How to Fix Your Applicant Shortage Problem in No Time
Are you hoping someone or something solves your applicant shortage problem?
Most employers are waiting for the government or changes in the economy to solve their applicant shortage...
Both of these are big outside forces.These employers are giving their power away!
I was reading an article from one of the biggest news outlets in Utah about the unemployment benefits ending. The big tagline of this article was...
- "Companies are hoping for a wave of applicants as the unemployment benefits expire."
They're waiting, instead of acting.
Now, don't get offended, especially if you're one of those employers hoping...
But I want to unpack why this is a problem...
and I mean this with all the love in my heart.
There was this one quote that triggered me...
- "We've tried everything. We've tried wage adjustments. We've tried bussing people from remote locations... we are out of initiatives. I'm hoping that the reduction in unemployment insurance has a material impact on workforce availability."
This is a powerful takeaway...
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for life, business, career... Essentially, he said they have given up their ability and power as an employer to do anything else to solve this problem. They believe it's futile.
He believes the only way to solve a lack of workforce applicants is to wait for the government to fix it, or for the economy to change.
It's all a bit comical and ironic...maybe even hypocritical...
I hear employers complain about the lazy unemployed people. These employers believe the unemployed aren't taking initiative to solve their unemployment problems. They are instead relying on government payouts. Yet, these same employers are taking the same approach. They are not taking personal initiative to solve their shortage of qualified applicants.
Instead, these employers wait for either the government to end unemployment benefits or for the economy to change.
We, as humans, do this all the time!
When we run into a problem, we immediately look for excuses or reasons why we don't have the power to solve it.
The problem is... when we hope for a hero to come in and fix it, we immediately give up our power to solve the problem.
Now look, being the always curious person that I am, and clearly not a journalist, I took and did what I bet almost no one reading this article has done. I asked myself this one question...
What have these companies done, if anything, to solve the applicant shortage on their own?
When they say that they've tried "everything". What do they actually mean by that?
Trust me... we as humans have never tried everything. There is always something else we could try.
- It might be extreme.
- It might not have the potential for ROI.
- It might seem totally batsh*t crazy!
- It might be something that has no social proof for ever being done before.
- Maybe it's been done, but has never worked before.
- And I guarantee, it's not something your competitors are doing.
The truth is... if you're an employer who's struggling with applicant flow, you have not tried everything.
The article claims they've tried wage adjustments... But what does that mean?
- Did they double the pay?
- Did they triple the pay?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that makes financial sense. But if they haven't, then they haven't tried everything.
I can promise you, there are a million ways to further drive applicant flow.
Since the beginning of 2021, I've grown my company from 140 employees to over 220. We have experienced over 40% growth in just 8 short months.
Now I'm not funded. I'm not the best place to work. I don't have the largest budget, the biggest team, the most amount of money... and we too have struggled with applicant flow.
We have tried things that we haven't tried before...
At one point I thought we had even tried EVERYTHING. But in reality, we hadn't even come close.
Here's the deal, if the companies were interviewed and quoted by this well-known news outlet, I'm going to assume that these employers were vetted as...
- Great places to work,
- With pay above market rate,
- Whose employees are overall happy with their workplace/managers,
- And, whose team had done their fair share of "everything" to try to solve this problem.
Because if they weren't... the assumptions made in the article and the premise of the questions asked here would clearly be bogus.
I believe the number one thing that this employer has not tried is to...
Change their mental paradigm about
- what they're doing,
- why they're doing it,
- and what works and what doesn't work.
So here's what I did...
I went and dug into this company and audited their current hiring process as an applicant. I audited every part of their physical process that's visible to the public.
Let's take and unpack Mobex Global in Michigan...
First of all, shout out to you guys. If by chance you're reading this, then think of this as a huge amount of free value. I'm giving it to you while the rest of the world learns alongside you.
Mobex has tried everything, right?
1. Have they defined their target? By reading their ad, I can't tell exactly what potential applicants they're targeting.
2. Is their job ad a job description? Their ad has a whole bunch of bullet points in it making it no longer an ad, but a description.
3. Where do they stand in the marketplace? For the position they're currently marketing, last I saw they were offering $17.75 an hour. When I look at indeed, the average pay for this position is $20.50. The average is 20% higher than what they're offering. To me, this tells applicants that they are not the best place to work for this type of job, they aren't the average place to work... they're below average.
In fact, they have a 2.8 to 2.6 review star rating, and only 14 people leave reviews on indeed out of 1000+ employees.
4. Are they getting the job ad to multiple sources? I can only find their job ad on Indeed, and it is not sponsored. If I go to their website's careers page to see what jobs are available, the site's broken. I can't apply! This also means if they are sourcing employee referrals, those directed back to their careers page can't apply either.
5. Are they quick at reaching back out to applicants? One of the reviews I read was that after someone applied, it took three weeks to get an interview!
Bottom line, I'm not bagging on this employer. If I'm being honest, the majority of employers are exactly like this. I see it time and time again where people think they've done everything. I've seen too many employers give up and say they're "waiting for the economy to change".
The number one change that needs to happen to solve this problem is a change of paradigm.
You have to understand the process from the job seekers perspective.
You can get qualified candidates through your door. You have to commit to finding the bottleneck in your sourcing/hiring process in order to stand out against your competitors.
Your applicant flow problem isn't going to be solved by just doing one thing, you're going to have to be persistent. Until you succeed at solving the problem, you'll have to keep adjusting and trying new things.
It took Thomas Edison 1000 unsuccessful tries to make the light bulb. His answer wasn't "I've tried everything. It's impossible." His answer was, "well, that one won't be the solution. I guess I'll go try something else."
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Take the reins! It took Thomas Edison 1000 unsuccessful tries to make the light bulb. You have the power to solve your applicant shortage. Don't give up.
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