Finding the right people and recruiting staff should be a truly positive exercise, am I right? I mean, you’ve got work for them to do which implies the business is doing OK. Thriving, even, if these are new roles. But. Finding the ‘right’ candidates takes a lot of patience, false starts and a talent for spotting ‘potential’ (whatever that means).
In some cases, properly skilled people just cannot be found. There’s an acute nationwide shortage of ‘technical’ roles in IT, finance and medical. This is where you really do have to tick the qualified and experienced resource boxes.
Hiring people is a painful exercise, but let’s not make it even harder on ourselves!
You see, I believe that we’re all being out-manoeuvred by our ever-changing world. We can grumble about ‘geo-politics’ causing skill shortages till we’re all Twittered out. But like life, business just has to carry on. I’m sure it’s not my imagination, but this skills-shortage issue has been nagging away at us for some time now. Yet some businesses are flourishing.
So, let’s look at this from a different angle; let’s get better at adapting to change. Embrace the fact that technology is really influencing what we do, how we do it, and when we do it. Personally, I keep coming back to satisfying two key needs: 1) the needs of your business in the long term, and 2) the needs of today’s candidates – the Gen Zs, Millennials (and Other Differently Aged cohorts).
Whilst change for change’s sake is tiresome and dangerous, if ever you catch yourself saying “We’ve always done it this way…”, stop and take a closer look. Question your processes. I’ve come across so-called edgy tech start-ups with operating procedures that would make a certain government department look streamlined. Technology will help us meet the future needs of our businesses – if we let it.
I’m encouraging clients to be objective and forensic about their systems and processes. Then, when they review that load of tasks waiting to be carried out by the ‘right’ people (who they can’t find), what do they find? That the brief’s changed and, in many cases, it’s now so much easier to carry out.
It’s not always about turning everything upside down and adopting totally new ways of working. Often, technology just encourages you to learn how to streamline your work processes for efficiency. Maybe adapting traditional ways of working. Take the PA, a role which dates back at least 150+ years and the invention of the typewriter. Today, 1000s of corporate executives rely on a PA to free them up to be completely fee-earning. For you, the smaller modern business, the virtual assistant is your saviour.
Once we begin to truly understand who we need to help us with our tech-inspired processes, let’s not apply an old school approach to finding them. As employers, we have to shape up to the modern recruitment world – demonstrate why we’re worthy of candidates’ attention. (Hint: it’s more than financial reward; it’s working environment, job satisfaction, work-life balance…)
The pandemic-prompted Working From Home exercise has been a massive lesson for everyone: that the vast majority of employees are not only hardworking and trustworthy, they positively blossom when their environment is less constraining. The flexibility afforded by technology isn’t just a perk for employers.
Behave like a corporate – be proudly process and people led, and take a long hard look at new-old roles such as the virtual assistant.
Just remember: ‘vintage’ might be an attractive label for clothes but not for your people and processes.