Why are employers struggling so much to hire “good” employees? Regardless of the economy and regardless of the unemployment rate, Employers should never struggle to find “good” employees. As a matter of fact, employers should be able to find and hire “great” employees. Most employers just don’t understand what it takes to find “great” employees. I know what it takes and the exact reasons why employers struggle.
Simply put: Employers are terrible at getting people to want to work. When I have the discussion about employers and employees, I usually put most of the blame on the employer. Just for the record, most of the time, employees are not without their share of the blame.
Let start with a two facts:
- Employers hire employees for a certain amount of money and expect a certain amount of work in return.
- Employees take jobs with employers and expect to do a certain amount of work and get a certain amount of money in return.
Sound pretty easy, doesn’t it?
In the next two facts, is where the line starts to get fuzzy. Over the course of time the employer/employee relationship starts to change.
- The employers have invested their resources up front to train employees, therefore the employers expect employees to get better at their jobs over the course of time, thus becoming more profitable to the company.
- Since employees feel they were hired to do a certain amount of work and cost of living keeps going up, employees expect to be paid more and more each year for doing the same amount of work they were originally hired to do.
It is usually at this point where the train comes off of the tracks.
The employer begins to feel that the employee is a pain and no longer has the business’ interests at heart. The employee feels that the employer doesn’t appreciate his loyalty for staying with company and always doing his job.
THE EMPLOYERS’ SOLUTION
Here is how both the employer should handle the above differences. During the interview process or early on in the employment process the employer should state “We pay employees $8 per hour for the first 30 days, after that time we pay them what they are worth. If you are doing twice what we expect of you then you will be paid $16 per hour. If you are doing less than is expected you, you will be terminated. Sound Fair?” (If you live in a state where an employee can’t be simply terminated after 30 days you just inform them that they will never receive anything above $8 per hour for below average work. This means no raises, for any reason, ever!)
This simple conversation will save everyone a lot of trouble. It sets the expectations up front for both parties. This conversation will highly discourage a “bad/lazy” employee from taking the job.
THE EMPLOYEE’S SOLUTION
Here is how it looks if the shoe is on the other foot, if the employee is trying to figure out if this employer will be a good fit. Prior to taking the job, and perhaps in the second or final interview the employee should ask the following, “How do you determine future pay increases? Are they standard or merit based? Would you be opposed to paying someone twice as much if they were doing the work of two people?”
The employee should expect a little shock and perhaps even a little irritation from the employer at these questions, but the potential employee can follow up by saying “I am not trying to be a pain, but I believe that employees should work as if they own the business. That means doing whatever it takes to make the company better. I was just wondering how employees that work like that get compensated?”
This simple conversation sets you apart from almost all other potential employees and it will also let you know if this is a place you want to hang your hat. You should be able to tell at this point what your future income potential will be. And whether you like the answers or not, you need to face the truth, before you take the job.
HOW EMPLOYERS GET FROM THERE TO HERE
So how does a business with an existing staff make the move to the above scenario? Before we get to that here is a quick example of a business I recently worked with. The business currently had 9 employees who were terrible at their jobs and had never increased the amount of work they could get done on a day in day out basis. The employer spent about $18,000 per year on each of these “bad” employees.
I asked the employer, “Would you pay 3 people $54,000 per year if they could get the same amount of work done?” It really surprised me when the business owner took several minutes of thinking to come up with his answer “Maybe, it depends?” Are you kidding me? Does this employer really need to think about this? The employer would be getting rid of 6 complaining, show-up late, raise-wanting, insurance-costing, benefit-sucking employees for the ease of 3 people who would work 3 times as hard to make him money.
This is clearly a case of an employer that doesn’t really know what he wants from an employee. Don’t you think that three $54,000 dollar per year employees would be of higher quality than nine minimum wage workers? If you have to think about that answer, you really didn’t understand the question.
So back to the story, I responded to the employer with a polite version of my above rant. The employer agreed that the 3 employees would be a better formula for his business.
THE NEGATIVE RESPONSES
Every time I talk about this some employer says something like “That would never work in my business, 3 people could never do the work of 9. My business doesn’t have any measure by which to judge employees and their amount of work.” They are basically all saying “My business is different!”
Sorry to inform you. Your business is not different. You have customers, clients, prospects or patients. You have bills to pay, people to report to or a budget to control. Your business is not different and these techniques and the others I teach can be applied to your business.