What you can do to attract and hire better candidates

Competitive salaries, fitting benefits, flexible schedule, value-based hiring, and creativity

David Fuller“We just can’t find anybody qualified to do the job for us.”

This is a line I hear regularly in working with clients lately. In some parts of the country, there’s a drastic shortage of labour. That’s putting a strain on the ability of many leaders to fill spots in their organizations with qualified staff.

The result has been that many management teams have members who are burning out due to overwork because of a lack of people.

While some companies have tried various methods to recruit good candidates, most still do what has worked in the past. The result, in many cases, is a failure to attract good talent.

Here are five things you can do to attract better candidates to your organization:

Ensure your salaries are in line with expectations

Recently I worked with a company that was struggling to fill a position. They asked me to review their job posting, and it became apparent that they were on the low end of the pay scale for the job.

They thought they were offering a fair wage. However, with recent inflationary pressures and a job market where those who have skills can be choosy, I figured they were on the very low end of the scale.

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While we must ensure we’re profitable, when it’s difficult to hire good candidates, it’s essential that our wage rates are competitive. People won’t apply for a job where they’re going to make less or the same money they make now, unless there are many other benefits.

Have benefits that fit the candidate

I spoke with an executive last week who was renewing his contract with a company I was working with. His concern was about the benefits he was offered.

In the past, benefits were just a perk. Now, for many prospective employees – including entry-level positions – benefits are a determining factor in whether they apply for the job.

Your benefits program needs to fit your budget. However, for a few hundred dollars a month you can have a number of programs that make the difference between hiring great people or just warm bodies.

Medical, dental, retirement and bonus programs, training, vehicle, phone and technology stipends are all on the negotiating table for many employees.

Flexibility in the work schedule

The pandemic led many people to believe they could have balance by working from home and in the office. Many companies have found they need to be flexible, providing some people with the freedom to work from home on occasion.

And a certain portion of the population has decided they don’t want to work 40 to 60 hours a week.

You might find you’re better off hiring someone to work 25 to 30 hours a week, during a period of the day that fits them, than hiring someone full time who doesn’t have the skills you need.

Hire based on your core values

Many leaders just look at me with a blank stare when I ask if they’re using their core values to find and hire the right candidates. In many cases, I get this look because they haven’t defined their core values.

Core values are the foundation of your business. We should use our core values to hire and fire, pick our suppliers, and attract and retain customers.

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Unfortunately, when we fail to understand our core values or have some core values that are no longer in line with the company management philosophy, we find it difficult to be clear on the type of people we need to hire.

Be creative

What has worked in the past probably won’t work now when it comes to finding good candidates for jobs. Try mixing up your job advertisements, consider optional ways to fill positions, think about hiring more from inside your firm, and try to make the job look fun and attractive.

When it’s difficult to hire the kind of people you have in the past, think about how you might structure your positions so they’re attractive to students, seniors, immigrants, remote workers or people with disabilities.

Get your team to help you think creatively.

If your company is hindered by its inability to attract and retain the right people, it’s essential to develop strategies to overcome this hurdle.

Without good people, companies fail to achieve their goals, serve their clients and be profitable.

We’ve seen businesses attract and hire good people by being patient and working diligently to ensure their success. You can, too.

Dave Fuller, MBA, is an award-winning business coach and a partner with Pivotleader Inc. For interview requests, click here.


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