Hire Employees the Way You Would Buy a Home

By: Don Catino, Principal

Many home buyers have their mind set on what they ‘must have’ in their prospective new home.  Unfortunately, often times their hopes are dashed by the discrepancy between the price tag of their move-in ready dream home – and their budget.   However, with foresight, effort and some time – they can ultimately get their dream home – and at a price they can afford.

Many employers also have wish lists for hiring their turnkey dream candidates – only to find themselves disappointed when they can’t get exactly what they want at the price they expect.

“The Employment Super Trend”

We are amidst an unprecedented demand for technology workers due to simultaneous booms in game changing technology such as: IoT, 5G, Human Genome, Immuno Therapy, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Machine Learning, Block Chain, Crypto Currency, Cyber Security, Cloud Computing and Robotics amongst many others.

This is happening at a time when 4.3 million baby boomers are retiring each year and the new supply of millennials with the skills and desire to fill those roles can’t keep pace with demand.  Complicating matters further is a political environment putting pressure on the H1B candidate supply – which has long helped bridge the gap between the glut of open technical jobs and resources needed to fill them.

Once-loyal employees are also being lured away to competitors – creating unwanted attrition and even more jobs to fill. In fact, according to the Work Institute, an estimated 42 million employees left their jobs last year in search of workplaces that better met their needs and expectations.

The confluence of these events has created record low unemployment, record high quits and wages rising faster than they have in a decade.

Lastly, the incredible wealth of technology companies has created bidding wars for top talent with huge offers of high salaries stock options and benefits – escalating the cost of new hires for everyone else even more.

“What should the talent acquisition strategy be as the work force undergoes this massive shift?”

In this ‘candidate driven’ market, we suggest approaching your next hire more like you might look at buying a home in a ‘sellers’ market’ – after all there are many similarities.

Both take imagination and creativity to get the best value.  Turnkey homes and employees are much more expensive because they are ‘move in ready’.  No thought, effort or time are required by the buyer or employer – and that comes with a major premium.  Companies like Google or Amazon or Facebook can afford those premiums – what about everyone else?

What to do if you’re not a flashy, high flying name brand company that can afford to ‘out spend’ the competition?  Just like a home buyer – you need to think long term.  Instead of thinking about ‘what is’ – change your lens to ‘what could be’.  When home owners do this, it opens up a whole new group of homes with ‘potential’ and when employers apply the same logic they open up entire new pools of candidates to choose from.  Some things to consider:

  • When buying a home, you need good credit.  When hiring an employee, you need a good reputation.
  • To close the deal on a home you may need to write a letter to convince the sellers you’re going to take care of it over the long term. To close an employee, you may need to offer new skills training to show your long-term commitment.
  • Both homes and employees are expensive investments that require good offers up front – as there is competition at every level.
  • Both are big commitments that must be cared for over time or you could lose your initial investment
  • Fixing up your home increases its value to you and the neighborhood.  Allowing employees time and access to training to polish their skills increases their value to their co-workers and company.
  • You can put an addition on a home to suit a growing family.  An employee can learn entirely new skill sets to suit changing business needs.
  • As a home owner, always pay the bills or your house will be taken away from you.  And employees will be taken away by your competitors if you stop investing in them.
  • The one thing you can’t change about a house is its location.  And the one thing you can’t change about an employee are their values.  Make sure to hold your ground on these standards and get them right from the beginning!
  • If you’re not sure about a home, you can rent to own – and with employees, you can try contract to hire.  Both options can be more expensive – but the peace of mind you get knowing you’re making the right decision on such a large and long-term investment is huge!

Whether owning a home or managing an employee, making them better over time takes a lot of work – and brings enormous value and satisfaction.  We hope this simple idea on changing your hiring perspective helps you get that dream candidate in the long run! Happy hunting!  If you want more help – please give us a call!

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