6 Reasons Why You Can’t Find the Right Employees
By: Jean-Paul Diaz-Caneja
Reading time: 4 min

If you’re complaining that you just can’t find the right staff, perhaps the problem is staring you in the face. It’s not them, it’s you.  If you have roles unfilled because no one’s applying, or because staff aren’t staying long, here are six things you might be doing wrong.

  1. The role is unclear

Are you clear about what the job entails? Perhaps it’s a job that has very clear responsibilities – like a barista – but perhaps you want someone to “manage things”. What does that actually mean? If you’re not clear on the aims, objectives and responsibilities of the job, you can turn potential or actual staff off in two ways:

  •              An unclear job ad will turn the right people off, because they won’t know what you want. And there’s a chance that the wrong people – those who don’t know what you want and don’t care  – will apply. You won’t find the right employees this way.
  •              You’ll be a victim of “Revolving Door Syndrome” – you’ll recruit someone you think is great but once they find out the job isn’t what they thought, they’ll head for the exit before lunchtime.
  1. Your job ad is boring /Your job ad is meh

Maybe you’re clear on the role and you know exactly the right type of person you want. But if you write a job ad that doesn’t appeal to them, they won’t apply. How do you make your job ad appealing?

  •              Give it some personality. Being professional doesn’t mean you can’t be personal.
  •              Prepare to write a zingy ad by pinning down the essence of your company culture. Do this by describing your company in three words and use these to add some magic. Perhaps your business is big on teamwork, trust and fun. Don’t be afraid to use these words in your ad – it’ll attract people who are also big on teamwork, trust and fun.
  1. You’re looking too narrowly

If you demand that applicants have exactly qualification X, experience Y and personality Z, you’ve just narrowed your talent pool. Think more widely. For instance, if you’re looking for positive, upbeat, customer-focussed waiting staff and are happy to develop them, then you won’t necessarily need someone with experience. Find the right personality and develop the skills once they’re in. And there’s more upside – they won’t have any bad habits to undo. Perhaps even consider an apprentice.

  1. Your recruitment process is rude or user-unfriendly

Does your company respond to every application? Do you ghost on-spec enquirers? Is your recruitment process so long-winded and demanding that applicants lose heart and give up? Who would want to work with such a difficult and discourteous company?

No one, that’s who.

  1. Your basics are wrong

Are your applicant touchpoints – your job ad, autoresponder emails and website – full of mistakes such as spelling errors? You’ll need to get the basics right to find and attract good people. If you can’t spell, get everything checked by someone who can. There are so many resources for good language out there that there’s no excuse for poor writing. Mistakes can creep in when you’re rushed, too, so make sure you take the time to get everything right. It’s important. You’ll be judged.

  1. Your brand reputation is poor

OK, this is difficult but not impossible. If you’re working for a brand that’s had poor media coverage, is deemed toxic or has poor reviews on career review sites like Glassdoor, how can you attract good people? It might not be in your control to give your whole organisation a cultural detox, but you can start with what is under your control. The key is to be open and honest. If you can influence the job ad to include honesty then that’s a good start. For instance, you might include a statement like, “Yes, we’ve had problems and we’re working on it. And we need people like you to help us improve.” Your honesty will attract good people rather than repel them.

If you recognise any of these issues, don’t despair, because with knowledge comes power. You can start to fix things today.