Business owners and leaders will be acutely aware of the crisis in the job market across Australia and New Zealand and the almost impossible quest to find staff. However, the problem may be even bigger than you think. According to research in Hays Salary Guide 22|23, 91% of employers are experiencing a skills shortage. Moreover, the Reserve Bank of Australia is reporting an unemployment rate of just 4%. In New Zealand that rate dips to a record low of 3.2%.
And while these figures make for grim reading for employers, the problem is only going to get worse as 77% of employers expect business activity to increase in the year ahead and will need more staff to cope with that growth. Yet, at present, 83% of responding businesses already report that an insufficient supply of local skilled professionals is hindering both growth and operations - the highest level in the 43 years Hays have produced their report.
Current market forces have led to this shortage of applicants, which inevitably causes the sort of headaches that lead to poor decision-making on the hiring front. It’s the proverbial desperate times calling for desperate measures. Employers look at the few candidates before them and think, “They’ll just have to do”, often without stopping to consider the individual candidate’s behavioural style and all that might mean for the business once that person comes on board.
Instead, HR Profiling Solutions recommend that desperate times should call for fresh thinking and new strategies - including the use of Extended DISC®, a powerful tool for uncovering the potential in prospective employees - rather than rash decision-making.
Careful consideration v the cost of bad hires
Most business owners and leaders can tell you a story or two, at the very least, about the cost of bad hires - including the associated extrinsic costs like a drop in morale, a decline in organisational culture and the stress that comes with trying to get rid of unsuitable employees.
Harvard Business Review estimates that most bad hires cost businesses anywhere between a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars - particularly in cases where your great employees become unproductive as a result of working with a difficult person - and even decide to leave themselves.
Careful consideration, on the other hand, can seem to be counterintuitive in a market where prospective employees are being snapped up - potentially by your competition. A shortage of applicants can cause the ultimate recruitment Catch-22. Hire in haste and repent at leisure or slow the process down and miss out on good candidates.
In reality, careful consideration does not have to come at the expense of missing out. It all comes down to the crucial steps you take as part of your hiring process and ensuring those steps - such as using Extended DISC - provide you with the information you need to avoid making bad hiring decisions and to even think in innovative ways about how you can use people’s natural strengths to solve your business problems.
Five Crucial Steps for Recruiting in Today’s Market
Define - or redefine - the role
This important step should come before you advertise the role. All too often, in the haste to get the role out for candidates to view, the dust will be blown off an existing job description, with no consideration for how the requirements of the role might have changed over time. Furthermore, with innovative thinking now required to make the most of every role within an organisation, time should be invested into considering whether the role should change. Can you, in fact, better utilise the team you already have so that the new role requires broader skills?
As an employer, you can use Extended DISC to conduct an assessment of your existing team to understand where their strengths and weaknesses lie. Vital changes could be made, enabling you to put a strategy in place to ensure you have the capabilities to execute on future market opportunities - and to better define the main tasks and responsibilities of your next hire.
Analyse the skills required
At the same time as you reshape or redefine the role, analyse what skills you need from the person who will fill this role. This is not just what qualifications or experience they will ideally have but also the personal skills, mindsets and attributes required to undertake the job role.
Personal skills, mindsets and attributes make a significant difference when it comes to the execution of tasks. Take, for example, a role that requires a person to use their skills within a team environment. The best qualifications in the world will not help them - or you - if they are not naturally a participative and supportive team player.
Extended DISC contains over 2,000 different competencies that can take the guesswork out of defining what you as an employer require for individual job roles. This step could also allow you to consider a wider range of candidates - people who have the right personal skills, mindsets and attributes to fulfil the job requirements rather than just the right qualifications.
Consider the behavioural fit for the role
Aside from skills, qualifications and experience - and mindsets and attitudes - it is critical to understand which natural behaviours best fit that role. A person with a behavioural style that aligns well with the role will be able to complete the role with efficiency and ease.
For instance, a person who is naturally strong as a big picture thinker may struggle to perform tasks that require a significant level of detail. It doesn’t mean to say that they cannot do this, but the amount of energy it takes them to concentrate on detail could see them become restless and disruptive rather than productive and effective.
In line with the four main behavioural styles of Extended DISC - Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance - consider the type of behavioural style that best fits the role. The candidate’s self-assessment through Extended DISC will tell you who that person really is and how they align - important information that is no less important just because candidates are scarce.
As a manager, this will also improve your ability to widen your thinking on potential candidates and make faster hiring decisions.
So far, all three steps outlined above can be done before your advert even hits the job market. This means that when candidates start applying you are in a stronger place to move quickly.
However, in order to truly understand whether candidates have the behavioural style you are looking for, have applicants take an Extended DISC assessment. This short, cost-effective and powerful tool will provide you with a wealth of information about a candidate - information paramount to avoiding costly hiring mistakes but also opening up a world of possibilities.
Imagine, as a manager, being able to see in advance:
- Where each applicant is likely to struggle - and how you might manage them accordingly
- How the candidate is likely to behave once in the job
- How they will communicate
- What this candidate is likely to avoid
- What will both motivate and demotivate them
- How they will make decisions
- What their ideal manager or leader should be like in order to get the best out of them
This is information that no business owner, leader or recruiter should be without before making a job offer - no matter how few the applicants might be for your role.
Consider the ambiguous
In the commentary within the Hays Salary Guide, an important point is made: Employers need teams that can work with ambiguity and have the capacity for continuous upskilling to meet future capabilities.
In simple terms, as an employer, if you can understand the potential of a candidate beyond what is in their CV - if you can use a tool like Extended DISC to gain clarity around the development areas of candidates who are not a 100% fit for your role - you may end up considering candidates you would previously have dismissed.
This information is invaluable for managing and introducing a new person who is not quite the right fit. It is also invaluable for knowing where a candidate, if hired, could end up working too much out of their comfort zone for too long. In such cases, the consequences can be severe: non-performance issues, conflict in the workplace, disruption, issues with stress - and yet more headaches for you.
Use Extended DISC to give you the confidence to make a calculated hiring decision and equip you to manage new people as they come into your business.
Five crucial steps - one powerful tool
If you need to take the guesswork out of finding the right people - and edge out your competitors, who may be attempting to hire the same candidate - Extended DISC will give you a competitive advantage and peace of mind about your next hire.
Get in touch with our skilled team today to learn more.