(Queue relaxing 70's music..."3...it's a magic number.")
Ah, the serene children's melody from School House Rock. I've been showing my 11 and 9 year old daughters these whimsical shows from my childhood, and they still resonate today.
Now, here's three reasons you're struggling to hire, and how you can change this today!
Three reasons you’re struggling to hire
1) Your candidates, and your competition, know the job market better than you.
Remember about two years ago when you had to pay triple the price for toilet paper (online, of course because even Costco had run out)? Yes, your family remembers this too.
Right now, this is the current candidate pool - they’re in higher demand than extra soft Charmin, they’re super expensive, and EVERYONE is fighting over the last one. So you need to change your behavior as a hiring authority, realize you are one of THOUSANDS of cool start-ups that are VC funded, offer 100% remote work, have a great work culture, blah blah blah...and you are not special.
I've founded multiple startups myself, and as much as I believe in The Talent Mine, I don't think for a split second that we are anything "special." We are not Google, and neither are you. So, you can't hire like them (and that’s ok).
2) You have yet to adapt your hiring behaviors.
Why is your position open again? Oh yeah, that's right. People are leaving their jobs in droves. Unless you've lost your internet connection during COVID, the above article is not new, nor is it overblown.
I've personally lost three of my last four job offers for my clients (truly sorry Charlie M. and River R.) to multiple offers at 20-40% higher wages, including an offer from the employer my last engineer was ready to leave!
This means your urgency to hire needs to be at an 11/10. You should understand and cater to every reason your new potential employee is interested in you, and simultaneously respond to why your last three people quit (and why, let's face it, you're starting to look for something new yourself).
3) You’re using old tactics in a new game.
I'm a sports nut - love me some football and baseball. And if you do too, you know that the games we love look NOTHING like they did growing up. The Packers are not running the fullback trap, and the Braves didn't just win the World Series by bunting runners over and playing "small ball."
Are you still of the mindset that a full time job offer with (wowie!) FULL BENEFITS administered a week later by a separate HR team that doesn't even know your new hire's name is going to cut it? Well, it doesn't.
You should be hand delivering your job offer over a live video chat, signed by your CEO, gift wrapped in gold vellum. Then, update your team that their now "second or third" candidate choice just became their #1, First Round Draft Pick (and you can't lose them to the stinking Yankees or Patriots, BLEH!).
Now, here's three ways you can win in this market:
1) Take educated and creative risks.
You and your team are burning out, working too many hours at home. You don't even have time to be reading this LI article (thanks for hanging in past three minutes, btw) :)
So, try offering the job as both full-time and contract-to-hire. Offer signing bonuses, lower the requirements, and be completely flexible with the work schedule.
Realize that you and your team members were (are) NOT 100% perfectly qualified for the jobs you're currently doing (neither am I!). It’s ok. Hire a great human that wants to learn, can add to your culture, and can grow into the role. You'll have lower turnover and feel great about giving a good egg a well deserved chance (and get work done in the meantime).
2) Adopt a company-wide, positive hiring culture.
As I type this, I have the (fortunate) luxury of turning down new business, raising our rates, and letting go of clients that are not adapting to this market (or that I simply don't enjoy working with). Bear in mind, 0% of our current business has come from outbound sales! Business is quite literally falling in my lap every week.
Our best client partnerships are with those that make sure every single team member, from fresh college hire to CEO, is selling the "dream", evangelizing the reasons why they love it there, and sharing how much they would value the opportunity to work with their new teammate.
One false move, one lazy, disconnected (4th round) interview too many, or a delayed offer letter can be the difference between an offer accepted or declined.
3) Reimagine your team into growth opportunities.
Remember this scene from the movie Moneyball (another sport's analogy I know):
Basically, "adapt or die."
You think that you need to hire a senior software engineer or a new manager. But, like in the movie, you just lost Jason Giambi to the Yankees, 1st base is not going to man itself, and even if Giambi DID exist, can you afford him? NO!
Why not look in the org chart mirror, promote a few loyal team members that are due for a level bump and raise, and backfill with a less seasoned candidate that is eager, more affordable, and would JUMP at the opportunity to work and learn with your (now very happy) team?!
You are a creative and resourceful leader - show that to your team and you'll reduce your stress (and finally stop searching for new jobs yourself).
Want to learn more about how to solve your hiring problems, together? We've got you covered at The Talent Mine (www.thetalentmine.jobs). We’re founded and run by engineers, and we're happy to offer some free tools and real-time advice.
Thanks for reading, and may the hiring gods always be in your favor.