Recently, I was coaching a CEO who brought me into his company to help him grow and scale his business.
Their revenue was flat—but why? They had a solid strategy and an impressive product but could not execute consistently and effectively. They were missing production deadlines, and clients were becoming upset, threatening to pull contracts.
This client’s inability to execute tied into one key issue. It’s the key issue that more CEOs across the country have identified as the main inhibitor to growth: hiring.
As the longtime owner of a staffing company, I’ve identified some key steps HR managers can take to improve this process, meeting today’s ever-changing demands while maintaining a consistent philosophy centered on empowerment for everybody.
Shift your mindset
Without exception, the greatest factor that determines whether your hiring strategies will foster growth is to adopt a growth mindset. Many businesses are saddled with a fixed mindset, continuing to follow the same strategies that served them 10 years ago, but are failing today. Hiring managers can start to shift into a growth mindset by taking a look at the lists of tasks they’ve long been asked to complete. Chances are, many of the items are outdated or irrelevant to today’s workforce. Start a “stop-doing” list instead, asking yourself the following questions:
- What does a successful next 10 years look like in my business?
- What do I want my legacy to be within this organization?
- What behaviors as an HR manager do I need to change or initiate in others, to see this change occur?
Discover your “why”
Your answers will help achieve the next step, which is a deep look at why your company exists.
Having a clear purpose makes an enormous difference in becoming an Employer of Choice and recruiting from the millennial-dominated workforce of 2021. I’ve had the privilege of working with Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, and I discovered my “why” is improving lives. That was the foundation of every business decision we made from that day forward.
- What are your core values?
- Are you willing to hire and fire by them?
The ATV model
Authenticity, transparency, and vulnerability (ATV) are what drive success for any business today. Leaders such as 1-800-GOT-JUNK’s Brian Scudamore have been able to hire A-players after having to fire their entire staff through this model.
“I took ownership and accountability; people could see that I had made a mistake,” he says. “I was authentic, I was transparent, and I was vulnerable. And it paid off in the end, because I’ve built a half-billion dollar business by finding the right people and treating them right.”
Becoming ATV with potential employees starts with answering:
Do you know the hiring landscape?
In a candidate controlled marketplace, don’t low ball people. Know what the average wage is for the work you need done. Keep track of talent availability and scarcity, considering how many candidates in your area are available to fill the job.
What’s in it for them?
Don’t focus only on wages and benefits. Consider what millennials want in the workplace—freedom & flexibility, to work in teams and to have their voice heard when it comes to big decisions.
Why do people work?
Keep in mind that the top reason people quit a job is because of their immediate supervisor. Do you have a psychologically healthy workplace fostering a growth mindset among everyone?
Set intentions, not expectations
Businesses often hire out of desperation—they have an open desk and jump on the first decent candidate they see. We’re impatient and want to get back to running the business.
And once we adopt a growth mindset, we expect good things to follow. But setting expectations instead of intentions can set you up for failure when it comes to hiring the right candidate. Consider this:
- Intentions are flexible.
- Expectations are static.
- Intentions can pivot off new information.
- Expectations are win-lose scenarios.
- Intentions create abundance and opportunity.
- Expectations create very narrow pathways.
HR managers can set intentions through every phase of the hiring process, from posting jobs and pre-screening to interviews and offers of employment. Once the negotiation process kicks in, setting intentions instead of expectations can help you come to a common ground, and also creates a more human connection. Remember, new hires and employees are your most valuable customers. Once you’ve onboarded someone, treat them so well, they’ll never want to leave. As I mentioned, intentions create abundance and opportunity.
We often salute the flag of the past, with an “that’s what we have always done things” fixed mindset. It’s time to adapt to the new talent landscape. Progress is going to happen when you are willing to let go of “what was.” To become an employer of choice, flip the script and engage in a growth mindset.