three months to find them and you still have another 90 days, really from start to finish we need to be thinking in terms of the next six months needs to be really dedicated. We better have a good onboarding structure because if we don’t, we’ve now just spent time, spent money, spent resources.

We either didn’t 100 percent of them because we didn’t make the investment in them because we didn’t make the hiring process, or we didn’t have the best HR (human resources). And it’s not always about your benefits or your pay. A lot of things come into play here when we’re talking about employees today. We’re all looking for different things than we were twenty years ago. But make sure you’ve got good questions and things like that, that we can give you, to make sure that you’re putting good onboarding processes together for people.

I can tell you people are making exit strategies on day one when they walk into your organizations, just based on how they are treated. It’s kind of like, I refer to it as being a good hostess. So I’m going to have a party, and I’m going to invite you all to my house. Well, guess what? I’m going to clean, I’m going to have gone shopping, I’m going to prepare food. I’m going to be ready for you when you get to my house.

Same thing holds true when it comes to employees. That person, they are going to invest all of themselves into your organization. It’s just a different way of thinking about things. You know we need to kind of flip that model around on how we’re looking at those people that we’re hiring and bringing into our organizations. If we truly want 100 percent engagement from them, we need to give it to them on day one.

Tools for your toolbox: So you’ve got onboarding process, absolutely essential for your organizations.

I’ll wrap you up with finding, hiring, and keeping employees is the process. We need to have a process that starts at the very beginning and takes us all the way through to make sure there’s an onboarding process. And probably more important to have an onboarding process for that person in your organization.

Hiring, attitudes, cultural fit, assessing, and technical skills.

And remember to be a good hostess.