Such were the words of a friend of mine recently as he explained to me why he was struggling with his business so much these days. And although I’m not going to sit here and say ‘yes’, there are droves of great people out there just waiting to be hired, I am going to say that after 10 years of owning a business and making loads of hiring mistakes along the way, there are definitive reasons why companies struggle to find great workers in 2010.
8 Reasons Why Your Company Can’t Find Great Employees
1. You won’t let go of existing employees: Wow have I suffered from this problem in the past. Too often, business owners simply won’t let poor-performing employees go when they know the person is not a good fit. I could go on and on about the psychological reasons for this, but trust me when I say 99% of business owners in the world right now have someone on their staff that they know needs to be let go, yet they’re not following their gut to cut ties. My point? LET THAT PERSON GO.
2. Your network stinks: In this day and age of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, social groups, etc.; there is simply no reason why a business owner should be stuck depending on a help-wanted ad in the local paper to find good people. Such a strategy is nuts and typically attracts everything you don’t want. So use your networks. Let people in your social groups know you’re looking for a particular employee/skill. Trust me, the results will be completely different than what you may be used to.
3. You Over-value your skills: This is a tough one for most business owners to handle. Because of our inner pride, it’s easy to think that no one can do our job as well as we can. And because we don’t want work below our standard, we continue as business owners to work in the business versus on the business. The reality is this though: There is a person, actually there are many persons, that can do your job as well as you can if you’ll only show them the path and believe. Again, I’ve learned this over and over again during these past 10 years. As soon as you come to this realization, a new world of opportunity will open up for your business.
4. Your business has no identity: Every company needs a face, a culture, and an identity. Without it, you simply won’t attract those persons looking for what you offer. Why? Because they don’t know you exist. So what’s your unique identity? Why would people want to be a part of your team? If you can’t answer these simple questions, then you’ve got some work to do.
5. You under-estimate people: This one goes in line with #3 but too often business owners don’t allow their employees to exercise their gifts and talents. As human beings, we all want to be challenged. We want to grow. It’s something we’re all born with. So the next time you say, “There is no way Bob could do that task” go to Bob and ask him first. See how he feels. You may be very, very surprised with his answer.
6. You’re grumpy: Ever met a grumpy business owner before? Heck, I’ve seen so much negativity lately it’s no wonder the economy can’t seem to lift itself out of this funk. Business owners attract into their lives employees that are a reflection of who they are. So if you’re known as the guy or gal who has a constant cloud over your head, it might be time to bring back the sunshine 😉
7. You only hire “experienced” people: Wow, this is one mistake that took me many, many years to figure out. As new business owners, we often times have this silly belief that it’s imperative to find great and experienced people in our field. Let me tell you this is total bunk. As we’ve all heard, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, and unfortunately, most of the time this adage is true when it comes to hiring good people. So instead of looking for experienced people in your field, go after great people. If someone is willing to work hard and is teachable, those are really the only requirements you need in most cases to find exactly the person you’re looking for.
8. You keep saying there aren’t good people out there: Last but certainly not least, you’ve got to stop saying this, because it’s a lie. There are good people in this world. There are good people out there that can help your business right now. Expect to find them. Keep your eyes open. And most of all, stay positive about this process of finding help.
So there you have it folks, 8 reasons why business owners struggle to find great employees. I’m sure there are many I’ve missed here so I’d love to hear your thoughts. What are some other reasons why businesses struggle to find the right people? What have you done that’s worked? As always, your comments are invited and appreciated.