By Mary Ann Faremouth, CPC
It’s interesting how a popular 1980’s anti-love song by Tina Turner has an entirely different meaning when we apply it to the New Work World. As a recruiter for over three decades, I can testify to the fact that the people I have placed who have a love or passion for a particular job have a completely different employment experience that those who don’t. They function more effectively and feel more supported by their company leaders, and they usually end up staying with a company for many years. They even send me their friends and family as referrals and have reported back that they still enjoy getting up every morning and going into work because they still feel in alignment with that initial passion, and they still love their job.
As the great resignation is continuing to affect every aspect of business and productivity with record numbers of people quitting their jobs, many sectors of the job market are struggling to fill vacancies. Our seasoned leaders, in almost every type of organization, are scratching their heads wondering how they can attract the best talent, and even more importantly once they do, what will they have to do to retain them?
An interesting quote I saw recently on social media by the famous visionary thinker/author/inspirational speaker about the workplace, Simon Sinek, just might have shades of wisdom for all of us to consider when he said: “Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.”
In other words, Love has EVERYTHING to do with it when we are seeking to fill jobs in the New Work World. If you are doing work that you love, then work need not be a stressor but can instead be a source of great fulfillment, energy, and resilience. As Marcus Buckingham, Head of People and Performance Research at ADPRI states: “To attract and retain the best people, we must redesign jobs around a simple but powerful concept: love for the content of the work itself.”
So, let’s look at a few ways employers can attract the right talent and how employees can get into alignment with their interests and passions to make it a win-win for all in the New Work World.
1. Keep the Human Element Front and Center
In the work environment we are not “human doings” we are “human beings.” We all understand for a company to flourish and grow we need to have workers that do what is necessary to affect the bottom line. But if our workplace is an environment defined solely by goals, achievements, long hours, and employee shortages then we are not developing strategies to make those employees feel supported, appreciated, and understood. If that is the case, then do we really have a work environment that will attract the very best talent? What if Management arranged off-site functions every quarter, such as dinners, sporting events or family outings to contribute to the morale and camaraderie of the employees? If supervisors spent time getting to know more about employees’ hobbies, interests and families would it help those employees feel a stronger connection to their workplace?
I remember one of my long-tenured placements had a son who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. The young man missed being on his baseball team because of his illness, so the company and their employees all got together to chip in a few dollars each to get the young man a gift card to his favorite sporting shop. The employee was so appreciative that his co-workers had all gotten together to offer his son such a generous gift and he is still with that company many years later. He told his friends about that simple gesture, and as a result many of them wanted to work for a company that demonstrated such support of employees and their families.
2. Become Less Standardized in Recruiting Practices
Cookie-cutter recruiting models can do more harm than good these days. Demanding that all candidates have an exact academic degree and an exact number of years of experience in a particular industry, and only using a key-word searches in the screening practices can all keep you from finding your very best employees in the New Work World.
One of the established companies that I worked with for over fifteen years maintained a requirement that they would only hire sales candidates who were degreed from a four-year brick and mortar college. So, when I submitted a stellar candidate who didn’t have a four-year degree for consideration to hiring authority at the company he immediately sent me an email telling me that the candidate did not meet the degree requirement on the job description. I politely told the HR representative that I understood that, but this candidate had the highest sales in the department in a down market and had to take some time off from pursuing a degree because of an ill parent. The candidate did eventually get a job with that company’s competitor, finished his degree, and has a reputation in the industry for being a top sales rep. The company where he landed is attracting amazing talent because they were not as rigid and were not as standardized in their recruiting practices.
3. Develop a We Mentality
In any relationship whether it’s platonic, love or work related being mindful of others needs is always a healthy strategy to implement. Specifically in the New Work World, conducting work in teams and having co-workers realize their efforts collectively, not singularly, is a wise policy. The English poet, John Donne, writing in the 17th century, famously wrote that “no man is an island” comparing people to countries, and implying the interconnectedness of all people. Talking with my clients and candidates I know that those work environments that have more of a “We” mentality than a “Me” mentality are the ones that attract the best talent. This all starts with upper management’s determined efforts to formulate more of a team orientation in the company. The results I have seen for companies that do this are astounding.
In the New Work World, those organizations that redesign work with love as the foundation, will be able to make more of an impact in the lives of their workers and over time will be able to attract the very best people and retain them as well.
Mary Ann Faremouth
Mary Ann holds a CPC (Certified Personnel Consultant) credential, was certified by the Board of Regents of the National Association of Personnel Consultants in Washington, D.C., and was awarded an Advanced Communicator Bronze, Advanced Leader Bronze Awards by Toastmasters. She cofounded Jobs: Houston magazine in 1997. Mary Ann maintains affiliations with professional organizations, including oil and gas, financial, construction, IT, and structural, mechanical, and civil engineering. (www.faremouth.com)
Mary Ann’s award-winning first book Revolutionary Recruiting has been listed by Book Authority as Number #1 Best 100 Recruiting Books; #1 Best Seller, Non-Fiction, Amazon (2019); Top 20 Recruiting books, Recruitics; Readers’ Choice finalist (2019), Houston Literary Awards; Best Non-Fiction (2018), Best Cover (2019), and Best Self-Help (2018), Authors Marketing Guild. Her books support individuals and corporations, tap into each candidate’s unrealized potential to find the right person for each job, maximizing both employee satisfaction and the employer’s bottom line. Mary Ann showcases her expertise of the recruiting world on a monthly podcast for The Price of Business and weekly articles for USA Business. Her new workbook, Revolutionary Reinvention, was recently released on Amazon. Mary Ann lives in Houston, Texas.