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Having Trouble With Hiring?

Oct 11, 2022

Over the past year, in this Monday marketing column, I have laid out the sequence of the Client Journey. We Attract, Acquire, Appreciate, and Ascend our clients. And we keep an ever-vigilant eye out to retain clients that have become out of pattern or lost. These 4 A’s, along with the retention safety net, are the framework for all successful marketing.


This week, I am going to take a short break from marketing (kind of). I just got back home from a conference hosted by the WFI in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Growing top-line sales, the primary purpose of marketing, was given a lot of attention, and I spoke for almost an hour on the subject. But for the past two years, that is not the #1 pain point for most of our industry. Hiring and staffing is.


Hyperinflation, rising compensation, and a mindset of team members that they are more in control than ever..... has all created a climate where team members are less loyal and easier to lose than ever. When times are challenging, it is important that we don’t tuck our heads inside our shells like a turtle and go into hiding. Instead, we must understand the team member's journey, and I think the best way to do that is to compare it to the client's journey. Here are some tips for each part of the team member journey:


Attract – on your website, make it very clear on your homepage if you are hiring. Have a dedicated page for positions you have available, a job description, and clear instructions on how to fill out an application. Consider making a recruiting video that has you introduce the company’s value and mission and then have team members briefly explain why they love working there. Attach this video to all hiring efforts and help wanted ads.


Acquire – just as you would set the table if you have guests over for dinner, make sure to make the interview sounds more like a “get to know you” conversation where you can discover if there is a good, mutual fit. Ask questions and let them talk. Find out if they are dependable. Find out if they have a good attitude. Find out if they are presentable and can speak intelligently to clients. Offer a wage that is above average in the market, and explain how excited you are to have them on the team. Offer a tour with introductions to key team members. Consider having them take a personality assessment, like the DISC profile or the Gallup Strengths Finder. This will show them you are looking to pull out and maximize their strengths and greatest contributions.


Appreciate – Give the new team member a welcome gift. It could be a cool box with their uniforms, name tag, some snacks or candy, a logo Yeti-style cup with a lid (ideally with your company logo and their name on it), and a handwritten welcome note. Send each team member flowers on their birthday (we send a fruit bouquet to the guys). Give them an extra day off on the business anniversary month (plus we give them some spending money too so they can enjoy this extra day off). Keep a stack of nice linen “thank you notes” around so you can show appreciation for your team members that are working so hard.


Ascend – When possible, try to offer advancement opportunities to existing team members instead of hiring from outside of the company. Team members do not like to feel they have maximized their opportunities at their job. Then they begin to feel stuck. Keep growing the company, adding more service lines, adding more stores and routes, so there is ample opportunity for ascension for those team members hungry to learn more. Have fun as a team. Do a team-building event.


Retain – Finally, always have that safety net out, catching team members that begin to drift away from working hard, being dependable, and learning more at their job. They might be getting bored. They might be looking at other options. Just realize that your team member could drop out at any point in the team member joint. The key thing about this stage is always to be asking great questions as a leader, and take the time to listen. For most resignations, the writing is on the wall long before they quit. The more you ask, and the more you listen, the more tuned in you will be to improving the team member experience and retaining your best team members.


And there you have it. The team member journey looks a lot like the client journey. See what holes there are in your team member's journey. I truly believe every problem is a leadership problem. So if team members are not being regularly attracted and acquired, then look at some of the suggestions above. Take full responsibility for hiring and staffing. And if team members are not feeling appreciated or don’t have the opportunity to grow, focus on those parts of the journey. Hiring and maintaining a solid team is very challenging right now. But you can do it! 


Have a great week, my friend!


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