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

Episode · 2 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 talkwith ingram Micro the place to learn about new technology and technologicaladvances before they become mainstream. This podcast is sponsored by ingrammicro financial solutions, increase your buying power and get yourcustomers 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 Shelbyskirt hawk. My guest today is sally browse E director of human servicesconsulting at past share HR services. Sally welcome. Thank you Shelby. It'snice to be here. Well you know we have got a lot to talk about. So today weare talking about hiring in today's job market but first let's understand kindof exactly what type of market we're in. I mean if you were to put today's jobmarket into real estate terms for example would you say it's a buyer'smarket or a seller's market? And if if buyers are the job applicants andsellers are the companies that are hiring well Shelby from the seat that Isaid it sure seems to be a virus market. Um It feels like all of the companieswith whom I work are trying to find really good talent these days andthey're having a hard time finding it well. So that's it's interesting tohear that there is such a because we've been hearing this that there is youknow a labor shortage that there's just not enough qualified candidates outthere to you know to fill these positions kinda is like the real estatemarket where it's suffering from a lack of inventory of homes, but there's justso many jobs out there and there's a shrinking pool of applicants. It feelslike why would you say, I mean in your experience you've been in HR for awhile, so why is this job market so unusual? Well, it's really interestingand it depends on which side of the fence you set. So for example, if I'm ajob applicant right, it feels like it can be really hard to find a job todayin some of the cases. One recent statistic I read said there are over100 job applicants for every job opening. I'm like, wow, that'sfascinating to me because on the flip side of that, right, as we're trying tohire people and as our customers are trying to hire people, it feels likethere aren't enough job applicants. So it's just, it's a conundrum that Ihaven't seen in all of my career and I really think she'll be probably one ofthe primary things that is driving that mismatch if you will, is looking atwhat do job applicants want to do um from the knowledge and skillsperspective, what kind of work environment do they want to work infrom whether I want to go into the office or are they all work from hometoday um where do they want to work? So you're looking at the demands of thejob applicants and you're looking at what's available from an employerperspective and it's just, I think sometimes there's just a mismatch inthose areas. So as an example, I might be a restaurant worker and I might havelearned during the pandemic, right? That's really not a mystery that I maywant to go back to. So I apply for jobs and employers are looking at mybackground and skills and thinking, oh, you don't have the experience that I'mlooking for. And I always like to think they don't have the experience yet andwe're gonna talk about that a little bit later if that's helpful. Well,definitely. So, I mean that's interesting that the demands ofapplicants, maybe they have shifted, maybe they have kind of re prioritizethings. And so this forced time out, if you will, that we all experienced hasmade people rethink what they're looking for in a job. So I just want toexpand a little bit on that. So do you think then, I mean, I guess I want toexpand on the mismatch. There are job openings and companies, are they notkeeping up with this mindset shift of applicants to realize that they want abetter home life balance? They want to be able to have some flexible hours andmaybe a hybrid work schedule is that...

...happening at the corporate level, I'mnot entirely sure at this point shall be. I think that over the next yearwe'll start to see that, right? So it started out with people um really notin some cases, having jobs to go to. Right? So let's just look at the last18 months. In some cases, people are furloughed, companies just weren'thaving the availability to hire people. And then it opened up, right? And nowall of a sudden we have all these jobs to hire for and we don't yet know is itgoing to be still working from home? Is it going to be a hybrid approach isgonna be in the office sometimes and um at home sometimes there's going to bein the office. And I think companies are cautious about what approachthey're willing to put up there in front of an applicant say this is thatkind of our go forward strategy. So I think that's a factor and I thinkapplicants are not necessarily entirely sure what the future looks like fromthem for them either. And so in some cases, right, some people might besaying, I don't know what the future looks like if I'm not able to work fromhome every day, maybe I'll just give up on the job market or maybe I'll go andstart my own company. So I feel like we're just in a really uncertain timeand I wish I had the crystal ball. Right, Right. And that's the thing, Imean this is happening right now, it's we don't have this behind us, so wedon't have the the benefit of hindsight. Uh So let's discuss things from ahiring manager's perspective, if you could speak directly to all of thehiring managers out there, what do you wish that they knew about jobapplicants? Oh, this is a big one in my mind. The first thing that I reallywant hire managers to think about is I look at top talent as free agents andwhat I mean by that is the really good individuals, whether they're lookingfor a job now or not, we'll always have opportunities to be able to go to acompany of their choice. And so as hiring managers is just reallyimportant for us to understand that and to take several steps which can help usattract those top candidates. So the first thing that I think about is Ilive by this mantra, right? I do both sales and I do recruiting and so, and Ithink they come together nicely in this world. And so the mantra that I live byis the most important sales you will ever make as a hiring manager is yournext employee. And I fundamentally believe that, right, if you can get areally good employee on the books, whether it's a sales person who's goingto sell for you or a technician or an engineer who's going to produce resultsfor you, right? That their, their abilities really contribute to thecompany 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 muchtime ever energy they put into getting that top customer in their company andhow much time effort energy they spend, retaining that top customer. And sothink about that as a hiring manager and use that as an approach. And Iguess so if I were to break down says, Okay, sally, that's theoretical. Sowhat what does that really mean for me? I really think about there are fourthings specifically that hiring managers can do to try to recruit andretain the top talent when I can go into each one of these more detailswould be helpful. But the first thing I think about is adopting consistenthiring process, right? That consistent hiring process is gonna allow you tovet out who are the really good applicants and who aren't the greatapplicants. And it's also good from an applicant perspective, when you put thetime effort energy in a consistent hiring process, it's going to give theapplicant the view and the visibility of your company, it's going to let themknow you take it seriously and really by the time they get hired in yourorganization and feel like this is a company that cares about hiring me as aperson and me as a top talent individual. So the first thing to thinkabout is, you know, develop and implement that consistent hiringprocess. The second thing that I think...

...applicants want is they want to knowwhat's in it for them. Um And I don't think that's a bad thing, right? Ifthey're going to give their time effort energy every day for you as theemployer, they want to know, what am I going to get in turn for that. And sohiring managers, I really want you to think about in that interview processfrom the first time that you interact with a potential candidate. Right? Areyou using what I call a consultation sales approach? Are you really diggingin to understanding that applicant? What are their needs? What are theirmotivations? What would they want in their next employer and getting to knowthem first? And then once you understand that, right? Really beingable to convey how your opportunity or your company can help satisfy thoseneeds. I think too often we take an approach unfortunately and this is youknow, based on history, but we take an approach that applicants should belucky to work for me, right or my company and in today's workforce, I'mnot 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 secondthing to think about is when you're when you're interviewing or were youthinking about trying to reach out to prospective employee, thinking aboutwhat's in it for them and really trying to understand their needs andmotivation. Third thing I really want you to think about is how we thinkabout higher for a good culture fit hire for attitude. I called theattitude the interest in your job and the motivations do good work and youcan always teach knowledge and skills and I do believe today she'll be Ithink there are a lot of good applicants out there, right? And andright now they might not have the knowledge or the skills or theexperience to do your job. But if they've got the core the core valuesthe core work habits, if you will always teach the knowledge and skillsright? I mean that that can be done. So so maybe open up your mind a little bitin terms of trying to screen out Canada's they don't quite fit what I'mlooking forward to. What I call screening in being open to looking forsome 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 aboutthe candidate experience everything you do everything you say every amount oftime that passes everything in that process speaks to the candid about whoyou're going to be as an employer. Right? So when you're talking to acandidate again, thinking about what's important to them, when you'veinterviewed a candidate letting them know clear next steps if you meet withthem just extending them basic courtesies, like being on time,offering them water if they come into your office. And then if you get to thepoint, even if you don't want to hire, that person, always just kind of reachout and let them know that what decision was made. Because even if thatcandidate wasn't lucky enough to get a job with you and your company, they'llknow other people and the way they were treated during the candidate, duringthe interview process and after the interview process will speak volumes.And if they felt like, hey listen, I was treated really well, they're likelyto go tell others about that. Conversely, if they don't feel likethey 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 thema salary for hiring for attitude and fit and thinking about the candidateexperience. Those are great things that can help open up the candidate pool,right? Because if you had been screening for people with experiencewith uh specific knowledge sets to the job, that's open, you're probablymissing a lot of ones that do have the capabilities to learn all that'sconcerned with your job, Right? Exactly.

Yeah. Well, so let's uh let's look atthe other side, then um from the applicant standpoint, what do you wishthat applicants knew about the hiring process? Well, the hiring processreally is designed, believe it or not, applicant that it's designed to see ifit's a good fit for you as the applicant as well. Is it a good fit forthe company? So really the things that are happening in the hiring process aredesigned to get there and you play a big role in that. So when you thinkabout that process, right, I want you to think about what persona, how areyou representing yourself to potential employers? And what I mean by that isit starts with if you're going to apply for the job, it starts with simplethings like have you reviewed your social media and what are you sayingabout social media? I just was with somebody last night on facebook who wascomplaining about her employer on social media and I felt even if heremployers on social media, somebody that she's connected with knows thecompany that she works for. Right. So it really doesn't represent the kind ofthe kind of candidate that I would certainly want to hire for my companyfor for my for my clients. In addition to that think about this simple thingslike what's your email address? You surprisingly enough, you would notbelieve some of the email addresses that have applied for positions. I justthink, wow, wonder what kind of a person this is that has this as anemail address or your voice recording, right? Your messaging. Yo this isAdrian 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, umyou know, the professionalism goes throughout as an employer I was lookingfor, Do you want any job or do you want my job? Right. And I want applicantswho want my job. And what gives me some good indication whether or not theywant 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 aplethora of information out there today. And so has the applicant done someresearch to be able to understand that this is a potential to fit for me ornot. And then from that really built in some good questions for differentpeople in the hiring process versus just coming in and maybe not askingquestions are not being quite as prepared along with that. Um And thisgoes maybe to the professionalism and this is just happening at a ton ofthese 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 ghostingis, is where, let's say, for example, the applicant was called in to do aninterview or set up an interview virtually. Right. And they just don'tshow up, it may be because you is now we're gonna have a lot of differentopportunities out there and available for you today. It won't always be thatway. And so think about, right, you're leaving an impression, you're leavingyour reputation behind that employer that you ghosted and ask yourself, isthat 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 yourbest foot forward, take it seriously and do your betting to see if this is agood company along that professionalism. Uh I have a question, this is actuallya real life question that my husband, he's in the other room, he is gettingready for a job interview, a call coming up and uh he had asked me, doyou think I should wear a shirt and tie for the video call? And I said, youknow, that's a great question, I don't know. What do you think? Well, I wouldsay, probably the answer is probably yes. Um the caveat to that is what kindof, I would want to know what kind of a position is he going for? The way thatI think about this is you always want to dress professionally for theenvironment. And so I think about dressing at least one step up for thework environment there. So maybe that's...

...where he's applying is maybe they werebutton down collar shirts and slacks, right? It wouldn't hurt to put on a tiejust to get that one step up. You know, these are the things that you don'tthink of necessarily because you know, you you assume that it's all about theresume and uh maybe even the cover letter and and in that cover letteryou've used all the right terms. You've you've talked about synergy and and allof those buzzwords really don't mean anything. It's the it's the same thesubstance of the person that sees at the hiring managers are reallyscreening for. Right? That's the impression I get. Yeah. And so and theflip 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 aboutthe impression that you want to leave with a company. You know, do you wantto leave an impression where you're wearing and I've had this right whereyou're wearing stocking caps, you know, in the interview process you've got aratty t shirt you're looking like you just got out of bed, right? You just Ialways want applicants to think about is that the impression that you want toleave with a potential employer. Also when we look at trying to, when hiringmanagers and companies are trying to attract top talent pool, where doesthat process start in terms of you know, setting your company apart from therest because there are so many jobs out there. You know, it's hard to, toreally make your company and your listing really set apart. Where do youstart? Uh Great question. So there are no easy answers here. But the firstthing I want to think about, um, and have higher managers think about isthere are two different applicant pools typically that you'll go after oneisn't active. The applicant pool, and what I mean by active is those areindividuals who are rather actively looking for other employment today.Right. And so those are the individuals for whom, when you post an ad or youpost 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 applyfor the active pool shall be what I recommend as far as standing out is noconclusively what makes sure company so attractive and what makes this job soattractive to the right candidates. And I think the way that you do thatespecially 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 doingreally 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 thenalso asking what's cool about this job, right? What do you really enjoy aboutthe job? And then when you're posting the job that I really want you toreally want to hire managers to incorporate that information into thejob ad right? Really think about it from the candidate's perspective, whatis it that you want to put in that job ad that would attract them to yourcompany versus other companies? And that's typically you know what willthey get by working with you? What's the environment like? What's so goodabout the position itself? Unfortunately what I see she'll be moreoften than not is a job description. It's just gonna be really really hard Ithink to stand out if you take that kind of approach. So spend some timereally thinking about your job as a marketing tool to the candidate andwriting the job ad um that will attract that candidate. Once I go to yourwebsite you can always post the job description out there, right? You cansend to the link on your website and you can get all the details there. Butbut the first thing to stand out is really thinking about your company andthat's for the act of Canada pool. There's a second applicant poolpotential applicant pool I guess I should say. Which is what we callpassive candidates. And passive candidates are individuals who aren'tactively looking for a job today right? They're busy doing the work. They'redoing good work. They're usually pretty happy in their current role. But whatwe know about those applicants are...

...those candidates, potential candidatesis that it's not a matter of if they're going to have a bad date, it's a matterof when they're going to have a bad date. So actually I like to recruitpassive candidates probably a little bit more than the active can. It's onlybecause I know it'll take longer. But we know the passive candidates tend tostay in their jobs longer. They tend to be more content. They tend to be thetop producers. And so so the first thing you have to do is to stand out asan employer to those individuals and think about how do I even get on theirradar if you will. And one of the top ways you can do that is to ask forreferrals. 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 ofjob that I have available. Who do you know that might be a good fit for thisrole. 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 withcustomers and she is dedicated and I'm like, wow, that sounds like just theperson I'd want for my company. Right? But guess what? Susan is not lookingfor a job today? So what I'll do showbiz? I'll say, hey listen, would itlook if I reached out to Susan use remain right or would you mind givingSusan heads up that I'd like to reach out to your right? And so you thinkabout how do you stand out by taking that first step of trying to getreferrals and trying to think about what's important to them. You'realready differentiating yourself because you're going to use thatinformation. Then when you pick up the phone and call Susan or when you emailSusan and when I email Susan, I'm gonna say, hey Susan, I got this job openingup 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. Theaccountability for your job is just incredible. And whenever I hearsomething like that about an individual's sounds like I'm going toget to know you right. I'm wondering if you'd be open for a confidentialconversation, I'd just like to learn a little bit more about you and yourcareer aspirations to see what father be now or down the road, right? Theremight be a set for you at our company, would you be open? At least having aconversation, right? And what you're doing in that particular case as ahiring manager is your you're taking? What is what I call the slam door witha 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 thatdoor 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 tellsomeday it's not a matter of whether she's going to have a bad day. It'swhen she has a bad day and I want to be first on her radar for that. So there'sthere different things that you can do. But I think first and foremost just tore emphasize with active candidates know what's really good about yourcompany and really promote that the company in the world really passivecandidates really focused on them and what's important to them. And go fromthat world of difference between those two approaches of, hey, I've got a jobwhen you want to comply or I'm really interested in. You. You seem like agreat 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'reworking in if the compensation and the benefits are all competitive. You know,with the job listing that you're offering often the difference maker isculture. But with this hybrid work environment that has changed prettydrastically. What advice do you have for those hiring managers that aretrying to recruit based on culture. First of all you're exactly right oncecompensation benefits and the job itself is really what an applicantwould want. What we find largely is that they're looking for that rightculture fit. And so my advice to hiring managers is really be very crystalclear on what your culture is and what to me culture is kind of what you havelisted on the wall. It's really what...

...are the values? And the behavior ispart to fit in and thrive around your organization. And so the first piece ofrice is have a very clear understanding of what your culture truly is and thenbe able to promote that two candidates to to find out whether or not this is agood fit for them or not. Now, admittedly I will tell you this wholework from home situation can be a little bit of a stressor on cultureright? In some cases um a lot of the culture was brought together by peoplecoming together working together, collaborating, I get to see every daywe have this water cooler talk. Um and so it just creates this energy in thisenvironment 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 andthen thinking about how can you translate that to either hybrid workenvironment or a work from home environment and trying to pick up onthose most important elements of the behaviors that people like or theatmosphere that people like and applying that to the work from home orhybrid situation. It's certainly been a challenge during these times.Absolutely every everything's been a challenge. And so yeah, it's a lot touh it's a lot to consider and a lot of great information today as we start towrap up, we always ask our guests where do you see technology going in the nextyear? But for you, I want to ask, where do you see human resources shifting toin the next year? Well, I think I don't know that it's shifting, but I do thinkfrom a human resources perspective, certainly this recruiting, I thinkthey're going to be two things that are gonna put stressors on the humanresources world. One is being able to recruit top talent and along with thatretain top time, I can do a whole discussion on retaining. Right. Soreally thinking about how do we help organizations or how do we help ourhiring managers recruit the top, the right talent for the organization aswell as how do we help them? Think about how did they retain the talentthat they have? There was a quote that I learned a long time ago says ifyou'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 bigemphasis continued for the human resources function. The other thingthat I think about is from an organizational design perspective,organizations are shifting and changing right now at a pretty rapid pace interms of thinking about this whole work from home environment to your pointshall be, technology is really having a large influence and so human resources,really thinking about how can we prepare the organization for thechanges culturally and technology that we know we're coming right and thatpeople might be resistant to, but we got to embrace them, right? We've gotto, 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 parterbecause in our next episode we're going to talk about how to retain that toptalent, but for now we'll go ahead and part ways sally, thank you so much forall your all your time and insight. Thank you so much. I appreciate itbeing here and thank you listeners for tuning in and subscribing to be to betech 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 talkuntil next time I'm Shelby scare hawk, you've been listening to B to B techtalk with ingram Micro hosted by Kerry roberts. This episode was sponsored byingram Micro's Financial Solutions. B two B Tech Talk is a joint productionwith Sweet Fish Media and ingram Micro. To not miss an episode. Subscribe todayto your favorite podcast platform. Mhm.

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