Have an Employee Shortage? Take a Clue From Your Sales Department
Written by Jeff Hughes, on October 20, 2021
Just like the challenges associated with current supply chain related shortages, many companies are experiencing a shortage of employees.
With competition for top talent at or near an all-time high, whether your business is in a growth mode, or has several open positions that must be filled, hiring becomes a top priority. Like raw materials supply chain issues, employers must become proactive rather than simply posting a job and waiting for someone to show up with resume in hand.
These days, when it comes to growing a company or simply replacing those who voluntarily leave, top candidates are not always available when you need them. This means one must constantly look for potential hires before the need arises… just like one would manage a supply chain consisting of raw materials for the factory floor.
This problem can be attacked by taking a clue from traditional sales management techniques. In the same way that salespeople build prospect funnels to ensure a steady revenue flow, hiring managers can get ahead of the game by building and maintaining employment candidate funnels.
Here are some suggestions as to how you might do this:
- Develop a hiring strategy that serves both the short-term and long-term hiring needs of your company. Do this by taking stock of your current recruiting needs, not just current needs but those at least 6 months to a year out. Develop a calendar showing each needed hire by position and date.
- Make sure your job descriptions are up to date and accurately portray the work associated with the positions.
- If it’s been a while, make sure your interviewing skills are up to speed.
- Work to establish your “employer brand”. Using such tools as LinkedIn can help you position your company as a leader in your business sector. Publishing articles in industry periodicals that demonstrate that your company is an innovator can also help to get the word out. Speaking at industry conferences is another way to get your story told. If yours is a midsized company, you may want to craft a story about transparency and access to top decision-makers. You might also add that given your size, the opportunity to be recognized for top-notch work is standard practice. While these efforts may take some time to show results, i.e., a funnel filled with top talent, your goal is to be sure that your company’s brand is well known and well regarded by those desirable, potential hires.
- Constantly be on the lookout for talent. Whether it is through referrals, personal observation, or direct outreach, identifying and cultivating relationships with these candidates is as important as finding sources of materials and supplies to keep your business in operation.
- Once you do identify a list of suitable candidates, it’s important to connect with and stay connected to these individuals. If possible, it might even serve you well to hire a candidate, even though there may not be a current vacancy. Hiring them now, you could save time and money down the road and avoid the possibility of having to settle on someone less qualified in a hiring emergency.
- Maintain a dialogue with your potential employment candidates so that when these people are ready to make a move, your company is top of mind.
- If your company is midsized or larger, consider centralizing the hiring function by designating a CHO (Chief Hiring Officer to ensure these things get done on time and under budget.
- When working with clients, we suggest writing a One Page hiring plan, detailing the strategies to be used, a set of three or four objectives to be met, and action plans that will describe the work to be done.
These may be challenging times for some businesses, but keeping your foot on the gas and building a solid pipeline of talent could help you break free of talent shortages going forward!