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Why Would Anyone Want to Work For You? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 337)

Why would anyone work for you? Team participating in video call

Finding the right talent is a struggle right now. There are too many opportunities for too few workers, which is making hiring harder than ever. So, what can you do about it? It starts by asking a simple question: Why would anyone want to work for you?

The difference between future leaders and legacy leaders is that future leaders think about all the ways they can use digital can help them answer this question. Want to know why anyone would want to work for you? Want to know how you can use digital to better reach potential employees? And want to know how future leaders think about these questions for your business? This episode of Thinks Out Loud takes a look.

Want to learn more? Here are the show notes for you.

Thinks Out Loud Episode 337: Why Would Anyone Want to Work For You? Headlines and Show Notes

Show Notes and Links

Here are the regular show notes detailing links and news related to this week’s episode. Be sure to check out all the links that matter for your business once you’ve given the episode a listen.

Free Downloads

We have some free downloads for you to help you navigate the current situation, which you can find right here:

Thinks Out Loud is sponsored by SoloSegment: SoloSegment increases large-enterprise, B2B website conversion with easy-to-install software that automatically connects website visitors to the content they need to see to achieve their goals. SoloSegment does this using anonymous data and machine learning ensuring privacy compliance, addressing the many anonymous visitors, and improving the efficiency of marketing teams. Visit SoloSegment.com.

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Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Mic and a Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface into Logic Pro X for the Mac.

Running time: 17m 42s

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Transcript: Why Would Anyone Want to Work For You?

Well, hello again, everyone. And welcome back to Thinks Out Loud your source for all the digital expertise your business needs. My name is Tim Peter. This is episode 337 of the big show. And thank you so much for tuning in as ever. I really appreciate it. I, I know I say this well, geez, almost every week, but I wouldn’t do the show without you.

It means so much to me that you tuned in. I think we’ve got a really cool show for you today. I think there’s some fun stuff to talk about. I want to build on what I was talking about in our last episode, with regard to legacy leaders versus future leaders, you know, what, what kind of leader you are for your organization?

You Can’t Lead if No One Follows You

And of course you cannot be a leader. If you don’t have people in your organization, there’s no one to lead. I mean, you can lead yourself, I suppose you can lead in your community. Those are important things to do. But you also do need talent. You also do need a team around you who can help you succeed.

And Employees Are Quitting at Record Rates

And one of the things that we’re seeing is that people are quitting in huge, huge numbers. They’re leaving companies all over the place. The labor shortage that we’re seeing right now is a very real thing. It varies by industry, but it’s a huge number. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that job openings have been above six and a half percent for the last few months.

And since December of 2020 they’ve skyrocketed. They typically average somewhere around 4.6% prior to that. So if you go from 4.6% to over six and a half percent, and right now we’re at about 6.8%, you know, that’s a 50% increase in the number of job openings that companies are struggling to fill. I’ve mentioned this in our last episode, but the number of people quitting is really high and the number of new hires is really high.

Why? Because Employees Have Alternatives

So it suggests that people are leaving jobs they don’t want for jobs that they do. And there are lots of options available to workers, not just employment with other companies, but, you know, PPI — the Progressive Policy Institute — has an interesting story about the app store economy and how people are making money from apps.

Like they’re not doing the traditional job. They’re finding other ways to make money and sustain themselves in ways that never existed before. And you probably saw the story earlier this week about Wordle, this cool little game that everybody loves on Twitter, being sold to the New York Times for something like seven figures.

So Why Would Anyone Want to Work For You?

Okay. Now that guy hit the lottery, but it’s indicative of the kinds of things people see as options available to them. And so I think it’s really critical that we ask the question each of us for ourselves. Why would anyone want to work for you? If they’ve got all these options, why would they choose you?

And I’m asking this, not just to be provocative, I’m asking this as a legitimate question. It’s a topic that I’m intensely curious about. I’m not an HR person. This is not my core area of expertise. I’ve hired hundreds of people over the course of my career. But if we don’t have the right people, we cannot take care of our customers regardless of what we do.

I wrote a piece for HSMAI the hotel sales marketing association international, um, that was in partnership with Meta, so Facebook, about how the hospitality industry can find talent. And some of what I’m going to talk about is based on the research that I did for that article it, the article is not yet live, but I will link to it in the show notes that you can find at timpeter.com/podcast once it is live. Of course, everything else I talk about today will be in the show notes right away.

Technology Can Help

Now the easy answer and an answer I think a lot of people look to is to say that technology will undoubtedly play a role. If you’re a hiring manager, at some point, you will be able to automate some roles that require people today.

There are a few caveats to that. And first I’m going to limit this discussion mostly to digital, to marketing, and to technology roles. Those are my core area of expertise. That’s what I know the most about when we talk about hiring folks. Based on my experience with areas beyond digital technology and marketing, I don’t think it’s dramatically different in many other roles. But my experience is by no means unlimited and there are undoubtedly exceptions that I don’t even know I don’t know. So, if you find yourself saying, well, here’s why that won’t be the case or will be the case, that’s completely fine. I guarantee you, there are exceptions I’m not thinking of.

But Technology Can’t Address Every Role

But the thing to realize is technology will not replace all roles. For one thing, it may not exist yet. For another, it may not be economical yet. You know, technology can solve some of the challenges. As I’ve said before, "AI won’t steal your job; smart people who use AI will."

Technology also plays a role in helping you find people, which we’re going to talk about more in a second, and helping you manage those people when you find them. We live in a digital world. We’ve lived in a world that’s completely digital and have for the last two-plus years.

Now, most companies have used tools like Zoom and Slack and Microsoft Teams and others to run their businesses effectively for the last two years with remote workers. Which begs the question. Why does your team have to be in one geography?

Future Leaders vs. Legacy Leaders

I will come back in a moment to people who can’t be remote. I get that there are jobs that cannot be remote. But for those who can, you were forced to work this way for the last two years. Why not do it deliberately? Where future leaders and where digital leaders are winning is by saying, "what if we chose to work this way? What would working here look like then? How do we make that work for our employees, for our customers and our company?"

That’s what future leaders do they use technology to make the experience for every part of the value chain, more effective and more efficient.

Those companies who are stuck in the mindset of it only works when all our people are in the same space all day, every day, those are legacy leaders. They’re living in the past. They’re not living in the present and they’re certainly not living in the future. It doesn’t mean it has to be a hundred percent remote only. It means finding the balance that allows your team to do their jobs, of taking care of your customers in a way that works for everyone. It means saying that the default of what we used to do isn’t the only way to do it. We can find resources all around the country or all around the world who can do the job effectively or some part of the job effectively remotely at least some of the time, because the technology exists to allow that.

What About Outsourcing?

Now, obviously you can also outsource the task to, you know, an agency or a contractor, a few things to keep in mind. There is A.) Is it cheaper? B.) Do you have the skills to manage those contract resources? C.) Do you have the time and resources to manage those people?

You know, in other words, would you be better served instead of hiring for the skill of doing the work, hiring for the skill of managing the task? And also — and probably first of all, this is really something you want to think about originally — is it core for what you do to what you do?

For at least some roles, you probably don’t want your institutional knowledge and your intellectual property to be held by people who aren’t employees of your company. This is a nuanced area. It’s going to take some thinking, but you want to be sure we’ve got the right knowledge in the right pocket. You know, things that are commodity knowledge, you absolutely should contract things that you want to have, you know, product development, product design, service, design, those might be things where you’re better served having that in house.

How to Hire Right Now

And you need to ask instead, how do we find the right people for that? So if you want those people, or obviously the people who can’t work remotely, obviously I wrote this article, I mentioned for the hospitality industry, most of the people are going to work in a hotel. How do you attract those people?

And maybe a better question. Is what’s your brand story for employees and potential employees? What story are you telling them about the kind of company you are? This is another place where being a future leader matters.

"Sell the Destination First"

So the first thing you can do, and this definitely comes from an idea from the hospitality industry in hospitality, you don’t sell your hotel right out of the gate. You sell the destination first. People have to want to go to the place where you are before they can ever choose your hotel as a place to stay. When you think about this more broadly, think about why would people want to work in your industry, not just your company. What are the long-term benefits of working in a particular industry and in a particular role whether it’s marketing, technology, digital, something else? But why would people even want to do this for work in the first place? Sell the destination first, sell the dream first.

Tell Your Brand Story

Then you can start to look at how your story and your marketing and what it says about you as a place to work. There’s a Glassdoor study that shows 86% of employees and job seekers research company ratings and reviews before choosing where to work. 68% of millennials and 54% of Gen X — this is a quote — "visit an employee’s social media properties specifically to evaluate the employer’s brand." They want to work for companies that they feel good about working for. You need to be thinking about, does your story tell a good story about your brand, about your business, about your industry, such that you would be a place where people want to work in the first place? That same Glassdoor study, by the way, found that 86% of HR professionals said, and this is a quote, "Recruitment is becoming more like marketing."

Well, of course it is. Your customers, your employees rather, carry the internet in their pocket. They know everything about you, or can. And want to. They’re looking for meaning in their lives. They’re looking for a place where they can feel at home and feel like they make a difference and feel like they can contribute to a better world.

Fish Where The Fishing Is Good

What are you doing to help tell that story? And as you get the story together, then you need to reach potential candidates where they spend their time. Think about how you use content marketing. Think about how you use LinkedIn and Instagram and Facebook and TikTok and YouTube, and all the other channels to tell the story of why you’re a great place to work.

That’s where your employees, your future employees, spend their time. We use these tools to reach customers today. Why wouldn’t we do the same to reach potential employees?

The best part about thinking about it this way is that it works for employees regardless of whether their job requires them to be in person, or if it allows them to work remotely or some hybrid.

You’re connecting with people who want to connect with you. You’re connecting with people who want to choose you. You’re connecting with people who look at you and say, that is a place where I would want to work. I do want to make that my purpose. I do want to make some meaning there.

Conclusion: Why Would Anyone Want to Work for You?

So if you want to be a future leader, ask yourself, "Why would anyone want to work with you?" And if you don’t like the answer, you know what to do. Sell the destination first. Use content marketing to tell a great brand story and reach potential candidates where they spend their time. If you can do those things successfully, the question won’t be, why would anyone want to work for you? It will be, "Why wouldn’t they?"

Show Closing and Credits

Now, looking at the clock on the wall, we are out of time for this week. I want to remind you, you can find the show notes for this episode as well as an archive of all past episodes by going to timpeter.com/podcast. Again, that’s timpeter.com/podcast. Just look for episode 335.

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Sponsor Message: SoloSegment

As always, I’d like to thank our sponsor. Thinks Out Loud is brought to you by SoloSegment. SoloSegment provides an amazing suite of search tools to provide search as a service for large enterprise websites. SoloSegment focuses on business results, not search results with easy automated tools that help customers find the content that matters to them and helps drive business results for you. They do this all while protecting customer privacy and improving your business results. You can learn more about SoloSegment and all the outstanding work that they do by going to solosegment.com. Again, that’s solosegment.com.

Show Outro

With that said, I want to say one more time how much I appreciate you tuning in to the show every single week. It means so very much to me. I would not do this show if it weren’t for you. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week, a great weekend, and I’ll look forward to speaking with you here on Thinks Out Loud next time. Until then, please be well, be safe, and as always, take care, everybody.

Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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