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    Are People Unwilling or Unable to Work for You?

    January 15, 2020 45 Views No comments

    I’m a binary guy. I like 0’s and 1’s. I like on and off. I like yes and no. I LOVE light switches…but dimmer switches confuse me. Getting to a binary question seems like the only way to start a problem-solving process. And so it is with figuring out why people are NOT applying for your open positions.

    It might be helpful to define terms here:

    UNABLE: lacks the physical or mental capability to take an action. A person may be highly motivated to take the desired action but cannot due to these limitations. Impossible to complete the action.

    UNWILLING: May be both physically and mentally capable of performing the desired action but lacks sufficient motivation to do so. Has made a value-based decision to not take the action.

    Now let’s ask the question again. If people are not applying for open positions in your organization are they UNWILLING or UNABLE to do so? The ramifications of answering this question will have a profoundly positive impact on your hiring practices. More importantly, do you know which of the two it is?

    If people are UNABLE to apply for open positions at your organization, that falls into one of two categories. First: The person is not aware of your organization. They have never heard of it, have never interacted with it and unless something changes will never interact with it. People cannot apply for a position at a company that they don’t know exists. As hard as it is to believe, about 70% of people eligible to apply for your positions fall into this category.

    The second possibility is that people are not applying because they have some FALSE preconceived notion about working for you. It may be that they have made or heard negative things about your industry. Maybe their information is inaccurate or completely out of date. It doesn’t matter. Unless you actively change these misconceptions about your organization in the community, people will cling to them and not apply in droves. About 20% of job seekers fall into this category.

    If people are UNWILLING that is quite another matter. This would mean that the person knows about your organization, has accurate information about working for you and has made a VALUE-driven decision not to apply for your position. While this happens, through my work with thousands of job seekers, I can tell you that only about 10% of job seekers fall into this category.

    How can you find out which is true for your organization? Simple. Just ask your current employees what made them aware of your organization for the first time. Did they drive past you? See a sign? See a job ad? Get referred from a friend?

    And about that false preconceived notion about your company or your industry….ask them about that as well. Did they have a wrong idea about your organization before they came to work for you?

    Knowing the answers to these questions will help you decide what steps to take to change the number and fit of the people applying for your positions. All of these answers lie with your current employees. It's time to ask them for some guidance.

    -Chris Czarnik, author of Winning the War for Talent; originally posted on chrisczarnik.com


    To read more about recruiting and retaining the best employees, check out Winning the War for Talent>>


    Insights on Focus from the Female Jerry Maguire

    January 13, 2020 25 Views No comments

    Molly Fletcher, the author of The Energy Clock, started her career answering phones in the SuperBowl office and went on to become “the female Jerry Maguire” (CNN). Check out this video from Fletcher, who discusses how top-performing athletes manage their energy to achieve world-class performance and how you can apply that to your own energy and goals.


    Learn more about sustaining your energy with The Energy Clock>>


    Where Did the Talent Go?

    January 9, 2020 37 Views No comments

    Whether driving across country or just to the grocery store it is hard to miss the number of organizations that are currently trying to recruit new people into their organization. If it seems like there are more “Now Hiring” signs than you can ever remember seeing…you are correct. U.S. companies are currently engaged in a “War for Talent” unlike they have ever seen before. Unfortunately, this shortage will get worse before it gets better.

    Origins of the worker shortage: While this shortage of eligible applicants for perfectly good jobs with good pay and benefits has taken most of the country by surprise, it shouldn’t really have surprised anyone. The demographic shifts in the countries’ population have made this shortage a mathematical certainty for almost 30 years. The math goes like this:


    --There are approximately 75 million people in the Baby Boomer generation (born 1945-1964)

    --There are about 65 million people in the next generation (Generation X) born 1965-1981


    You see? The simple fact is that there are 10 MILLION less people in the generation moving its way through the workforce right now. We don’t have to argue whether the shortage is caused by “millennials who don’t want to work or are living in their parent’s basement”. The simple fact is that with 10,000 Baby Boomers eligible to retire EVERY DAY there are just not enough people in the following generation to fill all those roles.

    Something that makes the problem even worse for employers is that the Labor Participation Rate (the percentage of eligible workers choosing to pursue employment) is at a historically low level. For decades about 68% of all people working age decided to work. Since the Great Recession that number has dropped to and stayed at about 63%. Not only are there 10 million less people to fill jobs, but of those about 10% less of them are choosing to work.

    When does it get better? For those of you wondering if you can just “wait this out” I have both good news and bad news. The generation after generation X is the Millennial generation. That generation is slightly larger than the Baby Boomer generation. So if you can wait another 8 years without filling all of the roles in your organization you need do nothing. If you cannot wait that long, you need to make significant changes in your plans for recruiting, engaging, retaining and developing employees in your organization. How to do that will follow in future blog posts.

    -Chris Czarnik, author of Winning the War for Talent; originally posted on chrisczarnik.com


    To read more about recruiting and retaining the best employees, check out Winning the War for Talent>>


    What's Your Unfair Advantage?

    January 6, 2020 2823 Views No comments

    Want to pay less? Sometimes you don’t even have to ask. Sales Force Magazine claims 75% of sales people offer a lower price before it’s ever asked for.

    “Most of us,” says Florida consultant Jaynie Smith, “will buy value if we know what it is.” Value is defined in a company’s competitive advantage, its positioning; how the company values its difference with the competition. This is their “unfair advantage.”

    Smith is one of Vistage International’s top speakers. Smith asks the CEOs who come to hear her to identify their competitive advantage(s). Most suggest items such as “outstanding customer service,” “our people,” or “our quality.”

    Her response? “Blah, blah, blah.” Not quantifiable.

    The question she urges be answered is “why us?” And she suggests that answer be crisp and quantifiable.A magazine ad for Zurich insurance contends their programs are as efficient as a well-run factory, citing “have achieved, on average, a 13% reduction in claims frequency and reduced costs by more than an average of 25%." Perhaps that explains why more than 60% of the manufacturers on the Fortune 1000 list are Zurich customers. Zurich has made clear what its competitive advantages are by quantifying them for the marketplace.

    Smith suggests companies should look for “only statements” about their company –‘only,’ she contends, “provides a competitive advantage.” Examples she offers include, “we are the only company offering xxxx.” Or, “we increased xxxx by xx%” - whatever the Xs are.

    “Ninety-five percent of employees lack agreement as to their company’s competitive edge,” she contends. Not sure? Then try this exercise: Identify what you perceive your competitive advantage to be, and then ask your employees what they see it to be. Are they aligned? Not likely. “There is a sharp disparity,” Smith says, “between what management and their subordinates believe is important to their customers.” Take the exercise a step further and get the viewpoint of your customers.

    Complicating matters, Smith contends, “prospects don’t value the same things as customers” and urges using double blind research studies to find out from your customers and from those you would like to be your customers what they value. CEOs often resist spending. However, Smith suggests it’s all in the math and asks, “Would you spend 10 to 40 thousand dollars to get the information necessary to help you close 10% more business?” If so, it’s an investment, not a cost.

    “Most businesses today,” Jaynie Smith claims, “are playing chicken in the price game,” leaving money on the table before the potential customer ever comes into the room. How about you? What’s your competitive, unfair advantage?

    -Bud Carter, author of Great Quotes for Great Businesses and Vistage International chairman

    Want more business insights? Check out Great Quotes for Great Businesses>>


    3 Tips to Finally Start Saving

    December 31, 2019 6667 Views No comments

    The most common complaint I hear about money is “I don’t live an extravagant lifestyle. I don’t go on shopping sprees or luxurious vacations. Where is my money going!? There’s never any money left over to save.”


    Most of us didn’t learn about personal finance in school, and that puts us at a major disadvantage. Even after we learn what we should do and want to be doing with our money, we often don’t do it. It’s much more tied to our emotions and habits than we give it credit for - just like with food.


    The math around food and money is similar and actually quite simple. Dollars in minus dollars out equal saving, losing money, or staying the same. Calories in minus calories out equals weight loss, weight gain, or staying the same.


    If it were actually that simple, there wouldn’t be a billion dollar dieting industry - and we’d be a lot less stressed about money!


    One of the reasons it’s difficult to save is that we think about saving money all wrong. Most of us earn money, use that money to pay our bills and live our lives, and then wait to see what’s leftover at the end of the paycheck or month. The bad news is, there’s usually no money left over to save.


    We think the answer is to earn more money. I’ve thought this many times. Then I got a raise and expected there to be money left to save but there wasn’t. The irony is that I couldn’t point to big meaningful changes in my lifestyle, but the money just got taken up with more of the same.


    One of the reasons this happens is Parkinson's Law. It’s the idea that things take up as much space we give them. It’s why our junk drawer always fills up, meetings take exactly as long as is allotted in the calendar (even if there is only one agenda item!), and you guessed it - our expenses always fill what’s in our bank account.


    Most of us will have to make some shifts in order to start meaningfully saving. The good news is that they aren’t hard, it just takes thinking about saving in a different way and setting up a system.

    Here are three tips to finally start saving that no one tells us.

    1. Get it out of sight, out of mind.
    The first thing you want to do is create a separate space for our savings. You want it out of sight and out of mind. When we have a checking account linked to our savings account within the same bank, it’s all too easy to transfer the money over on a whim.

    We also can’t help but notice it when we login to check our checking account balance. The money is available and for most of us, and that means it won’t stay in savings for long. There are a few unicorns who are able to keep their savings in the same bank connected with their checking, but for most of us, it just doesn't work.

    I’m a big fan of online savings accounts for this reason. The money is available to us (transfers typically take 2-5 days) but it’s not top of mind. They also earn a much better interest rate than our accounts with brick and mortar banks. This means our savings will be growing! And they’re free.

    So the first thing you can do to finally start saving is to open an online savings account.

    2. Set it up to be automatic.
    The next important piece of this is that you want to pay yourself first. What doesn’t work about how we typically save is that we pay everyone else first. We pay our bills, pay for our food and other lifestyle expenses, and even get other people gifts. By the time we’re ready to pay ourselves, there’s nothing left.

    You can shift this paradigm by paying yourself first. You do this by setting up an automatic transfer to your online savings account each week, month, or paycheck. When something transfers out of your account automatically, you’re treating it like any other recurring expense or bill. You’re treating it like a top priority expense, which it should be!

    We work for the money we earn, we deserve to get paid! It’s ironic that we always pay ourselves last.

    3. Don’t be afraid to start small.
    It’s really exciting and empowering to decide to pay ourselves first but next we have to figure out how. When we’re paying ourselves last, most of us aren’t saving. We’re living paycheck to paycheck or even if we’re not, we’re not putting aside money into savings.

    Deciding to pay yourself first is like taking on another bill. It’s as if your taxes went up or you added a recurring subscription to your expenses. Those things tend to figure themselves out or you adjust for them in your spending elsewhere.


    If you’re unsure of whether or not you’ll be able to save anything, don’t be afraid to start small. Set up an automatic transfer for five dollars per week or per paycheck. Then set a reminder to check in with the account after a few cycles. If you didn’t miss it, you can up the ante and increase your automatic transfer.


    One of the most exciting parts of this process, no matter how small the amount, is the mindset shift that you are a saver. Once you have this transfer set up, you are someone who saves.

    Sometimes we don’t start saving because we think the contributions we can make are too small to make a difference. But our progress isn’t linear. Small steps build momentum and exponential results. Don’t be afraid to start small and build from there.

    In Conclusion.
    How we traditionally try to save money isn’t working for the majority of us. We want to shift the paradigm and start paying ourselves first. You can do this by creating a space outside of your checking accounts in an online savings account, and setting up an automatic transfer each week, month, or paycheck. As this is a new habit and way of thinking for many of us, you'll want to start with something that feels very manageable and build from there.


    For more, here’s a free guide on how to save $1,000 this month.

    -Ashley Feinstein Gerstley

    For more tips on budgeting your money, check out The 30-Day Money Cleanse>>

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