B2B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro
B2B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro

Episode · 7 months ago

Today’s Job Market: Recruiting Top Talent


In today’s job market, applicants have the upper hand. After all, it seems like nearly every company is struggling to find great talent these days.

So what do companies need to do to successfully attract top talent in this highly competitive job market?

In part one of this two-part series on navigating today’s job market, Shelby Skrhak speaks with Sally Brause, Director Human Resources, Consulting at PathShare HR Services, about:

- 4 things hiring managers can do to recruit talent

- What applicants should understand about the hiring process

- How to set your company apart from the pack

For more information, visit Financial Solutions by Ingram Micro.

To join the discussion, follow us on Twitter @IngramTechSol #B2BTechTalk

Listen to this episode and more like it by subscribing to B2B Tech Talk on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher. Or, tune in on our website.

...you're listening to B to B tech talk with ingram Micro the place to learn about new technology and technological advances before they become mainstream. This podcast is sponsored by ingram micro financial solutions, increase your buying power and get your customers to yes with ingram micro financial solutions let's get into it. Welcome to be to be tech talk with ingram Micro. I'm your host Shelby skirt hawk. My guest today is sally browse E director of human services consulting at past share HR services. Sally welcome. Thank you Shelby. It's nice to be here. Well you know we have got a lot to talk about. So today we are talking about hiring in today's job market but first let's understand kind of exactly what type of market we're in. I mean if you were to put today's job market into real estate terms for example would you say it's a buyer's market or a seller's market? And if if buyers are the job applicants and sellers are the companies that are hiring well Shelby from the seat that I said it sure seems to be a virus market. Um It feels like all of the companies with whom I work are trying to find really good talent these days and they're having a hard time finding it well. So that's it's interesting to hear that there is such a because we've been hearing this that there is you know a labor shortage that there's just not enough qualified candidates out there to you know to fill these positions kinda is like the real estate market where it's suffering from a lack of inventory of homes, but there's just so many jobs out there and there's a shrinking pool of applicants. It feels like why would you say, I mean in your experience you've been in HR for a while, so why is this job market so unusual? Well, it's really interesting and it depends on which side of the fence you set. So for example, if I'm a job applicant right, it feels like it can be really hard to find a job today in some of the cases. One recent statistic I read said there are over 100 job applicants for every job opening. I'm like, wow, that's fascinating to me because on the flip side of that, right, as we're trying to hire people and as our customers are trying to hire people, it feels like there aren't enough job applicants. So it's just, it's a conundrum that I haven't seen in all of my career and I really think she'll be probably one of the primary things that is driving that mismatch if you will, is looking at what do job applicants want to do um from the knowledge and skills perspective, what kind of work environment do they want to work in from whether I want to go into the office or are they all work from home today um where do they want to work? So you're looking at the demands of the job applicants and you're looking at what's available from an employer perspective and it's just, I think sometimes there's just a mismatch in those areas. So as an example, I might be a restaurant worker and I might have learned during the pandemic, right? That's really not a mystery that I may want to go back to. So I apply for jobs and employers are looking at my background and skills and thinking, oh, you don't have the experience that I'm looking for. And I always like to think they don't have the experience yet and we're gonna talk about that a little bit later if that's helpful. Well, definitely. So, I mean that's interesting that the demands of applicants, maybe they have shifted, maybe they have kind of re prioritize things. And so this forced time out, if you will, that we all experienced has made people rethink what they're looking for in a job. So I just want to expand a little bit on that. So do you think then, I mean, I guess I want to expand on the mismatch. There are job openings and companies, are they not keeping up with this mindset shift of applicants to realize that they want a better home life balance? They want to be able to have some flexible hours and maybe a hybrid work schedule is that...

...happening at the corporate level, I'm not entirely sure at this point shall be. I think that over the next year we'll start to see that, right? So it started out with people um really not in some cases, having jobs to go to. Right? So let's just look at the last 18 months. In some cases, people are furloughed, companies just weren't having the availability to hire people. And then it opened up, right? And now all of a sudden we have all these jobs to hire for and we don't yet know is it going to be still working from home? Is it going to be a hybrid approach is gonna be in the office sometimes and um at home sometimes there's going to be in the office. And I think companies are cautious about what approach they're willing to put up there in front of an applicant say this is that kind of our go forward strategy. So I think that's a factor and I think applicants are not necessarily entirely sure what the future looks like from them for them either. And so in some cases, right, some people might be saying, I don't know what the future looks like if I'm not able to work from home every day, maybe I'll just give up on the job market or maybe I'll go and start my own company. So I feel like we're just in a really uncertain time and I wish I had the crystal ball. Right, Right. And that's the thing, I mean this is happening right now, it's we don't have this behind us, so we don't have the the benefit of hindsight. Uh So let's discuss things from a hiring manager's perspective, if you could speak directly to all of the hiring managers out there, what do you wish that they knew about job applicants? Oh, this is a big one in my mind. The first thing that I really want hire managers to think about is I look at top talent as free agents and what I mean by that is the really good individuals, whether they're looking for a job now or not, we'll always have opportunities to be able to go to a company of their choice. And so as hiring managers is just really important for us to understand that and to take several steps which can help us attract those top candidates. So the first thing that I think about is I live by this mantra, right? I do both sales and I do recruiting and so, and I think they come together nicely in this world. And so the mantra that I live by is the most important sales you will ever make as a hiring manager is your next employee. And I fundamentally believe that, right, if you can get a really good employee on the books, whether it's a sales person who's going to sell for you or a technician or an engineer who's going to produce results for you, right? That their, their abilities really contribute to the company in ways that the top customer would, so, and if you think about that, right? What I want hiring managers to think about is you think about how much time ever energy they put into getting that top customer in their company and how much time effort energy they spend, retaining that top customer. And so think about that as a hiring manager and use that as an approach. And I guess so if I were to break down says, Okay, sally, that's theoretical. So what what does that really mean for me? I really think about there are four things specifically that hiring managers can do to try to recruit and retain the top talent when I can go into each one of these more details would be helpful. But the first thing I think about is adopting consistent hiring process, right? That consistent hiring process is gonna allow you to vet out who are the really good applicants and who aren't the great applicants. And it's also good from an applicant perspective, when you put the time effort energy in a consistent hiring process, it's going to give the applicant the view and the visibility of your company, it's going to let them know you take it seriously and really by the time they get hired in your organization and feel like this is a company that cares about hiring me as a person and me as a top talent individual. So the first thing to think about is, you know, develop and implement that consistent hiring process. The second thing that I think...

...applicants want is they want to know what's in it for them. Um And I don't think that's a bad thing, right? If they're going to give their time effort energy every day for you as the employer, they want to know, what am I going to get in turn for that. And so hiring managers, I really want you to think about in that interview process from the first time that you interact with a potential candidate. Right? Are you using what I call a consultation sales approach? Are you really digging in to understanding that applicant? What are their needs? What are their motivations? What would they want in their next employer and getting to know them first? And then once you understand that, right? Really being able to convey how your opportunity or your company can help satisfy those needs. I think too often we take an approach unfortunately and this is you know, based on history, but we take an approach that applicants should be lucky to work for me, right or my company and in today's workforce, I'm not sure although they might be very lucky to work for you and your company. I'm not sure that that mindset serves you very well. So I think the second thing to think about is when you're when you're interviewing or were you thinking about trying to reach out to prospective employee, thinking about what's in it for them and really trying to understand their needs and motivation. Third thing I really want you to think about is how we think about higher for a good culture fit hire for attitude. I called the attitude the interest in your job and the motivations do good work and you can always teach knowledge and skills and I do believe today she'll be I think there are a lot of good applicants out there, right? And and right now they might not have the knowledge or the skills or the experience to do your job. But if they've got the core the core values the core work habits, if you will always teach the knowledge and skills right? I mean that that can be done. So so maybe open up your mind a little bit in terms of trying to screen out Canada's they don't quite fit what I'm looking forward to. What I call screening in being open to looking for some of those other attributes that you might not have looked for in the past. And then the final thing that I would recommend is just always think about the candidate experience everything you do everything you say every amount of time that passes everything in that process speaks to the candid about who you're going to be as an employer. Right? So when you're talking to a candidate again, thinking about what's important to them, when you've interviewed a candidate letting them know clear next steps if you meet with them just extending them basic courtesies, like being on time, offering them water if they come into your office. And then if you get to the point, even if you don't want to hire, that person, always just kind of reach out and let them know that what decision was made. Because even if that candidate wasn't lucky enough to get a job with you and your company, they'll know other people and the way they were treated during the candidate, during the interview process and after the interview process will speak volumes. And if they felt like, hey listen, I was treated really well, they're likely to go tell others about that. Conversely, if they don't feel like they were treated very well, they're likely to talk to others about that, definitely. Well, so recapping them, uh you know, consistent hiring process, hiring with the mindset of what's in it for them and that's outside of pay. Those are the other factors outside of how much you're going to be paying them a salary for hiring for attitude and fit and thinking about the candidate experience. Those are great things that can help open up the candidate pool, right? Because if you had been screening for people with experience with uh specific knowledge sets to the job, that's open, you're probably missing a lot of ones that do have the capabilities to learn all that's concerned with your job, Right? Exactly.

Yeah. Well, so let's uh let's look at the other side, then um from the applicant standpoint, what do you wish that applicants knew about the hiring process? Well, the hiring process really is designed, believe it or not, applicant that it's designed to see if it's a good fit for you as the applicant as well. Is it a good fit for the company? So really the things that are happening in the hiring process are designed to get there and you play a big role in that. So when you think about that process, right, I want you to think about what persona, how are you representing yourself to potential employers? And what I mean by that is it starts with if you're going to apply for the job, it starts with simple things like have you reviewed your social media and what are you saying about social media? I just was with somebody last night on facebook who was complaining about her employer on social media and I felt even if her employers on social media, somebody that she's connected with knows the company that she works for. Right. So it really doesn't represent the kind of the kind of candidate that I would certainly want to hire for my company for for my for my clients. In addition to that think about this simple things like what's your email address? You surprisingly enough, you would not believe some of the email addresses that have applied for positions. I just think, wow, wonder what kind of a person this is that has this as an email address or your voice recording, right? Your messaging. Yo this is Adrian leave a message, right? I mean what kind of, you know, how are you, how are you portraying yourself that way? And then in addition to that, um you know, the professionalism goes throughout as an employer I was looking for, Do you want any job or do you want my job? Right. And I want applicants who want my job. And what gives me some good indication whether or not they want my job is really how much research have they done on me and my company? Right. What do they know about the role before going in there? There is a plethora of information out there today. And so has the applicant done some research to be able to understand that this is a potential to fit for me or not. And then from that really built in some good questions for different people in the hiring process versus just coming in and maybe not asking questions are not being quite as prepared along with that. Um And this goes maybe to the professionalism and this is just happening at a ton of these days applicants there Shelby ever heard of this term ghosting? Yeah. Oh, I tell you what is happening more and more of these days. And what ghosting is, is where, let's say, for example, the applicant was called in to do an interview or set up an interview virtually. Right. And they just don't show up, it may be because you is now we're gonna have a lot of different opportunities out there and available for you today. It won't always be that way. And so think about, right, you're leaving an impression, you're leaving your reputation behind that employer that you ghosted and ask yourself, is that really the long term impression that you want to leave with employers? So really just kind of think about, you know, you want to put you can put your best foot forward, take it seriously and do your betting to see if this is a good company along that professionalism. Uh I have a question, this is actually a real life question that my husband, he's in the other room, he is getting ready for a job interview, a call coming up and uh he had asked me, do you think I should wear a shirt and tie for the video call? And I said, you know, that's a great question, I don't know. What do you think? Well, I would say, probably the answer is probably yes. Um the caveat to that is what kind of, I would want to know what kind of a position is he going for? The way that I think about this is you always want to dress professionally for the environment. And so I think about dressing at least one step up for the work environment there. So maybe that's...

...where he's applying is maybe they were button down collar shirts and slacks, right? It wouldn't hurt to put on a tie just to get that one step up. You know, these are the things that you don't think of necessarily because you know, you you assume that it's all about the resume and uh maybe even the cover letter and and in that cover letter you've used all the right terms. You've you've talked about synergy and and all of those buzzwords really don't mean anything. It's the it's the same the substance of the person that sees at the hiring managers are really screening for. Right? That's the impression I get. Yeah. And so and the flip side of that, right? So I can't tell him conclusively, here's how to, here's how to dress. What I can tell you Conclusively is just think about the impression that you want to leave with a company. You know, do you want to leave an impression where you're wearing and I've had this right where you're wearing stocking caps, you know, in the interview process you've got a ratty t shirt you're looking like you just got out of bed, right? You just I always want applicants to think about is that the impression that you want to leave with a potential employer. Also when we look at trying to, when hiring managers and companies are trying to attract top talent pool, where does that process start in terms of you know, setting your company apart from the rest because there are so many jobs out there. You know, it's hard to, to really make your company and your listing really set apart. Where do you start? Uh Great question. So there are no easy answers here. But the first thing I want to think about, um, and have higher managers think about is there are two different applicant pools typically that you'll go after one isn't active. The applicant pool, and what I mean by active is those are individuals who are rather actively looking for other employment today. Right. And so those are the individuals for whom, when you post an ad or you post something maybe on a billboard or whatever you're doing these days, right. They're going to look at is can capture their attention. They're gonna apply for the active pool shall be what I recommend as far as standing out is no conclusively what makes sure company so attractive and what makes this job so attractive to the right candidates. And I think the way that you do that especially is to start off and think about your very best employees. Right? Once that you'd hire again, they have a passion for your company. They're doing really well. And I'd ask them, you know, why do you choose to join this company? What does this company provide that other companies don't provide? And then also asking what's cool about this job, right? What do you really enjoy about the job? And then when you're posting the job that I really want you to really want to hire managers to incorporate that information into the job ad right? Really think about it from the candidate's perspective, what is it that you want to put in that job ad that would attract them to your company versus other companies? And that's typically you know what will they get by working with you? What's the environment like? What's so good about the position itself? Unfortunately what I see she'll be more often than not is a job description. It's just gonna be really really hard I think to stand out if you take that kind of approach. So spend some time really thinking about your job as a marketing tool to the candidate and writing the job ad um that will attract that candidate. Once I go to your website you can always post the job description out there, right? You can send to the link on your website and you can get all the details there. But but the first thing to stand out is really thinking about your company and that's for the act of Canada pool. There's a second applicant pool potential applicant pool I guess I should say. Which is what we call passive candidates. And passive candidates are individuals who aren't actively looking for a job today right? They're busy doing the work. They're doing good work. They're usually pretty happy in their current role. But what we know about those applicants are...

...those candidates, potential candidates is that it's not a matter of if they're going to have a bad date, it's a matter of when they're going to have a bad date. So actually I like to recruit passive candidates probably a little bit more than the active can. It's only because I know it'll take longer. But we know the passive candidates tend to stay in their jobs longer. They tend to be more content. They tend to be the top producers. And so so the first thing you have to do is to stand out as an employer to those individuals and think about how do I even get on their radar if you will. And one of the top ways you can do that is to ask for referrals. I always think about good people, no other good people. Right? And so start by asking others in terms of who you know, this is the kind of job that I have available. Who do you know that might be a good fit for this role. And then what do you know about that individual? Right. And so Shelby, you might say, hey, I know Susan and um I think Susan be great for this role. And I think Susan, you know, she's really innovative. She's strong with customers and she is dedicated and I'm like, wow, that sounds like just the person I'd want for my company. Right? But guess what? Susan is not looking for a job today? So what I'll do showbiz? I'll say, hey listen, would it look if I reached out to Susan use remain right or would you mind giving Susan heads up that I'd like to reach out to your right? And so you think about how do you stand out by taking that first step of trying to get referrals and trying to think about what's important to them. You're already differentiating yourself because you're going to use that information. Then when you pick up the phone and call Susan or when you email Susan and when I email Susan, I'm gonna say, hey Susan, I got this job opening up my company. You want to come apply because what Susan going to say no, right? Because I'm gainfully employed today, I'm not interested. But if I say, hey listen, Susan, I got your name from Shelby and Shelby said, you know, you're really innovative, you get strong customer orientation. The accountability for your job is just incredible. And whenever I hear something like that about an individual's sounds like I'm going to get to know you right. I'm wondering if you'd be open for a confidential conversation, I'd just like to learn a little bit more about you and your career aspirations to see what father be now or down the road, right? There might be a set for you at our company, would you be open? At least having a conversation, right? And what you're doing in that particular case as a hiring manager is your you're taking? What is what I call the slam door with a passive can if they're not interested, they're not gonna apply for your job. They don't even know what exist. They're not looking to opening up that door crack for a conversation. And then it's just a matter of just like sales, right? It's just a matter of nurturing the relationship with Susan tell someday it's not a matter of whether she's going to have a bad day. It's when she has a bad day and I want to be first on her radar for that. So there's there different things that you can do. But I think first and foremost just to re emphasize with active candidates know what's really good about your company and really promote that the company in the world really passive candidates really focused on them and what's important to them. And go from that world of difference between those two approaches of, hey, I've got a job when you want to comply or I'm really interested in. You. You seem like a great up and comer in this in this industry and we'd love to, you know, just learn more about you exactly when we look at the environment that we're working in if the compensation and the benefits are all competitive. You know, with the job listing that you're offering often the difference maker is culture. But with this hybrid work environment that has changed pretty drastically. What advice do you have for those hiring managers that are trying to recruit based on culture. First of all you're exactly right once compensation benefits and the job itself is really what an applicant would want. What we find largely is that they're looking for that right culture fit. And so my advice to hiring managers is really be very crystal clear on what your culture is and what to me culture is kind of what you have listed on the wall. It's really what...

...are the values? And the behavior is part to fit in and thrive around your organization. And so the first piece of rice is have a very clear understanding of what your culture truly is and then be able to promote that two candidates to to find out whether or not this is a good fit for them or not. Now, admittedly I will tell you this whole work from home situation can be a little bit of a stressor on culture right? In some cases um a lot of the culture was brought together by people coming together working together, collaborating, I get to see every day we have this water cooler talk. Um and so it just creates this energy in this environment where I like to come to work. Well now I'm working from home. Right? And so understanding what do employees like about your culture and then thinking about how can you translate that to either hybrid work environment or a work from home environment and trying to pick up on those most important elements of the behaviors that people like or the atmosphere that people like and applying that to the work from home or hybrid situation. It's certainly been a challenge during these times. Absolutely every everything's been a challenge. And so yeah, it's a lot to uh it's a lot to consider and a lot of great information today as we start to wrap up, we always ask our guests where do you see technology going in the next year? But for you, I want to ask, where do you see human resources shifting to in the next year? Well, I think I don't know that it's shifting, but I do think from a human resources perspective, certainly this recruiting, I think they're going to be two things that are gonna put stressors on the human resources world. One is being able to recruit top talent and along with that retain top time, I can do a whole discussion on retaining. Right. So really thinking about how do we help organizations or how do we help our hiring managers recruit the top, the right talent for the organization as well as how do we help them? Think about how did they retain the talent that they have? There was a quote that I learned a long time ago says if you're not recruiting, your very best talent, you're the only one who isn't. So I think that whole attract and retain talent is going to be a big emphasis continued for the human resources function. The other thing that I think about is from an organizational design perspective, organizations are shifting and changing right now at a pretty rapid pace in terms of thinking about this whole work from home environment to your point shall be, technology is really having a large influence and so human resources, really thinking about how can we prepare the organization for the changes culturally and technology that we know we're coming right and that people might be resistant to, but we got to embrace them, right? We've got to, we've got to take advantage of the things that exist out there. Absolutely. Well a lot of great information and actually this is a bit of a two parter because in our next episode we're going to talk about how to retain that top talent, but for now we'll go ahead and part ways sally, thank you so much for all your all your time and insight. Thank you so much. I appreciate it being here and thank you listeners for tuning in and subscribing to be to be tech talk with ingram Micro. If you liked this episode or have a question, please join the discussion on twitter with the hashtag B two B tech talk until next time I'm Shelby scare hawk, you've been listening to B to B tech talk with ingram Micro hosted by Kerry roberts. This episode was sponsored by ingram Micro's Financial Solutions. B two B Tech Talk is a joint production with Sweet Fish Media and ingram Micro. To not miss an episode. Subscribe today to your favorite podcast platform. Mhm.

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