Recent reporting on the current state of employment, unemployment and job openings highlighted a challenge almost every executive and business owner I’ve spoken with is facing; how to build their teams when there is structural full employment in the economy? The number that got my attention is that there were 11.4 million job openings in the US economy as of the end of May 2022. So, how do you build your team when you need to increase your capacity when there is a labor shortage, and you are competing within the limited talent pool? The following two quotes address and support some of the factors that need to be addressed by any organization that needs to expand their team.
“The most important consideration to keep in mind when assembling your team is very simple: How do I extract myself from each part of the process in a way that I can still trust it to be handled to the standards I set for my team? Figure that out and you will enjoy a far healthier work-life balance and a more successful business.” – Rob Braiman, Founder and CEO, Cogent Analytics (from INC Magazine). One of the messages I constantly deliver to my clients and during my speaking events is that today’s job applicants want to know exactly how the job that they are being hired for supports the value proposition and the benefits the organization delivers to its customers, its team, and its communities. Part of that value proposition is knowing the standards that the company and the role requires. And how that role contributes to organization’s ability to deliver that value.
The next quote from Emma Grede, co-founder of fashion brands Skims and Good American (also from INC Magazine), highlights the importance of Mission/Vision and Culture (M/V/C) to today’s job applicants. “For any business, the people who work for you are your primary asset. You have to be as obsessed as you are with your product in actually making an incredible place to work. Good people today have many options so being focused on your culture and how you’re bringing people into an environment to work is important right now. I have a mantra: Hire for attitude, not for experience. And, in the early days that was really good, because I couldn’t afford the experience. So, I got the people who believed in what I was doing.” As the saying goes, “Culture eats Strategy for breakfast.”
Both of these quotes remind me of the great unanswered question that businesses need to ask of themselves. “Why should I join your team?” Many businesses know the answer to the other essential question “Why should I be your customer?” However, they fail to ask and answer the first question. Furthermore, because the answers to both questions revolve around M/V/C and value proposition the answers must overlap to a large extent. If the answers to those two questions do not overlap by at least 80%, there is lack of understanding within the organization as to exactly what they are delivering to their customers, teams, and communities.
My colleagues and I at ActionCOACH are experienced in assisting our clients to develop a deeper understanding of their M/V/Cs and their value propositions.