As the world comes back to life, we’re all going to have to find more people for our companies. Finding, and hiring the right people has become a critical issue for most of the companies in our industry. I know of some companies that have recs open for twenty to thirty jobs! And they are not having much luck finding people.
There is an increasingly high demand for the right people in all positions, from manufacturing floor associates, to department leads, to supervisor, to management, engineering, and quality, not to mention sales positions.
As the current workforce ages out to retirement they are not being replaced fast enough. We have actually skipped a couple of generations of young people who had no interest at all in entering the manufacturing sector which has been a contributing factor to the dilemma we are in right now.
But like everything else, we always manage to find a way.
Interestingly enough, as I was thinking about this problem, a new book by one of my all-time favorite business authors, Tom Peters, popped up on my Kindle Recommendations list. The book is called Excellence Now: The Forty-Three Number Ones (this is so new that the print version is not even out yet) and much of the advice is focused on not only finding and hiring the right people but keeping them productively engaged as well.
Just as always, Tom Peters’ perspective on this subject is not only creative but insightful and very useful as well.
Here then from Tom Peter’s new book are some interesting and valuable insights on the most important asset in any organization….the people.
- HIRE WOMEN! Yes, this is his number one piece of advice. It’s no secret that women do a better job at just about anything they try. And our industry is particularly guilty of not having enough women especially in management positions. Sixty percent of the students in grad schools today are women. They are out there, and they are anxious to make their mark. And please don’t just consider them for line positions, or inside sales positions, start looking for them to fill all of your positions including engineering, quality and management and supervisory positions.
- Hire Liberal Arts grads: Did you know that the most sought-after degreed people in all aspects of business today hold, not MBA’s but MFA’s – Master of Fine Arts. It has been proven that these are the most creative, innovative, and passionate people a company can hire. There are now statistics available that bear this out
- Training is Key: It’s a proven fact that we are not doing enough training. I mean real training such as management training, sales training, and business training. We have always had big practical training. How to solder a board for example. But there has never been a shred of effort to establish business training programs. There has never been a marketing training program (Heavens knows I’ve tried), or program on how to successfully run a business. Or a program on how to become a successful customer service rep. It’s time we started. The new people we hire want to learn, they for the most part don’t want a job, they want a career, and they are going to join companies who can offer that to them.
- One size fits one: As opposed to the one size fits all that we have had for so many years. Everyone is different. Everyone we hire is different and has to be treated that way. The best companies are the ones that establish a nurturing culture for their employees.
- Get rid of the term Human Resources: People are not a resource. They are living, breathing, thinking human beings and our job as employers and company leaders is to treat them as such. And while you are getting rid of that term resources, dump another one: “Standardization” people are not standardized, nor are they standard. They are individuals and they are more important than anything else in the company. They are more important than processes, profits, or strategy. They are human beings and have to be treated as such. If you want standardization in your process, hire robots.
- Culture eats strategy for breakfast: all great companies have a great culture. The success of your company will always rely on the culture that you create and then continuously work on with your entire team. People work hard for ideas. People are motivated by vision and by missions. The key is to establish the right vision for your company and build a culture designed to sustain that vision.
- People are significant: People are to be treated as significant. They are not numbers, they are not resources, they are significant and have to be treated as such. And the best way to do that is to give them positive reinforcement. According to Tom Peters, positive reinforcement is thirty times more valuable than negative reinforcement.
I for one firmly believe that if you follow these guidelines and make them part of your company’s culture, you will soon have the right people beating a path to your door. It’s only common sense.