And the Hourly Shall Inherit the Earth…

Volume recruiting. The bane of the recruiting experience. I don’t care how good you are as a recruiting professional, until you’ve put on the flame suit and sat in a volume recruiting chair, you’ll never be able to fully appreciate the job – OR the people who successfully DO the job.

     Time to Recognize

Like your mailbox, you can clear it out every day, but it’s going to be full again tomorrow. The only difference is that candidate submissions don’t take holidays. You want to see a stressed out recruiter, talk to them after a week of PTO – like a phantom limb, they can still feel the sensation of applications building up in their absence.

The reason for the volume is, of course, the nature of the positions for which they recruit. Non-exempt positions are more transactional, have lesser requirements in education and experience, and (surprise!) pay less than exempt level roles. They also make up the brunt of the workforce, handle a ton of the customer experience, and like it or not – they can make or break you. Bill Carroll, CEO of HOOPS HR, put it in pretty basic terms; “As we work with companies on their hiring processes,it always amazes me to see how incumbent a company’s success is based on their hourly workforce.”

I look at our own business model with Dental One ~ any patient walking into a practice is going to be greeted by either a Patient Relations Coordinator or Dental Assistant, both of which are non-exempt positions. The most brilliant dentist in the world will have an impossible job if that interaction goes poorly. We all realize this same dynamic in our daily lives – your impression of a restaurant can be sunk if the waiter is non-attentive or rude. Your interaction with a Customer Service agent defines your experience with your bank, your insurance provider, your car dealership – these are the people who become the face of your company.

The question is, do you have that thought in mind when you are recruiting non-exempt workers? Or, are you putting butts in seats? John Briggs, President of CatalystOne“You can’t make the mistake of lowering expectations when recruiting non-exempt candidates. A good fit is still a good fit, and it benefits both the employee and company.” So as much as you can’t hire stiffs, you can’t depend on stiffs to do the work. You need to keep the standards just as high with the people you hire to recruit non-exempt employees. That’s just the ticket for admission – without a highly skilled crew able to operate with their hair on fire, you’re wasting your time.

When it comes to your volume recruiting team, the best metaphor I can come up with is a pit crew…the skills are the same as those used in a garage setting, but on race day they need to do it in 12 seconds or less. If the timing is off or the work is not up to standards, you lose the race. Your ability to do it faster and better than your competitors is what piles up the trophies.

The second part of the equation, if you’re lucky enough (like me) to have an all-star team of individuals is to have tools that are equal to the task. Our collaboration with Hoops, for example, gives me the technology that matches the quality of my team. So basically, we’re ready to take over the world.

For others, you may want a little more help on the subject, and do I have the right nut for you – on April 27th, Tim Sackett is hosting a Webinar, “The Forgotten Majority: 7 Ways to Trump Up Your Hourly Hiring.” And if you register now you get 10% more Sackett-isms, including:

–7 things you can start doing to increase and simplify hourly hiring in your organization 

–3 ways top organizations are leveraging technology to do massive (over 1,000 hires per year) hourly hiring 

–Pitfalls most organizations fall into when hiring hourly workers, and what you can do to make sure you don’t go down this path 

As the great British General Douglas Haig once said:

Once the mass of the infantry become possessed of low morale, the battle is as good as lost.

Counter-Offers & Boomerangs

Nothing quite like a marriage metaphor, right? You’ve heard these stories (or perhaps you’ve lived this story) – after years of asking, pleading, and begging (to a man’s ears = “nagging”) the husband to change his ways to no avail, a woman flips the switch and phhhhhht. She’s gone. Said husband, now realizing that she may in fact be serious this time, desperately promises the Sun and Moon for the opportunity to try again. Because, as you know, this time will be different. Stupid boys. (Editor’s Note: my wife has claimed “Stupid Boys” as the title to one of her upcoming books.)

How does that generally work out? Would you say “strong to “quite strong?” My guess is this only serves to delay the inevitable. The man is who he is, and soon enough he will revert to his normal state, fast-forward three months and we go through the same drama again, without having made progress in the least.

The husband is obviously the company in this case, the wife with the boot is the employee. The employee has been telling you, in some form or fashion, what you need to do if the relationship will continue successfully. Then one day, when you can afford it least, you have a resignation letter in your hand. If it’s someone you value, the knee-jerk reaction is to buy time to develop a counter-offer. But a counter-offer is the equivalent of putting air in a tire with a leak. You might get an employee to stay, but usually, for the same flawed logic as a spouse hanging onto a miserable marriage:

  • Other relationships (kids, in-laws, Bob in Accounting) will be impacted as well; we’re not prepared to deal with that kind of drama, so we stay. It’s just easier.
  • It’s still a risk. The thought of being wrong is too scary for some people. Better to be married/employed than to die alone on the streets, right? Sad to say, but many companies use fear of the unknown as their most effective retention tool. As long as no one is leaving, why change?
  • A fundamental belief in loyalty without reservation. There are still people who are of the opinion that “leaving” is NOT an option. GenX changed a lot of that mindset after seeing the curtain pulled back on the dealings of corporate America, and the Millennials have taken the torch even farther – if you want “loyalty,” buy a dog. Yet there remains a percentage of people who still believe in “until death do us part.”
  • The sad truth? Even if they accept a counteroffer, 50% of these people will leave within the next 24 months anyway. When you make that leap in your mind, it doesn’t just go away….it festers.

And that’s why you shake their hand and wish them well. Physically “present” vs. engaged is a gap in commitment.

So, what brought this topic to mind is a friend’s recent separation from his wife. Now that she has left, he desperately wants to change all those things that he had ignored, lo those many years. That’s a fool’s game, don’t you agree? But counter-offers are rarely a successful play. You’re delaying the inevitable, you’re setting a dangerous precedent with other employees who may take note, and you’re still not focusing on the fundamental reason they left. Fix yourself (or don’t, and live with the results) before throwing money at a losing proposition.

If you love them, let them go – “boomerang” employees come back after realizing the grass may not be greener after all. Most importantly, they return on their own volition, not because you troll their LinkedIn page. Almost half of companies surveyed agree they would consider taking back a former employee, and 15% of the employees admitted they actually did return to the old stamping grounds. Those aren’t huge numbers, but that 15% is an incredibly engaged group of people.

Don’t miss the opportunity – learn how to stop the next employee (or wife) from leaving; the time for courting is over when they are walking towards the door.

On May 23, 2016 John Whitaker joined the DentalOne Partners team as Vice President, Talent Acquisition, based out of the Dallas Corporate Headquarters.   John is responsible for leading the Talent Acquisition & Recruiting strategies and initiatives enterprise-wide.