Smarter hiring and work, life, family

| Print |  Email
Business tips
Friday, June 21, 2013

BY TOM COX | BUSINESS TIPS CONTRIBUTOR

06.21.13 Blog HiringIt is surprisingly easy to out-compete other firms in hiring top people.

You just need to think differently.

Most hiring managers unconsciously build a ‘box’ of expectations that unintentionally omits large numbers of qualified applicants.

These expectations can include:

  • Full Time
  • Work in the Office
  • 8 to 6 work day
  • Weekdays
  • Under 50 (which is illegal, yet common)

…and so on.

When I work with job seekers, I’m astounded at how highly qualified many of them are — and how complex their lives are. One job seeker is older than 60 — and has amazing energy and drive. She’s been screened out of several openings where she’d be excellent.

Another job seeker has a tough home life with a chronically sick family member. He’s incredibly responsible and hard working, and would be a loyal high performer — if he could get flexibility around days and times of work.

Then, when I work with CEOs and other hiring managers, they think nothing of excluding someone who can’t work a full time 8-to-6 office job — even when the job itself does not truly require that.

Fortunately for Portland area employers and job seekers — and ultimately national and worldwide — a startup called Work Life Family (WLF) aims to fix this. I interviewed Joni Roylance, co-founder with Caitlin Shrigley, about their mission.

Their primary equation is:

1 + 1 = 3

In other words, you can create wholes that are larger than the sums of their parts… especially in hiring and retaining workers.

Joni founded the company after she worked 8 years at one job, needed a 4-day work week with the birth of her second child, and was turned down for flex time or part time.

“There are lots of opportunities for employers to build goodwill, and provide value to employees, that don’t cost cash,” says Joni.

Conventional “family friendly” policies can mean a pretty narrow range of options — like part-time or work-from-home jobs.

Companies can easily go beyond that:

  • offer an FSA for elder care
  • offer health care or other benefits to same-sex partners
  • understand the complexity of family life that some workers face

This inspires one to back up and ask another seemingly naive question — Why have benefits?

  • Build loyalty
  • Remove distractions (EAP)
  • Create win-win transactions (e.g., providing group-buying power to individual workers)

WLF looks to understand, What are the costs and barriers that get in the way of offering benefits like flexible hours, FSAs, etc?

For any employer looking to deepen loyalty and increase their pool of job applicants, WLF’s guidance seems like it should be mandatory.

My advice is, tell (don’t ask) your HR director to connect with WLF and see what policies (and assumptions) you should change, immediately.

But be warned — no amount of flex time is going to guarantee worker engagement. (Too many HR folks over-sell and over-promise the benefits of benefits.)

My experience matches the guidance of Frederick Herzberg — his “Motivation and Hygiene Factors” is a great illustration of the duality of engagement factors.

To summarize Herzberg’s point, employees need two things, Motivating factors and Hygiene factors.

Benefits and the rest of the WLF agenda add up to Hygiene — and a lack of these factors can cripple your ability to engage your workers.

However, hygiene is not enough — it’s “necessary but not sufficient” to create engagement.

You still need leadership. Fortunately, I’ve covered that in prior columns (and podcasts) on Motivating, Engaging, and Connecting.

Tom Cox is a Beaverton consultant, author and speaker. He coaches CEOs on how to boost performance by building workplace trust.

 

More Articles

Get on the bus!

April 2015
Thursday, March 19, 2015
BY APRIL STREETER

How the private sector can ride the next transit revolution.


Read more...

The 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon

March 2015
Thursday, February 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

Employment in Oregon is almost back up to prerecession levels — and employers are having to work harder to entice talented staff to join their ranks. This year’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon project showcases the kind of quality workplaces that foster happy employees. 


Read more...

The Road to Reinvention

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Damian Smith bets on changing himself — and Portland — through consulting.


Read more...

Opening soon: 3 of the coolest new breweries in Oregon

The Latest
Thursday, March 19, 2015
brewthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

There are 278 companies licensed to operate as brewery, according to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Here are three new beer-making hubs slated to open soon.


Read more...

5 ways successful people kickstart the day

The Latest
Thursday, April 02, 2015
coffeethumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Are mornings the most productive part of the day?  We ask five successful executives how they get off to a good start.


Read more...

Beyond Bodegas

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Five years in the making, the Portland Mercado — the city’s first Latino public market — will celebrate its grand opening April 11. A $3.5 million public-private partnership spearheaded by Hacienda CDC, the market will house 15 to 20 businesses in the food, retail and service sectors. It has some big-name funders, including the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and JPMorgan Chase. The project goals are equally ambitious: to improve cross-cultural understanding, alleviate poverty and spur community economic development. 


Read more...

5 highlights from the Angel Oregon Showcase

The Latest
Thursday, April 23, 2015
IMG 5069BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The entrepreneurial spirit was alive and well at the Oregon Angel showcase, an annual event for angel investors and early stage entrepreneurs.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS