Why would a potential employee want to work for you rather than two dozen other opportunities? Can you answer that question quickly, with enthusiasm and conviction? Is your pitch compelling and inviting, with emotional and rational appeal? Is your offer competitive?
Your sales and marketing people present a value proposition to potential customers. Something that sets their offer apart from the competition and describes the value in your product or service. It’s a competitive world out there. Your competitors employ smart salespeople too and they want the same piece of business. But what about the competition for labor? Are you competing effectively through your human resource processes?
A client called last week and raised a question I haven’t heard lately: Should we offer substantial hiring bonuses for key talent? The talent we need is not easy to find, and other companies are clamoring for the same skills. If not bonuses, what can we do to be more competitive? The unemployment rate in Utah is 3.5 percent as of the end of December 2014. Salt Lake County is 3.3 percent. And there’s no sign it’s going to get any better right away. Even unskilled labor is now officially hard to find.
Our TalentTeam sellers, the folks who are responsible for growing our business, are required to practice and polish an elevator speech. It varies, depending upon the audience, but the principles are the same. We talk about highly effective employees, creating profit through better workgroups, risk management controls, modern labor outsource models, etc. Nobody is going to make a buying decision without knowing something about the product. The same principle applies to the competition for labor. Whether you are hiring a .net programmer or helping your staffing firm attract and retain the best production talent you are competing for a scarce resource. Candidates have options. Whether you know it or not you are competing. Are you winning? Are you giving candidates a good value proposition? Do you know what they want? Is your offering attractive? Do you deliver on the offer after the candidate is hired?
One of our customers has a favorite saying: Know the rules and play to win. These days it’s a competitive game. Are you playing to win?
BTW…the Utah Department of Workforce Services has a nice interactive chart providing a bunch of employment data. You can access it here.