The Calm Before the Spring Hiring


By Neal Glatt

As spring approaches, I’m seeing my network starting to post job opportunities on LinkedIn and Facebook at an accelerating pace.  I’m also seeing posts lamenting the lack of qualified candidates.  While the labor market remains difficult for our industry, the truth is that most job postings are missing the mark.  Here’s how to get results....

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When the unemployment rate was at an all-time high over a decade ago, job postings could say almost anything and hiring managers would receive hundreds of responses.  So, in an effort to filter out lesser candidates, these postings transformed into a list of demands: must have experience, must have knowledge, must have great positive attitude, must be reliable… Sound familiar?  

But what worked in 2010 isn’t cutting it today, as we all know labor woes far too well.   So what does a modern, effective job posting look like? It starts with marketing to employees the benefits of the job instead of a list of requirements.  

For those companies that do try to explain why someone would want to work for them, the most common explanations are pay rate, hours available, or the fact that the company is an “industry-leader” and boasts a “growing team.”  This is supposed to excite candidates to apply for physical work and to show up with a great attitude?  No wonder results are mediocre.

Business owners are quick to tell me that employees only seem to care about pay.  Perhaps this impression is the result of leading with compensation as the key benefit of employment.  In the same way, if you were to advertise “Great Rates!” to potential customers, the response would be extremely price-sensitive leads.  Savvy contractors focus on other benefits because they know that customers who value the services pay more and stay longer than those attracted to low costs.  They also know that trying to win, based on low rates, never works because there is always someone to charge less.  Well, there is also always someone willing to pay more for employees, so it’s time to change the narrative away from compensation.

So what do employees value?  According to Gallup surveys, the number one factor that employees are seeking in a job is growth and development opportunities.  Employees want to feel like they are learning and advancing within their roles.  Companies which promote in-field cross-training and soft skills development, like management training, find that they not only attract more employees but keep them longer while continually building them up.

It goes without saying that a company should never advertise what they can’t deliver.  So if you want to win the labor war, it may be time to determine what developmental training you need to implement for your people.  The most important key to implementing a developmental program for employees is that the employee feels that the learning opportunity was worthwhile and pertinent to their job.  Safety training, operating systems, and administrative processes training don’t make employees feel developed.  Companies need to go above and beyond to prepare employees for the next level of their career.

Potential employees (and their parents and friends) will search your company name on websites like and  What they'll learn is what current and past employees think of you as an employer.  Manage poorly or fail to uphold promises, and chances plummet that you’ll get quality applicants.  But help your people grow and develop, and reviews will become the greatest magnet for excellent employees.  So once you have a great employee experience, encourage employees to write reviews about what it’s like to work for your company.  Then brag about it in your job descriptions.

If you want to get the whole playbook and learn how to execute these strategies step-by-step, check out our FREE recruiting course powered by Team Engine on GrowTheBench.  You’ll learn how to rebuild your recruiting process from the ground up with best practices on how to write and where to post job ads, how to screen candidates, the untapped talent pools that have massive potential for employees, and the technology you can leverage to automate your recruiting efforts for maximum scale.

Tags: hiring , Newtworking , LinkedIn ,