Why does every job advert seem to be a fantastic opportunity? How comes every company seems to be amazing from the advert? Not every company can be a great place to work, right?
Firstly, I won’t take the moral high ground as I too will use these terms in my adverts. But I’ve vetted and worked with some of my clients for years. Most of the people I’ve placed are still there. Many of which have progressed into positions where they have become hiring managers themselves. Therefore, I’m getting feedback like this from people I have placed at my clients to justify these types of statements.
What’s the gripe then?
It seems as if almost every company out there claims to be a great place to work. The term “great place to work” seems to be used like it’s going out of fashion. Corporate feel companies are relentlessly plugging home how amazing they are to work for. How they celebrate Birthdays with a hashtag. That they know how to support their staff properly.
The problem is that statistically the length of employee tenure in the UK is reducing for permanent employees. The US has detailed statistics on their labour market, but the UK hasn’t yet conducted any comprehensive studies behind it. Never the less, people’s employee tenure is reducing. And the number one reason why?
Their relationship with their boss
Number 2 reason: Bored and Unchallenged
Number 3 reason: Relationship with their Co-Workers
Are they traits of a great place to work?
I think not. But these same companies, and they seem to be every corporate feel company out there, claim that they are indeed a “fantastic opportunity” and a “great place to work”.
Why is almost every corporate feel company saying this then?
To attract talent. No prizes for why. I understand that you need to sell the company. The issue I have is that many of these companies are far from being a fantastic opportunity and a great place to work. If they were why do so many have such high staff turnovers?
A bizarre trend
If like me you utilise the powers of Linkedin regularly, you’ll notice when your connections get a new job. There is even a preset for “Congrats on the new job” to pass on to one of your connections. At least 2-3 times a week I see connections who have jumped job to job in a matter of months, rather than years. But the bizarre part is that throughout their tenure in each job they are posting about how amazing and incredible it is to work there. Are these people completely insane? If it was so amazing and incredible why are they changing job yet again? What is even more plain odd is that some of their ex co-workers from the firm they have just left are “liking” and saying congratulations on their new job elsewhere.
Is it just me or is this weird? Comments below
Why are people changing jobs more often than before?
I previously wrote a post on the “Pros and cons of a candidate led market”. The relevance to answer the question is that it is exactly that, a candidate led market. Employers in trying to attract talent are projecting the image that their company is a “great place to work” and alike. Many are not just overselling but fabricating a false image of their entire culture.
The result is that people are going from company to company, who all seem to be claiming that they are the real deal, only to find that yet again it’s a complete load of codswallop. Yet, many companies are blaming millennial’s and every other factor they can to distance themselves from the fact that they are talking garbage when selling their company.
If a company is good enough people will stay
I wrote a post on how to improve staff retention. Much of it comes down to the leadership at the top of companies. Simply trying to be all things to all people in order to try to attract talent is like trying to bet on every horse to win the race. Not every company has a great culture for everyone. Some companies will be ideal for one person and awful for another.
The issue is that increasingly companies in an attempt to attract talent are claiming to be all things to all people. Watching one companies promotional video to another can be like déjà vu. The real issue is that in trying to be all things to all people, you can inadvertently alienate the very people that made your company great in the first place. In one year it can be a steady headcount retention rate and then the next it starts to skew erratically.
What should companies focus on then if they want to grow headcount?
Investing time, money and effort into making the company great with real, honest blood sweat and tears. If that means paying people well, pay them well. If that means being flexible and supportive when it’s needed sincerely, give it. Knowing that they feel valued, given a damn about and being treated and communicated with honestly, even if it’s not news that they want, goes a long away with good people. That builds loyalty, credibility and integrity. Manipulating someone, micromanaging someone and over-promising is short term, destructive and culture destroying behavior.
Is the “great company to work for” a myth or do they exist?
Of course they exist. They always have and always will. I’d even argue that the percentage of great companies probably hasn’t changed much. The best advise is to do your homework when looking, use a recruiter who has your best interests in mind and when you find a great firm, stick with them.
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