Casting a Vision for the FutureMay 17, 2023
Even when we’re extremely proactive in our leadership roles about being engaged with our teams, there’s more we can do to develop a strong recruiting pipeline! Being directly involved in the recruiting process certainly helps, as does having a consistent presence with on our teams, but I’ve never been an advocate of getting in a bidding war just to reel a candidate in and it’s inevitable that some other organization will - sooner or later - throw some crazy money at the someone we’re talking with about joining our team. So if making endless counter offers isn’t our play, how can we attract the best candidates?
In all those years I worked in manufacturing, our company was consistently offered one of the best starting pay ranges and some of the best benefits in the area, and none of the ones that offered high wages hired straight off the street at the time. The other few that paid more typically offered temporary positions to start, then a shot at a full time role later on. While the lack of leadership engagement did indeed impact our recruiting process over the last few years I was there, the dollar signs alone still attracted some attention from the younger crowd who were typically just getting started in their careers.
When I left that large manufacturing facility and started recruiting for smaller, locally-owned businesses, many of the entry level roles were geared at the same candidate pool but offered several dollars less on the hour to start but could pay substantially more in just a few years once the individual developed experience in the specific trade. If I would have attempted to compete with the factory positions on starting pay alone, I would have been left holding an empty sack! What I was able to do quite effectively was paint a very clear picture for the options a solid candidate had for growth moving forward, as well as the tools we had in place to help them take advantage of those options.
If a candidate was just fishing for the most they could make each week right away, that approach didn’t typically reel them in. But if the primary thing they were looking for was money, it wouldn’t have been long until someone else flashed something shinier in front of them to pull them away. By painting a solid picture for what they could achieve over time, outlining specific career pathways and potential succession plans within the organization, I was able to bring some great people into each of the companies I supported during that time!
My role for each of those organizations was to help attract great folks who had potential to become excellent team members. Casting a vision for their future as part of those organizations played a key role in developing and capitalizing on a strong recruiting pipeline. That said, we all know that talk can be cheap! Without actions backing the message I was sharing, casting a vision would have only worked for a short time so next time we’ll tie this all together with one critical step that has to be in place for anything we’ve looked at to address this profitability killer to yield long term results!