In a day and age when the national unemployment rate still remains more than 8 percent, it is safe to say that it remains an employer’s market.
That being said, we know or should know what most employers are looking for when it comes to hiring new workers.
Among the things traditionally sought are:
• Attention to detail;
• Ability and desire to pitch in where needed.
While those may be common sense things on the employer end, what exactly are employees looking for in today’s workplace?
For many workers, the idea of working for one employer their entire lives like many of their parents did decades back is pretty much out of reach. Just as many of today’s workers cannot afford their own homes, they too cannot expect to be with one employer for several decades.
So, what is today’s employee looking for when it comes to finding a suitable position, a position that will provide them with both enjoyment and stability?
Although a number of things come to mind for both myself and friends and family members who I talked to regarding their jobs, these following items clearly stood out:
• Security in the workplace. While none of us have 100 percent security given today’s economic climate, you also don’t want to go to work each day wondering if it will be your last. Employers can ease that concern by putting you in the best possible situation to succeed;
• The ability to succeed. As mentioned a moment ago, the ability to succeed is a two-way street. While one expects their employer to place them in a position to be successful and contribute to the company, it is important that the employee seize such opportunities. Too many employees don’t always rise up to the occasion when success is knocking at the doorstep;
• Did you hire adults or children? One of the worst things a company can do is babysit its employees. I have seen this personally over my 23 years of employment, not to mention heard it from family and friends in the workplace. When you hire someone for a job, you train them, then give them the car keys and let them take it for a spin. To constantly be on top of them not only creates friction in the office, it also makes for less productive workers. Trust me; you’d know if they’re not getting their work done. You either trust the employees you hire to do a good job or you don’t at the end of the day. Doing the former in more cases than not will produce winning results for both employer and employee;
• An understanding that we’re all here for a reason. One thing I have witnessed in two-plus decades of employment is that being an employer almost requires having a PhD in psychology. You have your quiet employees, your boisterous workers and those in between. You have your driven employees; workers that are average but do not stand out and your workers who you wonder why you hired in the first place. At the end of the day, fitting those pieces of the puzzle together is your first and foremost goal to having a happy, productive team.
While I could list literally dozens of more factors that employees want, I would say those mentioned are a good start.
When you’re out recruiting employees for your company or as a temporary staffing agency, ask each and every employee what they are looking for beyond the standard and boring where they see themselves five years from now.
In the end, hiring the right employees the first time around is a win-win for both employer and employee.
Dave Thomas, who covers among other items obtaining small business loans, writes extensively for Business.com, an online resource destination for businesses of all sizes to research, find, and compare the products and services they need to run their businesses.