Want to attract the right talent? Be more transparent

Articulating what your organization is all about—and sharing it with prospective hires—will help you find people who fit

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Articulating what your organization is all about—and sharing it with prospective hires—will help you find people who fit

Often when we think about the future of work, we think 3D printing, remote and flexible workplaces, artificial intelligence—and worry that we may be evolved out of our jobs. After all, 50 per cent of jobs as we know them will disappear in the not-so-distant future.

Don’t believe me? Take a look here.

Automation and AI are real, but what we’re not considering is the human element of work, and how necessary a sense of connection and belonging are.

The problem is that we don’t talk about these differentiators enough. 

• The job description isn’t a job description; it’s a skills and requirements checklist.
• We advertise perks, not the unique work experience and culture.
• Our teams aren’t involved in the hiring process enough. (They’ll probably be spending  more time with a new hire than with their families, so everyone had better get along!)
• We’re reacting to culture instead of being intentional and proactive.
• Our stated experience—mission, vision and values—doesn’t match the realized experience of our employees.

So let me put forward this as something to consider: maybe the future of work isn’t just about technology; it’s about how we talk about work and integrate our people.

See, we like to think that the future of work is something that is just happening, whether we like it or not. In some cases (usually tech-related), that may be the case. But the way we attract and retain our talent, the stories we tell, and the organizations we create and thrive in are on our own terms, using our own rules. Forget comparing apples to oranges—credit unions to big banks or small accounting firms to the Big Four. Let’s stay true to the experience we want to build, and do it our way.

So often I hear that companies are trying to attract millennials, or females, or more people of colour, without understanding who these people are, what they value or if there’s any alignment with the company. The future of work isn’t about demographics. It’s about fit, belonging—the things we don’t act on nearly enough.

I invite you to be different. I invite you to challenge the status quo and shake things up a bit. I invite you to be transparent and not just talk about it.

Where to start?

• Use video in your application process to better articulate the role and work experience.
• Be transparent about the good, bad and ugly of the company’s culture.
• Use an existing employee as an example of what the position would look like.
• Get team members the new hire will be working with involved in the interview process.
• Assign a small project to potential hires to prove interest and capabilities.
• Hold a Design Thinking session to “hack” company best practices with existing staff to see how to improve the recruiting process and find fit with candidates.
• Create a day-in-the life overview for the candidate. Talk about inside and outside of work hours and the office.
• Discuss frequency of feedback, reporting, team dynamic, salary, hours, office layout, overtime expectations, and remote and flex working options.
• Do a culture tour early in the process—let the candidate see the office, meet some people and observe how they work.

If we collectively articulate and describe our organizations as truthfully and openly as possible, then the future of our workplaces is what we make them, and we can do better than attract people. We’ll attract the right people.

Eric Termuende is co-founder of NoW Innovations, best-selling author of Rethink Work: Finding and Keeping the Right Talent, and an international speaker on workplace culture and generational dynamics at work. You can reach him at eric@nowofwork.xyz.