Do you love your business?
John drives a sweet late-80’s Land Cruiser, has an awesomely big gray beard, and looks like he would be at home adventuring in Patagonia. But John doesn’t spend much of his time adventuring. Most of his time is spent running a successful catering company with his wife in Maryland.
John had gotten my name from a mutual friend who owns a mid-size printing company. We were helping the printing company with their employer branding, social media recruiting, and some other stuff. John had heard good things and wanted to talk about what recruiting strategies he could apply to his business. His goals were to attract better talent and increase retention. I think his exact words were, “We need people that are f***king reliable and show up for work!”
Talking with John gave me the feeling that he was an over-committed owner who worked most days in his business rather than on his business. If a cook didn’t show up, John would. If prep needed to get done, John did. He sounded stressed, his words had bite, and he was clearly frustrated.
Before we got into a discussion about how to improve his recruiting and retention, I asked him a simple question, “Do you love your business?”
BLANK STARE. A LOOK DOWN. A GLANCE UP. HIS LOOK TOLD THE WHOLE STORY.
John felt the way many owners and executives feel about their business. While they are devoted, work hard, and show up each day, “love” is not the word that would be used to describe how they feel.
The problem with not loving your business is that no one else will either. Top talent, the kind of folks that are reliable and who do show up, want to work for leaders who love their business. They want to work in an environment that is positive. Leaders set the tone and the team follows.
What kind of tone do you think John used during an interview? What message did his body language communicate to candidates? Why would an awesome cook or server chose to work for John rather than the catering company down the street?
Is it possible that John was creating a negative bias in his own recruiting process resulting in poorer hires? Maybe John is the problem.
If you want to hire better, start first with understanding your personal relationship with your business. Do you love your business? Do you, at the very least, respect your business? If you can find joy and satisfaction in your work and in the work that your company does, then you are ready to recruit.
Links and other interesting stuff:
Is Your Recruiting Social? Are you “marketing” your company and jobs to talent using social? By 2020, 2.95 billion users globally are expected to be on social media. Reach out if you need help engaging talent on social.
Looking for interns? Join our Teaming for Talent program and connect with students in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.
Check out this sweet Career Showcase (a standalone microsite built for candidates to show company's authenticity) that we built for one of our clients.