Employers overlooking great people?

What employers want and what candidates want are increasingly two very different things. If you’re keeping an eye on the job market, you’ll notice the same role with the same advert reappearing as an employer struggles to recruit.  Whilst candidates keep looking for that perfect role.  

Increasingly workers want to work where and when they want.  Despite this and the known benefits of flexible working for recruitment, retention, productivity and reducing absence, employers are still reluctant to offer flexibility.  

On top of those benefits, allowing or encouraging remote working significantly widens the pool of potential candidates as you’re no longer restricted to those who work in a particular geographical area.  

And, It’s not just flexibility candidates are looking for, development opportunities and learning cultures are top of the list for many.  Whilst this means different things to different people it rarely means “looking for exactly the same job as I’m doing now”. If those looking for jobs are looking for a step up, a challenge, to advance their career, why are so many job adverts asking for  the person who has previously done the exact job before?  

If you were selling your product and customers are not buying, you’d be asking why. You would adapt your product.  Our businesses depend upon selling something people want. Without a market, we don’t have a business. Recruitment is exactly the same.  Our businesses depend upon good staff being productive. If the job we’re advertising isn’t what candidates want, maybe we should look at ways to adapt the offering.   

So if you’re struggling to recruit, consider these five things:

  1. Employer Brand 

Marketing yourself to potential employees is just like marketing your product.  We expect to be able to look up a company and find out what it’s like to work there.  Sites like Glassdoor provide reviews from current and previous employees. We can even find and connect with your employees on LinkedIn.   As employers we need to be in conversation, telling potential recruits what it’s like to work for us.  

Treat your candidates like customers.  Think not just about what attracts people to want to work for you but make the process friendly.  Ensure whether you offer a role or not, that the individual takes away a positive image of your brand.  

  1. Culture 

We spend a huge proportion of our time at work.  Those job hunting are looking for a culture that fits their personality, a company they will enjoy working for.  Not only do you need a great culture, you need to be telling people about it (think employer brand).  

A word of caution, culture is what your people experience everyday.  Culture is not a vision and it’s definitely not bean bags and an office slide.  Know what your culture really is, ensure your people are experiencing the culture you want in your business. Then tell the world what a great place to work your business is.  

  1. Flexible working

I’ve used this term as it’s so commonly used, personally I hate it! It’s misleading and so widely interpreted it’s completely unhelpful.  

What we really mean is think about your job roles, can they be done at different times or a different location to the one you’re currently using? Can they be done full time remotely or part of the role worked remotely? Can the role be broken down to part time roles?  Can you allow people to choose their start and finish times around core hours? The possibilities are endless and dependant upon the role.  

Introducing remote working will widen your pool of candidates, suddenly you have people looking at your roles who previously would have thought the commute was too long to consider, or that the required hours couldn’t fit around their personal lives (e.g. parents and carers)..  

  1. Development 

Do you really need someone who can demonstrate they have previously done every task on your job description? What skills are we needing to bring into the business with the person and which ones can we allow them to learn on the job? 

If there is scope for progression within your organisation promote this, these are the sorts of opportunities potential employees are looking for.  

Development does not always mean huge training budgets, but it does need to be valued.  Your culture needs to allow for development.  

  1. Retention 

Good people leave bad managers.  Your managers should be liked and respected, your people should be safe approaching their manager.  Good managers can coach and mentor. How your managers treat their staff is your culture and enables the development.  

People in roles where they are being challenged but yet are comfortable and happy both within work and how it fits their lifestyle are far less likely to be looking elsewhere.  

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