Can’t Fill Open Positions? Change Your Focus.

Businessman Interviewing Female Job Applicant In Office

This is a common frustration I have heard in the last few weeks and months…..and I am hearing it for large companies and small, and in a variety of different industries.

I am sure you have heard the numbers. Unemployment rates are low — with 3.9% in 2018 (lowest in 49 years) and a forecasted unemployment rate of 3.3% in 2019. Birth rates have dropped so there are less people to fill the jobs. In the U.S. the birth rates have dropped from 16.7 births per 1,000 of population to 11.8 births per 1,000 of population in 2017. And the number of available jobs has increased.

As the pressure builds, many organizations have responded by focusing more on recruiting efforts, including hiring more recruiting (talent acquisition) staff. The assumption being, we have positions open for long periods of time, let’s invest in staff to recruit for the open positions. It seems like a no-brainer……problem to solution.

It’s a Downward Spiral
There is so much focus on finding applicants that business owners and leaders are losing the focus on their current employees. This is a vicious cycle and a downward spiral. Employee leaves the organization. Manager works hard to fill position and get the work done, not focusing on other employees. Other employees get frustrated, feel they are not valued and overworked, and leave the organization. Manager works hard to fill TWO positions and get the work done of TWO jobs, leaving even less time to focus on other employees. And the cycle continues.

What Do You Do?
Stephen Stills of Crosby, Stills and Nash may have said it best: “love the one you’re with”. Intentionally focusing on and taking care of your current employees.

  • Take time to talk to and listen to your employees (check out our blog on listening).
  • Provide thoughtful and effective feedback to employees.
  • Recognize employees (again, thoughtfully and effectively) for the work they do.
  • Work with them to develop skills.

Depositphotos_170093284_xl-2015Here are some interesting statistics:

It’s a Two-Fer! Employee Referrals for Open Jobs
The great news is that focusing on current employees will help with finding job applicants as well. It’s a two-fer. Employees who love where they work tell their friends — essentially turning your happy employees into recruiters, too. The effectiveness of employee referrals is staggering, including faster time to hire, a lower cost of recruiting and a higher success rate for employees hired through employee referrals.

You may feel that you don’t have enough time in the day to do this. But really, you don’t have enough time in the day NOT to do this. To learn more about how to engage employees through effective feedback, let’s connect! Here’s a link to set up a meeting directly with us: Connect with People Spark

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