top of page

Why you can’t find good employees…and what to do about it

Yes, everyone is talking about it. The great resignation. Record numbers of people who do not want to go back to their old jobs. The fact that for the first time that we can remember, the number of jobs available exceeds the number of people looking for them.

I hear you. I know you’ve tried everything to try to find good people. If you’ve offered a $1000 bonus for signing on with you if they stay for 90 days.

Why isn’t it working?

To begin with, let’s look at all the moving parts. What are the key elements involved in finding, recruiting and hiring the right person?

Let’s break this into four major areas:

  1. The recruiting phase

  2. The hiring phase

  3. The onboarding and training phase

  4. The development and retention phase

In the recruiting phase, you first have to write an awesome job description. Most job descriptions only include the tasks and responsibilities, and a tiny bit about the company. If you want to find the right fit for your company, you need to include your company values, and a bit about your company culture. Since the competition is fierce right now, it is advisable to put in the range of salary as well as the benefits and opportunities for growth.

Did you know that most employees quit their jobs because there was no opportunity for them to grow or advance their careers?

Next, where you post your job is also critical. Sometimes your industry association that will let you post jobs on their website, for others and can work really well.

In Phase 2, the hiring phase, let’s say you have a candidate and you would like to make them an offer. Did you do a “preview work session”? During the hiring process, did you have them come in and work side-by-side with someone for the day? This is a great way to give people a real live experience of what the job requires and whether they would like it or not. Even for a small business, I recommend the 4-hour “working interview.” You pay that person for their time and you give them some tasks to do, and some instructions to follow. It’s a sure-fire way to see if this person understands your way of managing, if they pick up things quickly or slowly, what their learning style is and, most importantly, whether or not you like to hang out with them.

During the onboarding phase, Phase 3, you want to make sure they are integrated into the company, and have a good relationship with their new supervisor/manager. Some companies like to give their new hires a buddy who can introduce them to people across different departments or across functions and answer any questions that they might have. I like this idea a lot. There should be a company orientation along with an employee manual that lets this new person know where all the resources are and the phone numbers to call so they’re not completely lost.

This onboarding process is not the same as training the person in the new job. Now they need to get trained in how to do the job. What software programs are you using? What are the metrics for success and goals for their job? How will they know if they are doing it correctly or not? How do you want them to report to you?

It takes anywhere from three weeks to three months for someone to actually be fully useful to the company. You need to schedule time each week to make sure this new hire has all the tools they need to be successful in their new job, especially if you are their manager/owner.

Phase 4 also includes continuous development for that employee. This may look like giving them an offsite training that gives them new skills that will be useful on the job. It can also mean day-long trainings in house, mentoring or coaching.

Also recognize the new hire’s experience in the first 90 days and their relationship with their direct supervisor are the main reasons why people leave.

All of these are preventable problems. Improving your recruiting and hiring process is the most essential thing and, fortunately, the most in your control.

For more on this topic please contact me at:

Mary O'Connor

bottom of page