30th September 2020

Why is it so difficult to hire the right people?

A while ago we surveyed our contacts and asked them what their biggest business challenge was. Overwhelmingly the answers related to people in their business. How to hire and retain great talent were at the top of the list.

One of the reasons for this is that we are now in a knowledge worker economy. This means that we are often recruiting people who are, necessarily, more expert than we are. Business is changing and the days when the boss is the boss because she knows more than everyone else and is a better operator than everyone else are much rarer now. Businesses are typically more complex than that and jobs are more specialised.

We cannot lead subject matter experts in the same way that we might try to lead manual workers. Daniel Pink’s book “Drive” explores this subject. Nor can we recruit, interview and hire knowledge workers using the same tools and techniques that we used when we were hiring interchangeable labour. There is too much at stake and it doesn’t work. It probably never did but maybe it didn’t matter as much.

Yet so many businesses have no hiring systems and little  understanding of what they are looking for. It is no wonder that we make such a mess of it and it causes so much stress.

This challenge wont get any easier. The problem isnt that there isn’t any talent out there. The problem is that we don’t know how to a) attract it, and b) spot it when we go looking for it.

Doing good by doing well. If you would like some help or just someone to talk to please reach out. Coming out of lockdown will be far more challenging than going in was. I know I can help and I am committed to do so.

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