If there were two myths in hiring I’d say absolutely need to be busted, I’d say it’s these two:
1) Employees are a Cost. This is utter bullshit. In any exchange, it happens because of a reverse valuation; which means each person wants what the other has more than what they’re giving them in exchange for it. If you value two things equally, there’s no need to exchange because it doesn’t matter. In the context of employment, the employee wants the salary more than the time spent on the job, and the employer wants the work product more than the salary paid for it. As such, employees are an addition to a company’s revenue stream. When any individual trades something they have for something they want more than that thing, they have made a return, or a profit. Same goes for employers. So companies need to stop acting as if employees are a cost and see them for what they are: additions to their revenue stream. They need to start realizing vacancies have a cost, both in lost revenue from that position, but also lost revenue for everyone who has to pick up the slack and so potentially not performing their primary duties to the best of their ability. Over staffing is certainly possible, but as long as employees are seen as a cost, all companies are always over staffed, because at least on an accounting level, they would be better off without everyone. Of course, if that happened then the company is gone too.
Newsflash for employers: you’re not doing anyone a favor by employing them. It’s a mutual exchange that benefits both parties. Pull your heads out of your asses and start treating your employees as what they are: revenue generators.
2) There’s a labor shortage. Pure bullshit. There’s a documented labor surplus, and I and other recruiters have routinely seen multiple instances of tens, hundreds, and sometimes even thousands of applicants for an open position where the hiring manager claims none are qualified. It’s not the candidates, it’s not a labor shortage, it’s not the recruiters. The problem is no accountability for hiring with the managers. There’s plenty of qualified people out there, your hiring managers are not accountable, nor do you have an honest, realistic assessment of what you offer as an employer. Every employer thinks they deserve the Fabulous 5%, the top performers in any industry. Horseshit. You’re an average company with average salaries and average managers, you’re going to get average people. Fucking deal with it. You’re not Google, you have no benefits, you offer mediocre to no time off, who the fuck do you think is going to want to work for you? You had better do an honest assessment of where you stand. Think of yourself as a manufacturer of employment opportunities. And then realize that, if it were any other product, that if your market strategy was to bitch and moan about how inept your customers were for not being willing to buy your clearly superior product for the ridiculously high price you charge, you’d be out of business in a heart beat. In this case the high price you’re charging is the ridiculous discount to the mean salary offered in the area that you expect people to take for the ‘privilege’ of working at your company.
It’s time for employers to pull their heads out of their asses and start taking ownership of the hiring process. If employment at your company isn’t attractive that’s your fault, and you need to correct it. Control bad managers, up your salaries to something more reasonable, and start holding people accountable for getting positions filled. And for those places with screaming, abusive owners, have the balls to be the one who explains to them how pathetic that behavior is and how horrible it is for their own business.
And if you aren’t willing to do those things, then don’t blame everyone else for your problems. You aren’t serving your customers right, and that’s your fault, not theirs.