There’s an unwelcome trend these days in the job market, and it goes beyond the border of the Cape Fear region.
It’s something that can tarnish the reputation of a job seeker forever, and it’s a complaint I hear in many industries way too often. It is something that can’t be taught and it’s hard to learn and easily mistaken. You either have it, or you don’t.
So, what is it?
As I field calls often and travel the region, I often hear these words – Where can I find good people that want to work? Initially, when this trend started a year or two ago, I was in awe of the question. But today, it’s sadly a regular part of my job. And that job is to find employers quality employees that have the one unmistakable trait they want in a person – excellent work ethic (although, at this point they may even take “good”).
Merriam-Webster defines work ethic as: “A belief in work as a moral good; A set of values centered on the importance of doing work and reflected especially in a desire or determination to work hard.”
Let me translate for you. Show up to work on time, be engaged in your job, be respectful of the people around you and of yourself, and be thankful you have something that tens of thousands of people wish they had – a job. That is work ethic, my friends.
So, with the national job market the best it has been in over 10 years, and with the amount of people looking for jobs, why is it so difficult to find people with a solid work ethic? Granted, the job market here in the Cape Fear region is not as everyone wished it was. But it truly amazes me every single time I pick up the phone and there is a frustrated employer on the line asking me why it is so hard to find good people that want to work.
Just this week, I spoke with a long-standing small business in Wilmington that wants to employ talented, qualified people… but they can’t find them or, when they do, the employee doesn’t show up for the interview, doesn’t show up for work, or outright disappears. I’d really like to find these people, look them square in the face and ask them, “Why?”, because I honestly don’t know.
What I do know, however, is how to try and fix the problem one employer at a time. The solution lies in the way you hire; it’s about your process and the need to change it.
Job seekers are forever going to complain about the hiring process being too long and/or too detailed. But until this trend stops, they will just have to deal with it, because employers today need to be certain the investment they are making in hiring an employee will yield “returns” for them.
Now, are there some companies that have an out-of-control hiring process? Absolutely. But the majority do not.
I take a different approach in recruiting than most. My process contradicts everything any recruiting agency or human resources manager will teach you. My interviewing and vetting process is unique, simple yet detailed, and it works… most of the time.
So, employers, if you are frustrated in your recruiting efforts, don’t be afraid to change up the process. Concentrate on the work ethic of a job seeker instead of the position’s duties and responsibilities. You can teach those, right? Hire for integrity and train for efficiency.
And for the job seekers, if you do not possess at minimum good work ethic, forget about landing that dream job and remember, the world will always need ditch diggers.
Corey Lewis has more than 20 years of management, business development and project management experience across the retail, construction and staffing verticals. Entering into the recruiting industry in 2007 as an Executive Recruiter, Lewis spent the next seven years honing his recruiting skills and leading a local agency in developing the manufacturing sector of the company. With the support of his wife, Corey started his own boutique firm, Alliance Career Group based in Wilmington, while designing the basis for the company that would come to be known as Cape Fear Jobs. Corey found his passion for helping a struggling jobs economy in the Cape Fear Region and in 2016, Cape Fear Jobs was born. Visit the Cape Fear Jobs website or call (910) 782-2142.
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