Are you having a tough time hiring the right people? Are you constantly frustrated by the lack of available people, difficulty recruiting the right people, or all the websites, social networking tools and technology you have to deal with in order to find people? Quit your bellyaching; it could be a lot worse.
I started thinking about this and was inspired to write this after reading a similar post on Inc.com, about how entrepreneurs have it easy today compared to say, even 50 years ago. It instantly reminded me of how we have so many resources today and no real reason to complain about our struggles hiring the right people.
If you don’t believe me, take a look at this picture. Or this one (shorpy.com is a new favorite addiction of mine – you have been warned.)
What do you think it took to recruit people for those jobs? There were no job boards, no resumes (probably not even applications), not everyone had a phone and recruiting was only local, or at least only as far away as someone could walk to work in most cases. Jobs were posted in the newspaper if at all or literally on a bulletin board.
What’s the same? Well, you still needed skilled people (although I’m guessing training was a bigger part of the mix back then). You needed to have the right people in the right job. Back then they knew nothing about culture, fit or background checks. Talk about trusting your gut. The interview was it. And your network was everyone you knew (I bet referrals were still the best source, even back then.)
What’s different? That’s easier. We have multiple ways to find and hire the right people. Today, we know a lot more about the people we hire before we even talk to them. We can look up their background, resume and social media profile. We can ask behavioral questions and put them through tests or multiple interviews. We can hire them temporarily to see if they work out.
Hiring the right people is both science and art, but just think how much more scientific it is today. Providers of recruitment process outsourcing know exactly how many recruiters to put on a job. We have a good idea of where people are looking for jobs, or how to get our jobs in front of them. The “art” part of it is the real recruiters out there who know how to network (high-tech tools or not) and connect with the right people and the right networks. Technology will never replace that.
So, how easy do we really have it? The short answer of course is that we don’t even have to do it. We can hire people or companies who can help hire the right people. This is in the form of hiring the right recruiters, partnering with a professional staffing company or an RPO provider.
So the next time you are lamenting about that job you can’t fill or your difficulty in finding and hiring the right people, think about these pictures and remember how it was in the past. Maybe it’s not that hard and maybe you’re just not making use of all of the resources you have available to you today.