Words matter and millennials, women, and multiculturals are paying attention. If you want to attract the best people, you need to start with how you write a job posting because as the old adage says, you’ll get what you ask for. For example, are you (unwittingly) gender biased? Do you use old-fashioned, good ‘ole boy words like ‘go-getter’ and ‘do whatever it takes’ or do you talk about ‘collaboration’ and ‘teamwork’?
The Job Description
However it’s not just careful word choices that will get you great candidates. I highly suggest you make sure that the qualifications you list are the position requirements and leave off any nice-to-haves which aren’t essential. Women typically won’t apply for jobs they don’t have at least 80% of the qualifications already included on their resume. In contrast, men will apply with only 30% of the listed qualifications in the bag. Stick to a job posting that is clear, illustrates inclusiveness, emphasizes team culture, and describes only the minimum requirements for qualifications. If you must, include a line that states, “Do not to apply if all of the above qualifications are not met” to weed out the overexcited and under-qualified.
Owners and business managers that ascribe to outdated hierarchical forms of management even if they are successful in attracting these employees, will not retain them long. What do you offer that demonstrates your company cares about its employees outside of achieving their metrics? More than ever before, the 20-40 year olds are interested in having a life. More than ever before, 40-60 year olds are both raising their kids and caring for their aging parents. By the way, does ANYONE in your office work a forty-hour work week?
Consider what alternatives to the standard 8-5 M-F workweek you can provide. How about offering flexible hours or work from home a couple of days per month? Job shares? Creative work weeks such as four ten-hour days, or three ten-hour days and two mornings or afternoons? What positions can be done remotely in part or in full?
As you offer more flexibility, your management style will require more creativity and communication. Start small, with a few positions in one area of your business then re-evaluate, get input and expand from there. Demonstrating that work-life balance is important will show up in productivity, less absenteeism, more creativity, and less turnover. All of which means fewer headaches for you, happier employees and a more successful business.
How has your company adapted its hiring practices over the last decade?
Comment below with what has made your company successful in attracting and retaining the best talent.