hidden gem

Do Your Amazing Work Opportunities Remain Hidden?

Have you created a great place to work?

Has your management created a culture that your people love?

Is your turnover low because people are thriving in your environment?

If so... You probably wonder, "why is it so hard to convince new people to apply for our jobs?" And... "why do those that apply sometimes ghost us before they even get to the interview phase?"

Look, you're not alone.

You're most likely what I call a hidden gem.

If you are... I have good news! There are some easy ways to solve your sourcing problems.

What's a hidden gem?

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Have you ever found a hidden gem restaurant... great food, awesome service, friendly staff, and it feels like you belong there? It's kind of like Cheers from the 80's TV show... and you wonder why more people aren't eating here.

They're the kind of place where if they go out of business you're left with a hole in your heart knowing you'll no longer get to experience their food, place, and/or environment... whatever it was that you loved about that place so much... And you sit wondering how if you loved it so much, that not enough people loved it enough to keep it in business.

Hidden gem restaurants normally struggle from one core issue...

They're great at creating a product and environment... but terrible at getting the word out about it.

They usually rely on organic customer referrals and believe that delivering a great experience will be enough to survive. Sometimes they do, but many times they remain hidden and fail.

When hidden gems fail, it's normally 1 of 2 core parts of marketing...

  1. Not doing enough to get their marketing message out there... spending money and getting their message out in the wrong places.
  2. The message is all wrong. It isn't landing with their target customer. They don't actually understand why certain people love their restaurant or how to explain that to the world.

What do hidden gems have to do with hiring? Everything.

HR has worked tirelessly to help managements create good cultures. Depending on your industry and team, you might have a focus on inclusion, performance, or growth, etc.

This effort is usually focused on 3 main objectives...

company performance,

retention of employees,

the attraction of new hires.

I keep seeing this funny thing happening as employers around the US work to bring the economy back. Even the employers who are great places to work are struggling to find applicants.

This hidden group of employers is not the...

biggest employers in town

big names that everybody knows about

terrible employers in town...

The hidden employer is right in the middle.

They're big enough to have created great environments and great places to work, yet small enough to not really be known about in their industry or in their local area... the word just hasn't spread around enough.

And it didn't make any sense to me why this group was stuck hidden until this week.

I conducted 3 different calls with 3 different HR teams reviewing their sourcing struggles. Each place I talked to had worked to do the right things.

They were creating good work environments and came up with a differentiator to set them apart. But... they were still hidden and struggled to find people that work for them. Their turnover was even lower compared to everybody else in the industry... proving they were a great place to work. They weren't getting enough people to know about it.

Then it hit me. They were all hidden gems.

It wasn't that they weren't out marketing their jobs. In fact, some were the most aggressive of any I'd seen when it came to posting job ads. They were literally posting each of their jobs to over 100 places to get them out in front of job seekers.

They had all made one of the most common mistakes... they have hidden or buried the lead.

What does it mean to bury the lead?

This means that the most important, salacious, and engaging part of the whole story is hidden deep down inside of a bunch of other mundane details. Details that nobody cares about. It's not highlighted at the top and it doesn't show upfront and center so...

People don't recognize the most important part of the entire story.

While spreading the message far and wide about hiring, these employers weren't spreading a reason to want their jobs. They left that hidden.

I know, here we go again with another rant on writing better job ads. But I'm going to keep talking about this. Because if you are a hidden gem employer, it is the fastest, the cheapest, and the only way to solve your sourcing issues on the job boards.

Take a moment and ask yourself these questions...

  • Are we a great place to work?
  • Do people like working for us?
  • Is our turnover lower than the rest of our industry?

If you're not a great place to work and your turnover is higher than the rest of the industry, then that's your problem... go solve it.

  • Have we created a unique environment that people love?
  • Do we offer something that our competitors don't that keeps our employees happy?
  • Is it our management style, values, work structure, work location, benefits, and/or perks, PTO?
  • Is it part-time instead of full-time?

  • Did you create something that is unique that your other competitors simply don't have?

If you answered no, go solve it. You need to have something that makes you different from everybody else.

If you answered yes to 1 and 2, then nail the message of how to describe this. Ask yourself these questions...

  • How would one of our employees describe our unique perk (whatever it is) to their friends and family?
  • How would they describe what makes us different to people they know have never experienced working for us?

Now, put it into action!

Ask yourself... If somebody read our job ads on the job boards, would they actually walk away knowing why people love working for us?

99% of employers that answer honestly would say no. It should be... and usually is the "aha moment" for most people in HR.

Random job seekers who...

  • have never run into one of your employees
  • never had the experience of being your employee
  • have no idea what makes you a great place to work

They don't know what happens inside your walls. They don't realize all the effort, time, work, and dedication you put into creating an amazing culture and environment.

And the fact is... it's your own fault.

Your job ad isn't even trying to explain to the world that you are an amazing place to work.

Your job ad is a job description.

It talks about the duties, qualifications, and responsibilities... and sounds like a lawyer wrote it.

Job seekers don't normally apply to job ads like this, but when they do... they don't have a reason to remember you and be excited when you follow back up later to schedule an interview.

You are just another employer who sounds like all the other employers.

The goal of...

  • culture development
  • benefit and perk development
  • employee development
  • management development

is to create a great place to work.

To sum it up...

Create a unique and compelling place to work. If your unique and compelling opportunity to work is then described with a dry and boring legal job description... This right here is the reason why you remain a hidden gem.

It's not because...

  • Indeed is holding your job ads back
  • the economy is wherever it's at
  • the government is paying people not to work

It's because...

  • you're not trying to express to job seekers why they should want to work for you.

It's time to make a change.

Take a minute today to talk to one of your employees ask...

Why do you like doing this job for our company, versus what you did before?

Write their answer down and post it in the first paragraph of your job ad. I think you'll be surprised by the results. You might not see a massive increase in applicant flow right away but I bet that you'll see a difference in...

the type of people who apply

what they have to say when they walk in the door to see you

Then amplify this by throwing out the entire original job ad! Move the job description to a link instead of within the ad. Write a new job ad that's completely focused on this one core thing:

How do we tell the world why working for us is different and better than other places?

Don't stay hidden any longer.

If you'd like some help solving your job challenges, I'm here... just shoot me a reply.

We can set up a time to unpack what's causing you to remain hidden and what you've tried. I'll give you some ideas of things you could do to improve yourself and your result.

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