I hear it from my clients every week.  They can’t find people to hire.  I went into my dentists’ office … empty waiting room, empty operatories, an eerie silence in the hallways.  They had to cancel some appointments because there weren’t enough available staff.

Many clients and colleagues are singing the same song.  It seems like no one is responding to their job placement ads.

Where is everyone?

There’s more to it than just unemployment.   

Typically, our first reaction is to blame our frustrations on things we can’t control.  Like unemployment insurance payments … or the pandemic.  Both of which are major factors in the business world at this moment.  But before we throw up our hands and panic, let’s dig a little deeper.

The biggest concept to keep you grounded in this chaotic time is to remember that we are dealing with human beings.  Frustrating, lovable, maddening human beings.  As humans, they (and we) make decisions based on emotions.  And then (as you have heard me say before) we justify or validate those decisions based on logic.

So, what emotions are running rampant through our pool of potential new candidates? Fear, anger, happiness, sadness, surprise or disgust.  Which one stands out to you?

Fear is a major player, but we need to dig deeper.  Instead of ignoring these emotions or hoping that none of your candidates bring them up, your first step could be to acknowledge and address these emotions and use this conversation to segue into learning more about them.

Bring courage to the conversation and hold a space for your candidates to step up.  Most candidates will not step outside their comfort zone without encouragement and guidance from you.  What next steps can you offer them to move through the emotions that have stalled them in a place of fear and indecision?

It’s not all about money. 

Here is a great conversation to have with your existing team members:  In addition to their financial compensation, what benefits of working with you mean the most to them?  Why did your staff and employees pick you and your company to work for … instead of your competition?  What KEEPS them on your team year after year?

The person you’re looking for … find out what’s important to them right now. 

This is also a great conversation to have with a potential candidate for an open position.  What is it they are really looking for in a new position?  What else do they want or need in addition to a way to pay their bills?

Research has shown us again and again just how varied our expectations and motivations can become.  Yes, SOME are motivated by money … but there are a lot more that are actively looking for other meaningful and necessary (to them) benefits in the workplace.  Maybe they need a little flexibility in their scheduling.  Maybe they need help adjusting to working from home.  Maybe they need help with their finances.  Or they want to continue their education.  Maybe they just want to go for a daily run on their lunch hour.  Or ride their bike to work.

Once you have a better picture of what working in your office looks like from their perspective, make sure your job ad reflects that fact that your job posting contains enticing benefits in addition to the financial compensation.  Communicate to your new candidates that you are interested in what’s important to THEM.  Show them the side of you and your business that is courageous and actually cares about them.

Leave a comment and let us know which benefits you offer are considered most valuable to your team members.  What keeps these amazing people on your team year after year?