How Can Businesses Secure Their Talent Pipeline?

Full Transcript Below

[ANNOUNCER]: Breaking down everyday workplace issues and diagnosing the hidden sickness not just the obvious symptom, our hosts James and Coby.

[COBY]: Did we lose a patient?

[JAMES]: No that’s just my lunch.

[COBY]: Hey thanks for joining us. I’m Coby, he’s James. Let’s get started with a question. How can businesses secure their talent pipeline?

[JAMES]: I think the key to understanding the talent pipeline is really to understand that there’s two sides to it. there’s an acquisition side or step, and there’s a retention side. And in order to get the most out of your efforts in the talent pipeline, and to secure your efforts in the talent pipeline there’s things that you have to do on both sides of it. From the acquisition side, you really need to understand how the labor market operates. And we talked about this a bit in one of our podcasts, just I think two episodes ago, when we compared and really talked about what businesses need to know about the labor market, and we go into depth there, and check that podcast out. But to summarize, you really need to understand that the Labor Market operates in a manner that’s not substantially different than how the Consumer Market operates. You have to understand and be able to articulate what your value proposition is. You need to be able to understand and articulate your competitive advantage, what differentiates you from your competitors? From an acquisition standpoint, that of the talent pipeline, you really need to know what you have to offer. What you offer that’s different than everybody else and how you’re going to communicate that to your target demographic, in the same way that you do in the Consumer Market. Now from the retention side of things, you really need to understand your workplace culture, and how a workplace culture is built. And take intentional steps to actually building a workplace culture, because if you have high levels of job dissatisfaction, if the factors of your workplace are driving people away, if people do not feel that they are safe to speak up, or that they can’t belong these are all retention issues that will drive people out of your talent pipeline, and out of your organization.

[COBY]: Yeah, absolutely. And I think like just, and even just to clarify like the term Talent Pipeline. We’re talking about the people who are your future employees, how you go in recruiting good people, good talent, good labor to be part of your… you know to how connected they are to you, both from knowing about your business, all the way to working for you. And one thing that’s really important, and I think it really hits the nail on the head, is talking about kind of the reputation in the Labor Market, because it really does cut both ways. If your reputation is strong, then you know, then people are thinking, “Wow this is a great place to work for me, I want to work for them”. But if your reputation is like weak, or it’s even bad, then people are like; “Well I don’t know what to get, you know what it’s going to be like to work there. I don’t know if I want to work there, or I’ve heard horror stories from there”. And I think when we talk about understanding your talent pipeline, I think we should actually think about the pipeline like an actual pipe. Like a water pipe, and what you want to do is, you want to maintain your supply. But if the pipe is leaking, or if it’s cracked, then the water is just rushing out and you’re not retaining the supply that you’re spending time and money to pour into it. So you could ignore the cracks, and just keep pouring more water in, or you could actually patch the cracks that are causing the water to leak out and retain that water. Now talking about talent pipelines, the cracks in this case are things like micromanagement, job dissatisfaction, like you said James, a lack of psychological safety, or a lack of belonging. Now once you’ve addressed those leaks. then the talent that’s entering your pipeline will be far more secure. And this will allow for more, and even better talent, to come into your pipeline because they know they’re not going to step through the cracks, or they’re not wasting their time. And this effort to let retention, as you said James, be the key to your attraction, is what we at Roman 3 call Talent Security. Now if Talent Security is an idea that interests you in this talk, something that you’re like, “Yeah I want to learn more about this”. We actually have some great info on Talent Security at our website at, so make sure you check that out. But I think that thinking of the talent pipeline like an actual pipe that inspires retention and attraction, I kind of think it’s something that most of us really need to really do to put this whole thing into perspective.

[JAMES]: Well it’s a good analogy for a few reasons. I think it speaks to a lot of the frustrations on both ends. Businesses are frustrated right now in trying to… like “why can I not find people?”, right? “Why do people want, you know… I go through all of this effort and you know I get ghosted at the interview stage”. Or, you know and that happens on both sides, let’s be serious, that happens to both sides. Like there’s a lot of frustration out there in the Labor Market about how businesses treat and engage in talent attraction, and there’s a lot of frustration from businesses about how employees, or potential employees, engage in the Labor Market. And it’s because they’re not speaking the same language. They’re not on the same page. They’re not approaching… there’s a misalignment here, and if we use your analogy of the pipe; you know businesses just keep throwing more and more time and effort and money in pushing out their opportunities to the Labor Market, right? Hiring recruitment agencies, or doing it themselves, it costs it’s a lot of energy to actually find the best people to bring into your organization. And then you go through all of that effort to have somebody leave after six months or a year, that’s incredibly frustrating, right? But it’s because you have not secured your talent pipeline, right? If you’re experiencing those types of challenges, then this talk, the stuff that we’re going to talk about, might be really important for you to latch onto. Because there are tangible, there are simple tangible things that you can do to start to address these issues.

[COBY]: Yeah and I kind of think that’s like, what I feel like, or we feel like our mission is with our work, in our podcast, and our YouTube channel, and all the work that we do. Is trying to bring the tangible, practical, measurable ways to these extremely difficult, hard to grasp, almost like ether of an issue, that is everything around talent and workforce, and HR, and everything like that. And I think that a way to maybe even put a bit more clarity into this whole issue is that, poor success with attraction is really the symptom, it’s not the actual problem. It’s what we’re experiencing, it’s what we feel, but it’s not the inherent problem. It’s just a symptom. Because the poor retention, or a bad or a weak employer brand, that really is the sickness. That’s the thing that is actually causing you to have the issues with with low success with attraction, or frustration with people ghosting you, or no one applying for the job postings, or no one’s staying for a long time. And it’s the idea that we have to understand that if we keep pushing people to apply for us, and trying to address the problem as an attraction issue, then we’re setting ourselves up to fail. But if we really do understand and know the problem is; we’re not addressing job dissatisfaction, we’re not creating an inclusive workplace, people don’t feel like they belong, we’re not meeting the expectations of the workforce, or even understanding the expectations, and that is the sickness that is causing us to have these issues.

[JAMES]: Well and how many times in our previous work, around Workforce Development have we seen the effect of an employer brand, right? We’ve seen it for good and for bad. We’ve seen it for very bad several times…

[COBY]: Super bad!

[JAMES]: Super bad, yeah and not to harp on that, but I mean if you had… I love the analogy of the Labor Market and the Consumer Market because I think it’s a really important concept for businesses to grasp onto. And we spend so much time trying to build our brand, you know in the Consumer Market. What do people who are going to buy from us think about us, right? That is a very important and well thought out… and there’s money and time and energy dedicated to that. But we don’t do the same thing in the Labor Market, right? We don’t think about the Labor Market as a marketplace. And what now, more than ever, it’s an open marketplace where people have the ability to work virtually anywhere, in many jobs. They have the ability… we are less constrained by our geographical locations now, than we have ever been, to find employment. So you are not just competing with the business two doors down from you, you are competing for talent across the world. So we need to step up our game.

[COBY]: Yeah absolutely. And the thing too is, like you know, I also don’t want it to get lost when we’re saying talent. In terms of only talking about like high skill, high knowledge work. That we view talent right down to entry level. Like you know first time jobs.

[JAMES]: There are no unskilled jobs. Every job requires a level of skill, and training, and expertise. And you can develop skills, and training, and expertise in every job.

[COBY]: Exactly. So again, very clear that when we’re talking about talent, we mean every job, not just the cream of the crop, highly educated, or specialized positions. And I think that if we really wanted to say “Okay so to answer the question, How can businesses secure their talent pipeline?” I really think that we need to dig kind of deeply into an idea that you raised a few podcasts ago, about Push and Pull. Now just to give a little bit of background on what Push and Pull is, so Push and Pull is actually, again going back to the kind of the marketing in the Consumer Market realm. It actually is a term that kind of came from that realm. The idea about pushing your products on to people, hoping that it interests them and they want to buy it. Or creating the reputation and the brand and the social proof that pulls people to you. Now using the Psychology of Marketing, we’ve been able to kind of really clarify how that phenomena really can be a game changer in the Labor Market. And it’s something that we talk about all the time, and something that if there’s one thing that people take away from the talk today, I think the clarity around the value of Push and Pull, and how it kind of categorizes your efforts, and your strategies, and how it really does you know make everything a lot more tangible, I think that’s something that would be a very important thing for people, for someone listening to this, to really take away.

[JAMES]: I agree and it goes back to the analogy that you used, and the question that we’ve asked at the beginning, How do you secure your talent pipeline? There’s two sides of the talent pipeline like we said, the attraction and the retention. Your Push and your Pull, right? The efforts that you make in the Labor Market or to Push, or to share, your opportunities. These are your Push. What we typically think about in terms of job postings, and making people aware of what opportunities are out there, right? So whether you use recruitment agencies to Push your information out into the Labor Market, or whether you do that in-house, you’re still taking the same types of actions to make people aware, to Push your opportunities on somebody who doesn’t necessarily know anything about you. The other side of that is the retention that we talked about. Which can cause, if it’s done poorly, it’s causing cracks and it’s causing people to leave your talent pipeline. Your Pull efforts are more important to get right, right out of the gate than Push. And I want to clarify what I mean by that a little bit. Because you need to have both, and they both need to be done well, and done properly. But if you only have a strong Push, but your workplace culture is toxic, your managers have never been trained and they micromanage, or they just, they don’t know how to motivate and lead people, if there’s no psychological safety, like all of these things that we’ve already talked about. If those things are present, it doesn’t matter how much time, and energy, and money you put into your Push efforts. You will be far, far, far less successful. However, if you take the opposite side and you invest in your Pull, you can have a weaker Push. With a strong Pull,

[COBY]: Yeah and that’s a, and that’s a good way to put it. Like again, we get requests, or we work helping businesses, or we speak at conferences, or panels, on you know workforce stuff all the time. And we often get a lot of questions, like “Well I need someone today, and so what do I do?”, and we always say well, and your answer is, your answer really kind of is that. Your Push is very important. In the short term, we often, you know, there’s lots of great recruitment advice out there, not just from us, but from lots of different companies, about how to improve your Push, how to improve your messaging, how to how to make it more accessible, how to make it more engaging, how to actually speak to your audience effectively. And that is important, and there’s no question that that’s something that is valuable. But it is a, it’s kind of just focusing on that in the short term is a bit of a Band-Aid. Because if you do a good job getting the interest of the people by Pushing your opportunities on them, then they get to the workplace and it’s not nearly what they were hoping for, or you have this massive job dissatisfaction, or you have all these issues we mentioned before. Then it’s a lot of effort, for a poor outcome, when they leave in a few months. And so the thing is that, so what I think we should really kind of do is break down what are… I mean it’s hard to get into what is a Push, what are the best Push and Pull strategies, in the short time we have a talk. But I think, let’s try and give some good tangible examples of what creates a good Push to help.

[JAMES]: So if you are struggling to attract people right now, the first thing that I’m going to say is that if you don’t currently put your wages, your salary, on a job posting, do it. Just just do it. It is something that’s very simple, if you say that you offer competitive wages then show them what the competitive wages are, right? If your wages are actually competitive, then let people know. There’s a lot of people who will not waste their time and energy on a job posting that does not say what the wages are, right? This goes for whether you are doing it in-house or whether you are using a recruiter, right? Just tell people because it’s going to make their lives easier, they will know whether or not they want to waste their time talking to you or not. Like this is such a simple thing that just blows my mind. Like we’ve been, how long have we been going back and forth of well should I? Shouldn’t I? Yes? No? Yes. Do it. Just do it.

[COBY]: I honestly haven’t heard a good justification for why to not put it on there.

[JAMES]: So the arguments that I have heard have been along the lines of, “If I put the salary out there, then I will only, then the only people that I will attract to the job are people who are only in it for the money, I want people who aren’t in it for the money”. We’re talking about employment! We’re talking about people’s ability to earn a living, their livelihood, of course they’re in it for the money! Like yes, I understand the thought process behind it, but it’s faulty logic. You can’t expect people to want to work for you out of the goodness of their hearts. Even if you have the best social mission in the world, like you are saving the world, you are fixing climate change, you are curing cancer, you are just the most amazing people. People still need to be paid. They need to be paid, tell them what they’re gonna make.

[COBY]: Yeah, either you’re hiring volunteers, or you’re putting the salary on the job postings. Those are your two options.

[JAMES]: Okay I’ll try to get off my soapbox a little bit.

[COBY]: Now if someone listening to this wants to argue with James on that, you can find him on Twitter, @JamesFrom Roman3. I’m sure he’ll be happy to have a discussion with you…

[JAMES]: A very calm and rational discussion too I’m sure. Yeah but again that’s one thing that is a very simple fix, and there’s many people who are already doing that, who are still experiencing challenges. I’m not going, I don’t want to pretend that, that is the one thing that is going to fix all of your Push efforts.

[COBY]: No, but it does allude to kind of the fundamental thing that will actually improve your Push efforts, which is the concept of transparency. If you make everything clear, cards on the table, say this is kind of the, this is the job, this is the realities, this is the wages, this is the work, this is the work requirements, this the expectations. So people know what they’re getting into, because part of it is the dance of the job posting and the interview process is part of the problem. Like one thing that I always wonder when people talk about having challenges with recruitment, I ask this to our clients, everything like that, is; are the job postings, sorry the job interviews that you’re doing, is the goal of them for someone to pass or fail? Or is the goal of them to find someone who is a good fit for you, that will add value to you, complement your skill sets, complement your interests, your perspectives, and bring that value. Because a conversation to identify who’s going to be a good fit for you versus a “pass or fail approach” is something that can dramatically, actually play into improving your efforts. Because it’s about being transparent and not hiding behind stuff and expecting the employees to be, you know, have to pass all of our tests, and “Answer me the riddles three”, and be able to kind of do all this. It needs to be about that identification of, we authentically, transparently want someone who’s going to add value to us. Are you that person? And please help us understand if you are! That approach, versus “oh you didn’t pass the handshake test, oh you didn’t pass this, well I’m sorry…”, you know those types of things are… I think like… I don’t want to get too far into the Push stuff, because that really does, it can go a long list, but there are things like transparency, clarity, identification, are can be great to improve your Push.

[JAMES]: Absolutely. The other thing that I will say is going back to the analogy between your efforts in the Labor Market and your efforts in the Consumer Market, if you have not yet taken the time to think about what your value proposition is in the Labor Market, you need to do so. Because that should be articulated to people in the job posting. What value do you bring? What differentiates you from somebody else? Yes you need to be clear and transparent about what the job is, what the salary is, what the… you know all of those important details. But you also need, you’re selling yourself, right? You’re selling your company, you’re selling people on why they want to work for you rather than for somebody else, because of A, B, and C, whatever those things are. But there are…. my best advice would be, salary on the posting, but understand your target demographic within the Labor Market. Who are you talking to, and how do they like to be talked to? Where are they hanging out? The same efforts that you do in the Consumer Market. What is your value proposition? What is your competitive advantage? And use that to Push your efforts out, in a more effective manner.

[COBY]: Yeah, and that is, and that is excellent. And it actually leads really nicely into… Okay so that’s kind of the what the messaging for Push should look like. but to ensure that, that stands up and holds water, you need to focus on the Pull. Now going back to money, and everything is that we mentioned in the podcast we talked about the Labor Market and Consumer Market, about the difference between your competitive advantage in the Labor Market being a Compensation Leader, where you have the highest salaries, and the best benefits, and that’s kind of your one, that’s the key to your attraction efforts, and your retention efforts is compensation. It is a very limiting and very tenuous relationship with the Labor Market, because that will work for you as long as you’re the highest one. As long as you’re always paying the most, always having the best benefits, and no one’s ever going to beat you, globally. Then you’re good. Assuming you know that may not work out for you, so maybe, you know, for everybody. But I mean that’s different than the Culture Leader. The leader that says, “Yes we do have great wages and compensation, they’re not the highest but they’re good. But we also invest in your career path, we go out of our way to make sure that everyone feels like they belong, and are included in the work that we do. That we value building purpose and recognition into our daily communications, and interactions. And we see you as a person and we want to invest and support you, to give us your best work”.

[JAMES]: “We value you for who you are, and what you bring to the organization”. You’re allowed to value people for how they contribute to your organization, right? But if the only value that you put on somebody is what they can do for you, that’s a very superficial relationship, right? But you want, like people, the diversity of perspectives that people bring are incredibility valuable to organizations. Their background, their experiences, you want to value the whole person.

[COBY]: Yes and often, like one of the, and we have a webinar that really gets into this in a lot better detail, available on our YouTube channel, if you want to check it out. It’s about inclusion is kind of is that fundamental theme that really creates the Pull. How do you make people feel like you belong, how are you giving them opportunities to engage, to belong, to find a career, and you know and we talked about inclusion in our last podcast. And so I just want to encourage you also check that out.

[JAMES]: Just binge all of our content, that’s all you need to do. Spend every waking moment listening to us and you will be good.

[COBY]: Yeah exactly, either you know engage with us as you eat your breakfast. Never, never take your eyes off us. But the idea though that inclusion really does have that important role in Pull is is critical. Because I mean, like we also want to talk as I mentioned before, like you know training career paths are important. Employees want to know that the business is investing in their long-term success. They see them, and they say “You know we value you as a person, and we value the skills that you bring, your perspectives, all that kind of stuff, so we want to make sure that you know you have a career with us”. And that is something that can be very powerful in creating your Pull. And another one too, as we get into job dissatisfaction, so we talked about this in Episode Five on the Role of Unions… Man this is just like a clip episode, I feel it’s almost like…

[JAMES]: Simpson’s Clip Show….

[COBY]: But again, the importance of aligning the factors of the workplace, things like wages, but also things like job security, and wellness, and policies to the expectations of the workforce. They want their workplace and the factors provided them to be Competitive within the region and sector. Sufficient to meet their needs, and fulfill their intended purpose. and are fair and Equitable. And that is something that job dissatisfaction cannot exist, or sorry if it exists, you cannot start to create engagement, and job satisfaction without addressing the dissatisfaction. That’s the bottom level of our Workplace Culture Hierarchy…

[JAMES]: It’s foundational, it has to be. You have to work on the factors of your workplace, if you want to see success in the higher stages of inclusion and engagement. And this is one of the big challenges, or big mistakes that we see so many companies make. Is that they dive into wanting to create engaged employees, so how do you do that? Well let’s buy an engagement software that will tell us what people are thinking. And that’s not necessarily a bad system to employ, but if you have high levels of job dissatisfaction, if people do not have psychological… this the big one, if they don’t have psychological safety, you can survey them all that you want, you’re not going to get the truth out of them. Because they don’t feel safe to actually tell you what’s wrong. So that’s why you need to start with building, with removing the job dissatisfaction and starting to build some of those foundational pieces so that you can then work on providing psychological safety, so that when you are surveying people, using these amazing software systems that are out there to do this, you will actually gather data that will be true to where the problems are.

[COBY]: Yes absolutely, and we’ve done some work on front end to help some businesses be able to get to a point where some of the really great engagement tools, and surveys, and resources can actually be effective. Because it’s tough when you have, we have these companies that want to actually, you know, help you achieve your goals and create engaged employees, and improve your Pull. But then you know, but they’re starting at a place where you’re not really ready for it. Then they’re wasting their time, and you’re wasting your time, and then some companies get fed up with the whole process, you know, because they said “Well it doesn’t work”. Well no it didn’t work, because you weren’t ready. So there’s a real value, so we have some work around what we call “The 7X3 Rule” and other resources that really kind of helps with that. But there really is something that is really important to make sure that you know to not put good money after bad, you have to make sure that you’re ready for these great tools that exists to actually make a difference.

[JAMES]: And part of getting your company ready involves training your middle managers.

[COBY]: Yes!

[JAMES]: It’s a striking number of people in management positions have never received any type of management training. That’s no formal training, that’s no onboarding, at best they might have been able to shadow somebody in a similar position. But we put people into management positions often because they’ve been successful in the positions that they will eventually be responsible for, right? So if you are, you know, you kind of work your way up, and career ladders, career trajectories, are very, very, very good and very important. But the skills required to perform a job are very different than the skills required to manage, or inspire, or motivate somebody else, to perform that job. And the lack of management training is one of the most impactful reasons why you lose talent. We you hear these stats presented, and you hear these quotes all the time that; people don’t quit jobs, they quit managers. And it’s true, right? How many times have… the effect that a manager has on an individual’s work life is tremendous. And working for somebody who is a micromanager, who just sucks the life out of you… I’ve been there, not pleasant.

[COBY]: No, no and this is something that, like you know the other thing too, to even add on to that too, is also recognizing that there is a difference between leadership skills and management skills. And that you ideally, you need both. But they, they’re complementary, but they’re distinct. And they also are something that you know have higher impact at certain parts of of the career ladder. So you know what, the whole idea around the management training and middle managers, One: please, please train your middle managers, please do it, with actual leadership skills. But I think we’ll actually set that conversation aside because I could go on a soapbox about that very easily. So to avoid that that…

[JAMES]: That’s one of your key rants.

[COBY]: Yeah that is, yeah so, but I’ve been wanting to do a, to do an episode about how to engage non-desk workers, like 70% of the workforce who don’t work behind a desk or work remotely, and that’s going to be a pivotal part of that conversation. So let’s put that aside for now. But again, the takeaway; please train your middle managers. Another piece to go back to creating a good Pull, let’s move on, is what about employee referrals? Because studies have shown that when your employees will say to their friends, their family; “Hey, we have a job opening, you’d be a good fit, why don’t you apply, it’s a great place to work”. That little interaction can be a game changer for many, many businesses especially, small businesses. Because employee referrals have been proven to be hired faster, and to actually be a much better fit, and be better workers, than people that are hired through career sites or through recruiters. And it’s something that, you know, I said this to a business owner recently I said, because he was saying that he had zero people apply for a job posting. And so I said, “Well if you can’t, if your employees will not recommend you as an employer to their friends, that actually may be the heart of your problem”. And that is kind of, that’s what the Ambassador Effect, that we mentioned before really is. When your employees feel pride, feel respected, feel included in their job, and they’re willing to say to their friends, family, people that they know, that; “Hey, you know what, we’re looking for people. It’s a great place to work, I want you to have as good of an employee experience as I do, why don’t you apply to work for my company”. That is the Ambassador Effect. And that is kind of amazing, not the key to Pull, but that’s a big chunk of Pull right there. If you can create that Ambassador Effect, because talented and skilled people; highly, like you know, super high talent or, you know, even entry level talent, they associate with people of a similar capacity, interests, skills.

[JAMES]: We all naturally gravitate to people who with shared interests. Whether it, whether we’re talking about employment or otherwise. We gravitate to people who have commonalities with us, right? Shared interest, shared skills, shared passions, what have you. So it makes sense, your employees would have people in their networks, in their professional and personal networks, who may have similar skill sets, interests in working with you. So capitalize on that. It’s the same thing, we do this, is the exact same principle as Word of Mouth in marketing. How important is Word of Mouth from a customer perspective, in your business? Word of Mouth, client referrals, how much time do you spend, like making, chasing down clients and making sure that client referrals are prominent on your website? Because we know that we as a consumer, we trust what other similar consumers say. Whether that’s in a review process, whether that’s a customer testimonial, or whether that’s my second cousin, twice removed, on my mother’s side, whatever. Whether it’s somebody who I know, who’s sharing this information with me saying; “Listen I just bought this thing, it is amazing, you need to get one”.

[COBY]: Yeah and I mean like, that is kind of like the one of, that’s the Holy Grail of creating the Pull, is when your employees will unprompted say; “my company is great to work for, you should work there”. Or had this great experience with my company and they make a social media post…

[JAMES]: “We’ve got an opportunity coming up that I think you would love”.

[COBY]: Yeah that kind of stuff, I mean now if a company can capitalize on that natural, you know authentic, you know unofficial employee referral piece, and actually create a more structured approach to help empower people to do that. That’s even better. But I mean there is so much power that comes from the the Ambassador Effect. Now I want to where you know I want to make sure we address something that you mentioned a couple of times before we get, before we end the podcast; about recruiters. Now you mentioned this a few times about, a big part of your Push are recruiters, and the thing is that recruiters are a, you know, are a complicated group. Some people love them, a lot of people don’t. You know, we’ve both, in our professional lives, years ago, dealt with recruiters on both sides. Most of our experiences weren’t positive. But you know, I don’t, but I think recruiters… it’s a tough gig and I have, and actually my heart kind of goes out to a lot of recruiters who are in a really tough position, especially in 2022. Because the job market is hard on its own, and recruiters, whether that’s internal or external, they have to try to sell like future possibilities to potential employees, you have to sell the future with a company, but they have no control over what the company provides. You know the actual atmosphere, anything that happens after the recruitment process, they’re out. But they have so, they have to try, they can’t you know make sure that the working conditions are good, and that you know that there’s going to be success, and the person’s going to have a long career. They have no impact on that. And it’s kind of like trying to sell a future where the company might be, you know, like a little more than like selling a broken down house that the all the owners have done is invest in creating a good curb appeal. But all their investment is to make sure that they look good, there’s a good veneer on it, but you know from the road it’s gorgeous, from the outside. But as soon as you step in, it’s a dilapidated mess. And that’s kind of what I feel a lot of recruiters, like you know are kind of set up to fail in a lot of ways. whether they’re an internal recruiter or they’re an external recruiter, like a firm, or a person, there’s kind of set up to fail because they have to kind of sell that curb appeal, and you know sometimes they don’t even know the house is dilapidated, because it’s  not part of their job to know that.

[JAMES]: They’re operating on, they’re often handcuffed with what information they’re allowed to share with a potential applicant which is terrible, right? So trying to dance around an applicant’s legitimate questions sounds like you’re being evasive. Sounds like you’re trying to pull one over on them, when they may be under contract to not be actually sharing these things, right? So the recruiters, there’s a lot of fantastic people in the, like in every job, right? There are some that

ruin it for others, ruin the reputation for others. But there are a lot of fantastic people who truly want to help people find the best work environment for them. But if they’re handcuffed by what the company allows them to share, or by the company puts all of their effort in making their Push efforts look really, really nice, but getting in there is just a dumpster fire, you know the recruiter gets blamed for that often times, right? And it sucks.

[COBY]: It does. And I think that, it’s something that the Pull will have so much of a greater effect, but the the money you’re spending on your internal recruiters or external recruiters, is again, not being well spent if the Pull is not there. And because a great Push and a great Pull that’s Talent Security,

[JAMES]: Yes, you need both.

[COBY]: Yes a great Push with a so-so, sorry. A great Pull with a so-so Push that’s functional. That’s you know, you most rely on Word of Mouth. Great for, and that’s not so bad for like local businesses who only have a local labor force. But the majority of the businesses, experiencing these issues, are probably having a good Push and a weak Pull. And that’s the recipe for disaster that they’re currently experiencing.

[JAMES]: That’s why you can’t retain anybody, that’s why once people investigate your opportunity and look beyond the shiny curb appeal they go nope, no way in hell I’m working for that guy. They will self-select out, they’ll go on to the next person, and they will answer the next… they’ll have three more recruiters reach out to them that day, right? For some fields that are highly, highly competitive right now. People are being like, recruitment agencies are contacting, cold calling people, potential applicants through LinkedIn and other means all the time. They are getting inundated with these Push efforts.

[COBY]: Yeah, right, absolutely. Okay so I think that we… let’s kind of wrap this up and I’ll give a kind of a quick summary. So there’s two sides to the talent pipeline. There’s the talent acquisition, excuse me talent acquisition side and the talent retention side. And that it really comes down to kind of your Labor Market reputation that really does define both. And a Labor Market reputation kind of cuts both ways. A good reputation can actually boost and improve your talent pipeline. And a difficult reputation, or a poor reputation, or a weak reputation can actually be the cause of most of your issues. We need to think of the our talent pipelines like an actual pipe that if we don’t secure the cracks that’s making the water leak out, then no matter how much we invest in putting more water into the pipes, we’re going to constantly be losing great opportunities, great talent, great supply by having things like micromanagement, job dissatisfaction, low psychological safety, and a lack of belonging. That poor success with attraction is often the symptom of the larger problem, which tends to be poor reputation. Because of a bad or a weak employer brand, which is the actual sickness that that you need to address. Push and Pull are great, it’s a great theory to help kind of galvanize the difficult, less tangible, parts of HR, in a really tangible way. But the key with them is to focus on inclusion. Money is not enough. Culture Leaders will always succeed over Compensation Leaders. Build a training and career path, address job dissatisfaction, investigate and encourage employee referrals, please invest in your middle managers for leadership training, and try to create the Ambassador Effect. Talent security is about investing in addressing the cracks in your pipeline and building an employer brand that Pulls people to your business, where they will put themselves into your talent pipeline.

[JAMES]: that’s a good recap.

[COBY]: All right so that about does it for us. So for a full archive of our podcasts and access to the video version hosted on our YouTube channel visit our website at Thanks for joining us.

[ANNOUNCER]: For more information on topics like these don’t forget to visit us at Side effects of this podcast may include improved retention, high productivity, increased market share, employees breaking out in spontaneous dance, dry mouth, aversion to the sound of James’s voice, desire to find a better podcast…

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