“We are not Yandex, so no one comes to us.” Why small and medium-sized businesses lose the competition for the best employees

“We are not Yandex, so no one comes to us.” Why small and medium-sized businesses lose the competition for the best employees

We exist in a world where the words “we are not Yandex” often become a cover for many entrepreneurs who have an itch to work with a team. Or with the search for talented people for her.

This phrase does a good job of justifying a lot of things. For example, why does the team constantly mow and does not see this. Or why your zealous contribution to the development of employees is met with resistance from their side. And also – here it is easy to get lost in the forest of one’s own thoughts: “oh, our people are not like that”, “the mentality is not the same”, “all the big-headed corporations have already been captured”, “all the best have long gone abroad”.

But we remember that entrepreneurship is the art of seeing opportunities where others see obstacles.

Faced with constant difficulties in attracting strong specialists to their project, many business owners come to the conclusion that attracting talent without a big name is a fantasy task. And meeting the salary expectations of such a specialist is definitely not affordable.

However, an entrepreneur who does not know how to attract talented people will face the same problems. They are clear beacons worth paying attention to. If you learn about yourself in them, it’s time to think about your approaches to team formation.

You don’t know what strong professionals are looking for in a job

In the pursuit of talent, many entrepreneurs try to do it “with little blood”, without investing much in their attraction. That is why we often see vacancies in which they try to attract job seekers with free livers, a nice office or a friendly team. We do not deny that these aspects are important, but it is sad when they become the “main competitive advantage” in the labor market.

Many have gone so far as to research their customers and roll out products and marketing specifically for their requests. However, almost no one does research on applicants today. This strategic mistake deprives the company of the opportunity to understand the needs and expectations of candidates and make its business an attractive employer.

People are not only looking for where to earn more money – it is important to understand this. While the salary level is very important and should be in the market, there are many factors that can sway a candidate towards a small business startup, even if an offer from a big IT company is flashing nearby. While a corporation certainly has more resources and is more likely to attract talented guys, small and medium-sized businesses also have their trump cards.

Some acquirers will seek to avoid bureaucracy, consider companies with the possibility of non-linear growth, or look for the opportunity to work “at arm’s length with the owner” to take over his experience and competencies. An applicant can find all this in a small company that is not yet overgrown with departments, regulations, grades, and in order to have lunch with the owner, you do not need to compete for the title of the best employee of the month with a thousand other people. And vice versa – such a corporation will not be able to offer. Instead, its strengths are high stability and a clear system of grades.

The problem of attracting talent is compounded when hiring and team development are seen as minor, secondary tasks that can be handled “on a residual basis.” Delegating these processes “to everyone in a row” without a clear strategy and understanding of the ultimate goal leads to the fact that the wrong people are recruited into the company. Those who are satisfied with the small, not striving for growth and development, and those who really come just “for the livers”. And then you sit with them at meetings, feel sad and think how all these people ended up here.

What shall I do? In short – conduct interviews, find out what is valuable to applicants and speak in the language of their requests, not just your “what can we offer you”. If it is more specific, you need to write a separate article about it. If you are interested in reading about it, write in the comments.

Agree to compromises

Often, discouraged by a series of unsuccessful hiring attempts, entrepreneurs begin to make compromises, choosing candidates who “at least fit a little”. Because the project is on fire, the customer is rehearsing, and looking for a project for a month is a no-brainer. Instead of somehow changing their approach to hiring, they decide to simply close the position with a candidate who falls into the “doubtful, but okay” category.

Such a short-term solution can turn into long-term problems: mediocre employees produce mediocre work, and can undermine the motivation of the rest of the team. Jim Collins, in his book From Good to Great, emphasizes the importance of “having the right people on the bus” before even starting a movement. Not a stupid uncle, you should listen.

When you make a decision to hire a mediocre employee, you will inevitably face the consequences. These employees often require additional time for training and support, constantly go to consult, and immediately leave at the first opportunity to go for a higher salary. Not to mention, their work is rarely of the quality you need to grow your company. As a result, the time and resources spent trying to “train” such employees could be invested in finding truly talented candidates.

If we again draw parallels with marketing, then there is ABCD-segmentation of customers. AB segments generate the most revenue and require the least amount of company resources. They buy without unnecessary questions to sales and do not seek support. While CD-segments eat up a lot of time and energy, but the income from them is smaller than bread crumbs. A similar segmentation is possible for “internal customers” – your employees and candidates.

You live under the false impression that people will be interested in achieving your goals a priori

This feeling is dangerous because few people are aware of it and generally acknowledge it. This is due to the fact that working relationships are understood linearly – “I give you a salary, you give me the fulfillment of my goals.” Or it is assumed that the owner has such an interesting global vision, the team a priori shares it. At the same time, the motivation and interests of individual people are not taken into account by the company. And whether the goals of the employees are in line with the goals of the company – one… and no one, most of the time, knows.

At the same time, a false expectation is born that employees will put as much effort and enthusiasm into achieving the company’s goals as the founders themselves. But in practice everything is different. At best, people just tick off tasks without thinking why they need it. At worst, they create more problems on the way to the company’s goals than value.

And here it is important not to deceive yourself and accept that people come to work with their own set of personal motivation, interests and aspirations. And they come primarily to fulfill their goals, not yours. And the entrepreneur’s expectation that people will work for money only for his goals leads to disappointment on both sides. And to the fact that talented people, if they get into the company, do not stay long.

How do corporations solve this problem? For example, Patagonia actively involves its employees in environmental initiatives that are consistent with corporate values. They support the participation of team members in environmental actions, even if it requires absence from work during the working day.

Thus, the goals of the company and the team should become common, but the way to achieve them should take into account the individual needs and desires of each team member.

About how to create a team of A-players, if you are not Yandex – we will discuss in the Telegram channel during March

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