Sometimes, it’s not about finding good people but more about attracting good people. The past 18 months has brought multiple challenges that businesses have had to face. One of which is finding the right people for the job. In today’s episode, your hosts Ryan Englin and Jeremy Macliver discuss strategies that will help you achieve just that. Rather than rummaging through piles and piles of resumes and going through lists and lists of people, you can simply adjust your branding to attract the right people at the get-go. That’s just one of the tips they have in store for you. Join in and get insightful advice that may just change everything for your business. Stay tuned!
How To Find Good People
We are the co-hosts here. We’re going to have a quick little conversation, hopefully, to help you out with one of the biggest challenges facing businesses in America now. It’s no secret that the job market has been rattled. We hear time and time again that, “I can’t find good people. I cannot find people. It’s so much easier a few years ago.” We’re going to share with you some of the things that we see working, some of the things that you can put into your business right away. Jeremy, I’m excited to have this conversation. I know that you deal with this a lot. Tell me some of the things that you’re hearing.
It seems like the most common issue that we’re seeing in the session room right now is finding good people, tons of opportunities to grow, the economy is doing good, everything like that, just can’t find good people. That’s why we’re excited to share that.
It seems to be that common thing. When people tell me they can’t find people, I have this visual of them out in the desert picking up rocks and knocking over boulders. They’re like, “There’s none under here,” or sneaking around corners downtown and they’re like, “No one down here.” What do you think people mean when they’re saying, “I can’t find good people?” What’s going through their mind when they use that word, find?
I don’t think they’re walking through the desert, digging under rocks but they’re under a stack of resumes that don’t connect with anything or they’re digging through these online platforms and they keep looking through old stuff and it’s junk everywhere that’s cluttery. They’re looking and that’s why they’re using the word finding, they’re digging through piles of junk and nothing’s sticking out to them. They’re not seeing opportunity.
When unemployment was super low and before we had all these changes, there seem to be a lot of people looking for work. Especially when unemployment was low, it’s like, “We can find it.” It’s so weird. It’s almost ironic. Unemployment is high and no one’s looking for work or at least it seems that way.
You mentioned those online platforms. I hear people tell me about Indeed almost all the time, “I’m posting on indeed. I’m not getting anything. I’m looking for someone that has the experience and that they’ve spent five years in the industry and they’re currently a cashier at McDonald’s. I don’t know why they’re applying for my jobs.” One of the things I want readers to know and see this work time and time again, if you stop thinking about looking for people and start thinking about attracting people, how do you get people to notice you?
How do you get people to notice your company, notice your jobs? What can you do to stand out and be a little different, be a little more exciting so that you’re not pursuing people but they’re instead pursuing you? It’s one of the biggest things we see. If you’re not attracting good people to your business, it might be because you’re not attractive to good people. Think about that from a job seeker’s perspective.Stop thinking about looking for people and start thinking about attracting people. Click To Tweet
I see teams with stronger cultures, more engaged teams and sometimes the tactics that you hear what worked for somebody, they asked all their employees for some more employees and it works. “I’m going to try it. I try it and it don’t work.” It might be a reflection of the engagement because I know that some of the best hires come from those employees that are fully engaged and they’re communicating in the marketplace to the other competitors’ employees, how great it is to work here. They’re building a brand image that, “This is where you want to work.”
One of the things you have to recognize is that your frontline employees, those people that are out there that are talking to their friends and family, this isn’t what they do all day. Most of them aren’t salespeople. They’re not marketers. If you’re not equipping them with the tools they need to make those referrals, to connect with those people, to attract people to your brand, if you’re doing a disservice for them, most employee referral programs don’t work. There’s a whole bunch of reasons why that is and there are some things you can do to make them work, but a lot of it has to do with, are you giving them the tools that they need to get the job done?”
Giving the employee the tools to do their job inside the organization or giving them the tools to refer properly?
You got to do both especially if you want productive employees. The tools to refer properly. Here’s the thing about employee referrals, they’ve done surveys on this, only 6% of people are motivated by a financial reward to refer their friends or family. Ninety-four percent of the people that are working for you will not refer their friends or family for any amount of financial reward.
What are the motivators?
The truth is switching jobs is a very stressful event. One of life’s most stressful events is looking for work. If you’ve been self-employed, an entrepreneur for a while or you haven’t done this, go ask somebody that you hired if they enjoyed switching jobs. The answer is always no. It’s a lot of stress, frustration and uncertainty, “Am I making the right choices here. Am I doing the right thing for my family?” There’s a lot of risk associated with it. For most people, they don’t want to go to their friend and say, “Do you mind if I drag you through one of life’s most stressful events so you can come talk to my employer because they’re looking for people? You’d be great.”
I get that it’s not the language that they’re using but that’s what’s going on like, “Anxiety. I don’t want to switch jobs. I don’t want to look. I don’t want to be in the market.” We find that the best ways to get employee referral program to work is to align the reward with the values that exist inside your organization.
Give me some examples on that one.
A lot of times especially in the blue-collar space, there’s always some sort of value around family, spending time, creating connection, those kinds of things. Whether you’ve got a core value of family or something similar about spending time with loved ones, imagine how it would be especially if you don’t offer PTO. A lot of guys in the field, they don’t get PTO right away. It can take a while. We got one client, five years you have to work for them before you get a single pay day off if you’re a craft worker. Imagine if you went to him, you say, “I’ll give you a four-day weekend for every person that I hire that you refer. You get Friday and Monday paid, go spend time with your family.”
The number of referrals we got from implementing that program was off the charts crazy and unbelievable. I didn’t hire all of them but these guys were willing to go out there and talk to their friends about it. Another one that we get around the same type of value, spending time with your loved ones is, if you got an organization where you’ve got shift work or you make people work weekends, for every successful referral, let them pick their schedule for the next month.
I know your managers are like, “We can’t do that. It’s too much work,” but it motivates people because if you’re attracting people that are drawn in because you have this family culture and then you say, “We’re going to walk the walk and create an employee referral program that rewards that value when you help us,” all of a sudden, you get people motivated to help you.
Maybe outside of the family or loved one, you have some other examples of how we could apply this?
Keep in mind that money is a means to an end. I ask people all the time, “If you have $1 million in the bank and I didn’t give you the account number, are you a millionaire?” No, you can’t spend the money. What are the things that your people value? We’ve got some clients that will have a membership, maybe it’s to a country club or a gun club, they’ve got some memberships. They hire people that value what they value that have similar interests.
The person can get rewarded and say, “The next month you can join us at the country club on the weekends or whatever.” Sometimes it might be something around, “We can get you Disneyland tickets for every successful referral.” One of the things that I like to do especially when the prices get a little more expensive like Disneyland tickets are insane these days, every referral that comes in, someone’s name goes into a hat and then there’s a prize at the end.
We had one company that’s heavy on tech. They’re like paperless construction company stuff. They hired people that were into tech. They did a thing where you got one of the latest, greatest iPads. Once a quarter, they put all the names into a hat of everybody that referred and someone gets drawn and they get to win the iPad. It’s never about the dollars as much. As it is, what are they going to use those dollars for?
When we’re out there bringing it back around to this finding thing, trying to find it or digging under rocks out in the middle of the desert but it feels about the same when there’s a pile of papers on my desk and I’m digging through trying to find somebody. I don’t even have time to look for them. I got all of these McDonald’s workers, no offense but I’m looking for five years’ experience. I’m shuffling through the junk. What are some ways that we can find good people?
There are two ways. There’s the short-term, “I have an immediate need. I need to fill a position now,” then there’s a long-term. Let me start with the long-term because these are easier things to do I find for most entrepreneurs. There are two things that are going to help you long-term in breaking this cycle of not being able to find people.We often spend too much emphasis on making it about the customer, and we almost alienate employees. Click To Tweet
The first one is to put an emphasis on what I call your employer brand. For many of you reading, you’ve got a brand for your business. You’ve got a logo and a website, maybe even some social media profiles, maybe even wrap your trucks. You’ve got a brand. When people think about your business, there’s something they can look at.
We often just spend too much emphasis on making that about the customer. We almost alienate employees when it comes to that. There are some easy changes you can make. They’re not going to get you people right away, put together a well-thought-out careers page on your website. Spend some time connecting with people. This employer branding is going to help you long-term in attracting the right people.
If we need to do something quick and we want to think, “How do I find some people right now?” You’re still going to have to attract them. It’s that simple. You go on a first date, somebody is going to get their hair done and put on some nice clothes because, “I want to make sure I’m attractive to that person.” It’s the same thing here when we’re thinking about this.
One of the biggest misses people find when they’re looking to hire some people quickly is, more often than not, you’ve probably had some turnover in your past and you’ve probably let some good ones go. Become a little vulnerable, humble yourself, make a phone call. Let them know that them joining the team, walking them back, some of these quick phone calls can be amazing.
We had a client that had a couple of big projects wrap up and they’ve probably lost 40% of their field workers. They called me up and they said, “Ryan, we got some new jobs. We need to get some more guys. I was like, “What about the 40% of guys that left three months ago when those projects wrapped up? Why aren’t we reaching out to them?” We need to get out of this mindset that Indeed and Craigslist are the only ways to get people to join our team.
If I could sum that up, the first one is to look at the way we’re going to market. At first, when you said that, I was thinking of some major overhaul and was feeling a little weight on that but then as you started bringing that down, I was like, “Read my website from an employee’s perspective, not a client’s perspective.” That attracts those, “That’s the place I’d like to work.” Making sure that our ads, everything that we’re putting out there in the marketplace looks like the employee would want. Dress up, make sure that it looks exactly like we want it and that’s what you’re meaning by this employer brand thing.
I mentioned the dating analogy, comb your hair and take a shower. Be attractive. Make it so that when employees come across your website or your social media, they’re like, “That’s the place I’d want to work,” versus, “That looks like a place that puts such an emphasis on customers, their turnover must be ridiculous.”
What are some of the mishaps of not looking so good out there? What are some common mistakes that you see?
There’s this saying, I’m going to ask if you can finish it for me, Jeremy. Most of the readers probably heard it, “People don’t leave jobs, they leave?”
Every time. They know what the work is. They know how to do the work. They’re looking for someone else to sign the front of their paycheck. That’s what they’re looking for. One of the biggest mistakes people make is that they forget to communicate the value of being a part of their team. Here’s the honest truth, your customers, they’re going to eat that stuff up hearing that you’ve got a highly functioning team, great communication, you’ve got managers that care.
One of the mishaps is we disregard that and we think our customers aren’t going to care so why should we bother with that talk, messaging or anything like that? Some of the most successful ad campaigns we’ve done, crazy side effect, it wasn’t the intention but they drew in as many new customers as they drew in applicants.
We create some video ads. We post them on YouTube. We don’t know who’s looking for a job and who’s in the industry. Most field workers, they’re not updating their profiles saying, “This is what I do.” We just advertise it to people that have interests like us and people end up seeing those ads and they call like, “I need your help.” It’s insane how much value you can get out of rethinking your ads and start communicating to both groups not just the one.
That was the far out. Bringing it in a little closer, you were saying on that one, we need to be tidy on the way that we’re presenting it in the short-term.
The short-term is don’t think that the only opportunities are job boards. Only 3 to 5% of people are on the job boards at any given time, 70% of people looking to switch jobs. I heard a stat, I don’t know if this is true, 80 million people are expected to switch jobs in the next twelve months in the United States. That’s half the workforce. The job boards aren’t getting 80 million people looking at their jobs. Those people are switching because they have a service provider come to their house and like, “The way they treated me, I wonder if they’re hiring.”
It’s crazy how many people are supposed to be switching jobs. There’s not a shortage. When you need someone quick, sometimes you can’t wait until they’re ready so one of the easiest things you can do is go back to the people that you let get away. If you’re dealing with turnover, there’s probably some people that left that you wish would come back.Employer branding is really going to help you long-term in attracting the right people. Click To Tweet
Sometimes our egos get in the way and we’re too afraid to make that phone call because maybe we screwed up and we know it. They might not be any happier where they’re at. They might’ve been wishing they could go back but their ego is in the way. Take the first step, solve one of your biggest business challenges and make the phone call.
As you’re talking about that long-term and short-term, it’s one of the most common issues that we’re seeing in the session room right now. One thing that I’ve noticed is that teams can let go a little bit of some of the pressure they’re feeling and get to focus so that they can make sure that their brand looks good so they can put their best foot forward on any of these situations so they can develop the best strategy to go get these new employees or previous employees, they look at how many do they need.
You’re feeling the shortage. “I need people and I’m working hard. I’ve got some managers that are working, they’re burnt out.” They’re going through all of that. When they look at it and say, “I need eighteen people.” That’s it. “I need eighteen good ones.” I know when I say, “That’s it.” At the moment, they don’t feel like that’s it.
It’s like, “Finding them is harder than walking through the desert with no water.” When they get clear, “I’m looking for eighteen. Where are those eighteen? What would those eighteen want?” That starts helping them to be like, “I am going to be way more methodical, strategic about the people I’m going to look for.” Instead of feeling like, “I don’t need 80 million, I need 18 of them. Once I get those, maybe I’ll be good. At that point, I might be looking for another five because I found some good ones were growing. Now I’m realizing what kind of employee I can hire. I’m realizing there’s an opportunity to take my team to the next level.”
We had a client we were working with, they had 76 open positions. Legitimately, they needed to hire 76 people. I was like, “Here’s what we’re going to do. Here’s the plan. Go.” We didn’t hear from them for a few weeks. They were busy. They were doing their thing. All of a sudden, I start getting all these notices that all of our ad campaigns stopped running because the jobs got closed. I call up and go, “What’s going on?” They go, “We got so focused on who the right person was. We could identify them the second application came in, we filled almost all of them in three weeks.”
They never thought that’d be possible but like what you were saying, get focused on who it is that you need and get methodical about, “This is it, I need 76 people. I don’t need 400 like I did last year.” Which they hired 400 people last year but they turned so many of them. They were under the assumption, “I’m going to need another 400 people this year.” Now they needed 76 good ones to stay.
One other point that I’ll say with this and I know we’re on the finding good people but don’t forget that when they walk in the door for that interview, you’re still looking or you’re still on the date. You haven’t made the offer yet. Find the teams that are clear that I need 76. That’s a lot. I’ve had teams realize that they’re feeling all stressed out. They need three. “The whole company is going to go down because we can’t find good help.” When they look at, “It’s three positions we need.”
When they get that clear, they can funnel through the resumes, they can be more strategic about how they’re putting their foot forward. They can also be more candid, clear and confident in the interview. When they’re in the interview and they’re candid, clear and confident, they do a better interview. Someone was like, “I was going to do that interview and I was going to hire them anyway.” When they got that real with it, they set it up and did it better, they got better results so there’s a beauty in knowing, “How many do I need? Who do I want? Where am I going to go get them?”
I was talking to a business owner and he’s like, “I don’t know. I need to shut the business down. I can’t do it.” I said, “What’s going on?” He’s like, “We can’t find anybody. We have nobody. We can’t do it.” When we started digging into it, they needed two people. Two people would completely transform the way they thought about the business.
It’s real. Those two people are causing a lot of stress. Those two people are overworking fifteen people and it’s causing a lot of burnout, causing customer complaints, creating more inefficiency, costing them more money and making it a total mess and a headache. We can say two people but the world is better when we get those two people.
By the time we were done with our call, they had two names of people that they already knew, that they knew were looking, that they could reach out to fill those positions because they got focused. That’s the other thing, too. I love what you said about getting methodical and focus on it because that’s true.
For everybody out there, I hope you’ve gotten a lot of value by looking at finding good people. We’re not looking to find it. Hopefully, that’s the big takeaway. I keep saying that because that’s the words we hear but I want you to start looking at, “Who am I trying to attract?” Because they need to be coming to you. It needs to be a mutual deal. Thank you all for reading.
Thanks, Jeremy. I enjoyed the conversation. I look forward to our next one.
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