Finding workers for your business is harder than ever. According to June 2018 article from CNN Business, There are now more job openings than workers to fill them. With unemployment nationally around 3.8% and here in Wisconsin at 2.8% business owners and leaders are struggling to find workers. I find this issue to be profound and troubling. The reason, purely anecdotal but I feel a well-qualified anecdotal, is that I communicate weekly with a lot of unemployed highly skilled workers around the US. To a person, they tell me they can’t get hired. These workers all have one thing in common; they are very experienced people over the age of 50. And…you aren’t hiring or considering hiring them because of your limiting beliefs
We all see the words. Businesses promote it as if somehow it makes them unique; “WE are an employer of choice.” “Join us here at XYZ Company; We are an Employer of Choice.” As if that is the only reason anyone would want to work for any company. There are many problems with being an Employer of Choice (EOC). To begin with, any employer can simply decide they are one.
Further, everyone seemingly is one. There is nothing unique about being an employer of choice. THAT is the problem; being an employer of choice does nothing for your business.
So what’s the solution?
Here in Wisconsin, the unemployment rate for the entire state is an astounding 2.9%. Locally it is about 2.4%. Competition for new employees is fierce. How you treat your candidates during the entire recruiting process is a key component of establishing a brand that effectively attracts and gains good employees. The candidate experience as it is often referred to is a great way to position your business as a premier employer.
What is Candidate Experience? While it can be defined many ways the most common is the entire interaction both applicants and candidates have during the recruiting process. It involves everything the applicant and candidate do during the recruiting process.
I was having coffee recently with several of my coaching clients. These few “solo-preneurs” who out of necessity established a business. They are experts, experts in their profession, experts and not only problem solving but also problem preventing. They established their business because necessity demanded it. The necessity of food, shelter, and clothing. In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, these are considered basic needs, the needs of survival. Success became secondary to their needs.
The rest of the story is provocatively compelling…
Those who are familiar with my business, know I do a fair amount of recruiting for client businesses. I hear a lot of things from them, but sometimes I hear this, “Don, what I’m really looking for is someone younger, certainly no older than early 40’s.” When I recruit for client companies I don’t hear that everyday. Yet I do hear it. It is part of a culture that suggests older workers are not good hires. Businesses, thinking they are saving money are opting for less experienced, less knowledgeable and less skilled workers. That is both a tactical and strategic mistake built on myth and limiting beliefs.