Who isn’t looking for talent? Don’t settle for a warm body…
61% of businesses are trying to hire employees and 27% are creating new positions in the next three months, according to a survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) in May of 2021. It’s an exciting sign of the post-COVID economy. The problem is that the survey found that 48% of small business owners reported unfilled job openings- a record for this NFIB survey (previous high was 22%). It’s a real problem. Look around town and see “hiring” signs abound. Go into a service/hospitality business and see open apologies about delays or wait times “due to lack of staff.”
What should a business leader do? One of the common refrains is to “get a warm body” and see what happens. However, most agree that a quick fix, is almost never a long-term solution. While hiring someone quickly feels like progress toward the goal, it can be a bit of a blind gamble if proper diligence is not taken. How can a company solve near-term problems with longer term thinking? The business needs to consider two important aspects of the hire.
- The Individual:
- Hiring the “right” person for the role
- Once hired (even if not the “perfect” fit), maximizing their success by putting them in the best possible situation to succeed
- The Team:
- Ensuring the team aligns in a way that the collective group of individuals are maximizing their success
Let’s dive into each of the aspects as it relates to today’s hiring challenges. Hiring the right person is very challenging in today’s market. In truth, most businesses are operating in a scarcity mode and willing to sacrifice certain standards that existed a mere 12 months ago. It is possible to add some rigor, without sacrificing speed to offer. Long-term thinking around roles, responsibilities, and desired behavioral characteristics could all improve hiring success rates. And it doesn’t need to add an inordinate amount of time to decision-making. Most leaders today think they need to move too quickly to hire versus spending significant time to assess candidates, and there is certainly truth to that. While not every business leader knows the cost of a bad hire, there is always a cost at some level. But, sometimes just a little more diligence using the right tools can increase success rates significantly.
Once you have hired a person, it is critical the business invest in maximizing the return on its investment. How can we do that? Turns out the answer is not dissimilar to a long-term people strategy: clearly defined roles, align the right person to the role, invest in the person and set them up for success. Sounds simple but it takes work. The result is an engaged workforce full of employees who stay longer and recommend others to join the company (a much improved fix to the hiring problem!).
Managing a business is not a one-to-one endeavor. While each individual is important, setting up an individual for success requires managing the individual motivations in relationship to his/her/their teammates. Ultimately, the team performance is what determines success. While we start at the individual level, we need to manage the overall team. How do the individuals work together, communicate, and drive towards the business’ goals. Having the right people in the right roles helps to establish a team capability. Knowing what motivates each other, how each person approaches work, and the team dynamic drives performance at the group level.
At PI Midlantic, we use talent optimization and the Predictive Index to help companies align the people strategy to the business strategy. We help Hire and Inspire employees and foster team performance through a scientifically-back set of tools. Think it takes a long time to assess someone’s behaviors and motivations? Take our Behavioral Assessment (takes less than 10 minutes) for yourself and have an experienced PI Consultant tell you what it says and how we use it to Hire and Inspire employees at thousands of companies.