The Causey Consulting Podcast

Employers Who Drop the Ball

April 07, 2022 Sara Causey Episode 121
The Causey Consulting Podcast
Employers Who Drop the Ball
Show Notes Transcript

No one wants to work anymore.
We run ad after ad but get no applicants.
These younger generations have no work ethic.

If your hiring managers are wallowing in self-pity and making these excuses, they are cutting their own throats.

Key topics:

✔️ I recently had a conversation with a person who shared with me that, after applying at many different retail stores, only one actually called her. But yet, I bet the hiring managers at the companies that ghosted her whine and moan that they can't find anybody.
✔️ How often do you check your own ATS or the ads you have posted? Do you really, truly have no applicants at all or are you being so insanely picky that no one meets your criteria?
✔️ What is your hiring process like? Does it take five different interviews over two months to get a verbal offer? Do you require some ghastly one-way video interview or force the applicants to take an unpaid skills assessment first? Don't be afraid to question your sacred cows.

Links I discuss in this episode:

Need more? Email me:

Welcome to the Causey Consulting Podcast. You can find us online anytime at And now, here's your host, Sara Causey. Hello, Hello, and thanks for tuning in. In today's episode, I want to talk about employers who drop the ball. And I will apologize in advance because spring has sprung. Весна пришла. And boy do my allergies know that it has. Even though the grass is only just now really getting green and starting to grow. There's a handful of trees that have started to bloom, maybe a few flowers here and there. It's like my springtime, seasonal allergies have gone from zero to 60. The irony is that I actually kept some seasonal allergies going this year all through the winter. Even though here in the Midwest, we actually had a winter, we had some ice we had some snow we had below freezing temperatures, many times you would think a lot of the pollutants and pollen and allergens and things would have been killed off or dormant at the very least. But now my allergies have decided to go into overdrive. So I am sipping a mug of hot tea. And I do have a throat lozenge in. So if you hear that clinking around, and it makes a less than wonderful sound that I can't get rid of and post production. It is what it is. A couple of weeks back, I was at the feed store picking up a few things, and the cashier seem to be pretty friendly and chatty and extroverted. And even though normally, as an introvert, I'm like whoa, boy, Chatty Cathy, here we go. I just think sometimes in life, there are particular conversations that are meant to happen, certain things that you're meant to hear and times in life truly where you are in the right place at the right time to gain valuable insight. And we got on the topic of the great resignation. And I was very intrigued, although not surprised by her response. She told me, I have work history in retail and I apply all over town. I can only work daytime hours because of the schedule that my kids have. And this place was the only place that even bothered to call me back, let alone bring me in for an interview. No one else even responded to my applications at all. So I came here. I'm happy here but it was sort of like this was the victor by default. And I thought Yeah, I can't say that I'm completely surprised by that. It's certainly disheartening because you have so many employers crying that there's a labor shortage and be moaning the fact that nobody wants to work anymore. People want something for nothing. Everybody wants to finish high school or finish college and immediately become an overnight millionaire bla bla bla wah, wah. And it's like, okay, but is that really the truth? And it also made me think back to the story of a man in Florida, and there are many Florida stories, but this one was about a man in Florida who applied to 60 jobs, and only received one interview. According to the applicant, he said that 16 employers actually bothered to respond for had a preliminary telephone call with him, and only one had an actual job interview. So is it really that like entire generations of people don't want to work? Are people really still sitting at home trying to live off of like a $1,200 $600 stimulus check from sometime last year? Did they all become Bitcoin millionaires? Did they all decide to leave society and live off the grid and an RV somewhere? No, that's not the case. At the risk of sounding like a contrary curmudgeon, which I'm self aware enough to admit that sometimes I am. Oftentimes, if not all the time, when I encounter employers that are having significant hiring problems, those problems traced back to root causes of their own making. It's going to pause for a second because I can feel the knives coming out I can feel the angry stairs. Those of you listening to this and HR talent acquisition are probably crossing your arms going Oh, well. No, there's more to the story. Yeah, I'm sure there is. But speaking from my experience as a Smee out in the marketplace every single day, seeing what is happening in real time on both sides of the fence with candidates and with Hiring managers and employers, there are things that are happening, where employers are cutting their own throats, they are becoming the author of their own misery. For example, having applicants who are putting a hand up in the air saying, hey, I want to work in your retail store, I can only do daytime hours because of my children's schedule that's important to me. Can I at least have a phone call back? Nope. But then saying nobody wants to work. I mean, really, I understand that this is not a popular thing for someone to say. But I'm trying to be as honest and transparent as I can be. Rather than blaming everything on candidates or, or broad, sweeping statements, like entire generations of people no longer want to work or no longer have any kind of work ethic at all, or that people are living at home in grandma's basement off of you know, maybe $1,800 worth of stimulus money that they got a year or two ago. I mean, that's absurd. Even if you just barely pull on the thread of that argument, the whole tapestry falls apart. So some part of you has to know that that's not what's going on with your hiring funnel. In other words, it's not because people are sitting at home in grandma's basement that your hiring funnel is completely empty. I mean, let's be real. At the beginning of March, I wrote a blog post called J. O B. And it references an article that appeared on LinkedIn around the same time titled sometimes a job is just a job. And I think that people not only have younger generations, like the millennials, and the Gen Z years are coming to this conclusion that work should not be the breadth and depth of their entire life. But those of us in Gen X, as well as some of the baby boomers that are still out in the workforce. I think the pandemic has really caused everyone to take a contemplative step back and say, Do I want to sell my soul to accompany? Do I really want to trade the prime years of my life working for people who don't give a damn about me? Or who treat me like I'm a second class citizen? Um, no, that's not a trade that I'm willing to make anymore. In this age of inflation, if not hyper inflation, where it seems like every time you go to a store, whether you're buying just basic comestibles and staple items, you're paying more and more each week, or basic clothing items, things like socks and underwear, I mean, just to go to any kind of discount store and buy a package of socks. It's absurd how much the socks cost? I mean, seriously. So you're going in a store and week upon week, you may be paying more than you did just the week before for your basics. People are being more honest about how money is a motivating factor. Yes, it's great to have a warm, welcoming culture, to have managers who are decent human beings. But if you can't afford to pay your bills, or if they're trying to sell you on perks, like pizza parties and the jelly of the Month Club, that's not going to be of much use to you, especially in the time of hyperinflation. You don't want to run the risk of getting evicted or foreclosed upon or having the car repossessed or not being able to put expensive gasoline into that vehicle to get around. But jelly of the month club I mean, seriously, I feel like that couldn't be the alternate title of this podcast episode things like I mean, really, I mean, seriously, it just, it boggles my mind sometimes. How many steps back from reality corporate America can be at any given time. And then that same blog post I also wrote, a vast majority of the time when I encounter companies that are having hiring difficulties, those difficulties are of their own making. Point blank. And it's true. And it could be we want 15 Tony Stark's genius billionaire, playboy philanthropist, graduated MIT at the Teen built his first robot when he was only five insane high IQ now needs to live within a 10 mile radius of nowheresville, because we want everybody to come on back to the office and sit in the digital pan Opticon all day, or it might be well now we know that the market average for this is 85,000. But we think our culture is so great that someone should take 65k just for the pleasure of working for our company. Yeah, and as I wrote in the post, it would be comical if it wasn't so sad, a tragicomedy if you will. So if you're listening to this as a hiring manager, and you're thinking okay, I'm open minded enough to hear you out on this one What can I do to make the situation better? What can I do to not fall behind? I'm glad that you asked, rhetorically, at least one thing is you want to actually pay attention to your own applicant tracking system. And if you don't have a good ATS, you need to consider investing in one. Whether these individuals are coming in through indeed or LinkedIn, you want to actually look at your applicant pool. Yes, I understand I I'm not some Pollyanna idealist. I know that anytime you post a job, you will have applicants who throw their name in the hat anyway, even though they know they're not qualified, they don't meet the minimum requirements, they may have absolutely no experience that's relevant at all. They may not be compatible with the pay range that you've posted, but they're hoping that they can talk you up on the salary, I get it. And I know that we don't live in a perfect world. And I'm not saying that every mistake that ever gets made is automatically on the fault of a company or a hiring manager, not at all. So believe me, I know that sometimes it can feel like you are looking through a plethora of information to try to find a needle in a haystack. But that doesn't absolve you from having to do it, you still have to go through your pool of applicants to see if anybody is a good match. As with the story about the lady at the feed store, it's crazy to me that she applied to so many retail locations hiring and only got one call back. And she took that job out of default. I mean, the company I think that she's working for is a good one. I've always had good experiences when I've been in there as a customer and the employees generally seem to be happy and to have good morale. And I suppose that's not surprising. When you think about it. from an HR perspective, the people seem to be happy, everyone seems to stay once they get in there. They were the only company that called her hmm, are we sensing a connection. So you don't want to blame everybody else in the world for your problems and being able to hire talent or attract talent in especially if you're not even checking your own applicant tracking system, you might have an awesome candidate pool and you're not even realizing it because you're not bothering to check your own information. To me, that's just the height of laziness don't do that. The second thing is you need to check and double check and triple check your requirements. Are they realistic? Are you trying to pay somebody $12 an hour for a job with a fair market value of 18. And then you're acting butthurt when nobody wants to take that job for $6 An hour less than what it would really make sense to pay? Or are you trying to find an 85k person for 65, just because you think they ought to be quote, bought into your mission, or they need to swear some kind of loyalty to you, as though they are a peon or a surf and you're the feudal lord, you need to get real about things like that. Also, if you're pushing everyone to come on back to the office, even though they've been working remotely, successfully for two years, then you are the author of your own misery and your own difficulties. Also, back in March, I published a blog post called Return to office and employers who don't care. And in that post, I took a snippet of Chris heards viral tweet, which says every time a competitor mentions return to office, our recruiters reach out to their people. We've hired 15 less of their engineers in the last two months, so easy. You're really making yourself a target for companies that understand the landscape of work and the location of work for Office professionals has totally changed. Most people who have been working remotely through the pandemic do not want to go back to the office. Nor do they want some kind of insane Oh, hybrid schedule where like, this week, I'm home. But then next week, I have to go back and be button See, and we're gonna have to figure out what to do for childcare for that week. And can your mom watch them? I don't know. Are we going to have to try to find a daycare that's open. They don't want to go through all that crap. The Emperor has already been seen as naked. We can't all go back to pretending that he has clothes on Hello. So if you are pushing people to come on back to the office, or you're limiting your options by saying okay, I want Tony Stark, genius playboy billionaire philanthropist and he needs to live within a 15 mile radius, like the odds of you finding that person within this narrow radius and then finding someone within the narrow radius who wants to sit in the digital pan Opticon with you all day are slim to none. If nobody else out there and HR says and recruiting is willing to just pull the curtain back and be super transparent with you about these things. If they're all just shining you on and smiling in an effort to get your business and they're not being real with you, my hands will go up in the air and I will be real with you. People are not responding to stuff like that. No, they don't want to return to the office. And they don't want to work for a subpar wage just for the, quote, pleasure of working within your company. So don't be the kind of employer that drops the ball on awesome applicants and don't be the kind of employer that cuts their own throat and then wants to point a finger of blame at everyone else. We hope you enjoyed today's episode. If you haven't already, please take a quick second to subscribe to this podcast and share it with your friends. Thanks for tuning in. We'll see you next time.