Now Hiring? Understanding Why You Can’t Find Employees

Struggling to find staff?

The country is going through a challenging hiring cycle right now with eight million positions open and no one willing to fill them. We can point fingers at the potential problems – unemployment benefits, fear over COVID-19, or inadequate wages and working conditions are all possibilities and pieces of the puzzle.

What is really coming to light is we’re highlighting how reactive our hiring processes have become.

We got to a place where we easily filled positions by word of mouth, referrals, and job postings that we never had to put processes in place to be proactive.

Now we are stuck in a world where we must post and pray. How many businesses have you driven by with “Now Hiring” signs out front? How many social media “Help Wanted” posts do you see every day?

We need to change our ways and start building a pipeline for the future. It starts by engaging schools. That doesn’t mean just post on a career page and wait but intentionally engaging with school staff and students.

In some career paths, that may mean colleges and universities. Focus efforts on building relationships with career service professionals, faculty, present to student clubs and organizations and be active on campus. Go to as many events as your schedule and budget allows. The more your name is out there, the better your chances of getting quality candidates.

In more and more careers, that means high schools, trade/specialty schools, and community colleges. In Michigan between now and 2028 – the state projects that 81% of careers available won’t require a bachelor’s degree. You need to go out and engage those populations.

The non-bachelor’s degree talent is often the group ignored most – which is great news for employers willing and able to engage and train them. By creating relationships with these schools, you can build yourself a pipeline of talent that will continue to flow year after year.

Easier said than done? Absolutely. This will require more than showing up with pizza or donuts on high school campus (though that does help!) You will need to proactively meet with counselors, teachers, classrooms, and students.

How do you set yourself up with a continuous pipeline? Start with these tips:

Host job shadows, work-based learning opportunities, and allowing for part-time help.
Build a process to actively train, develop, and promote from within while working with your candidate’s unique schedule.
Branch out to new schools and new programs.
Think outside the box and get creative. Speak to students in ways where they will listen. Bring other young staff with you. Utilize videos. Create a hands-on project.

Recruiting is a sales profession. And sales is proactive. So, if you think you don’t have time to recruit – answer this.

If your salespeople didn’t cold call, present for companies and at trade shows, or network to find business but instead just waited for customers to call them – would they be doing their jobs?

Recruiting is no different – you need to make time to achieve success.