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.
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:
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.