Do People Really Just Not Want To Work?

Here in the Pacific Northwest Business is Better Than Ever!

Human Resource professionals are looking to fill all kinds of positions and are struggling, though supposedly unemployment rates are better. So where are all of these candidates? Do people really not want to work? How are they making ends meet?

I have the pleasure of leading the SW SHRM’s HR Coffee Talks bi-weekly, and last week’s discussion had some unique perspectives. Marden Nochez, with ValueUp Advisors said, “It isn’t because people don’t want to work.” What??? That statement kind of stopped us in our tracks.

If It’s Not Because People Don’t Want to Work– What Is It?

Marden explained that 2020 really gave people perspective on their life, careers, mortality, etc…and people are relooking at what they want their life to look like moving forward.. He says even before 2020, this phenomenon has been building. However, 2020 sped the process tenfold.

People are more than ever, driven to the careers/jobs that have purpose for them. It is not enough to just have a job that pays the bills. If people are going to be giving 40+ hours a week to a job, they want it to be purposeful. I can completely relate to that, can you?

What Perspective Did 2020 Provide?

Did you reflect on certain aspects of your life that lead to looking at things differently? I know I did. Some ways of life pre-COVID, I will never go back to. For some of us feeling like we were on a hamster wheel and wishing that life would just pause…Well, we got our wish and perspective!

Some Opt For Less Income But More Impact

One HR professional in our discussion, mentioned that she could relate to this with a recent hire at her company. She had just hired a candidate from the Bay area who was making a lot of money in the corporate world and was willing to leave that position for a much lower paying job
with the nonprofit.

Why? Purpose. Even though her paycheck was great with the prior company, it wasn’t enough to go to work day in and day out without purpose. After asking herself, “Why am I doing this?”, she made a change to have less income and more impact. So far, she has seen the difference in her happiness level.

Where Are The Workers and How Are They Paying Their Bills?

These people are living simpler lives and taking time to figure out their future, they are starting their own business where they are the “heart” of the company, or are in the gig economy that allows them to live
their life according to when they want to work.

So how can companies attract these types of candidates? Some are lost for the time being, some might become contractors or vendors, and some can be attracted by the purpose they are looking for in your company.

It is Time to Relook at Your Recruiting Strategies!

Things to consider:

  • Not posting just a job description – Boring!
  • Include the purpose and the impact a position has on the company and community
  • A clear training program of succession of the skills, pay and impact. Trades do a great job paying them while they are training
  • Sell your company (stop talking about the same old benefits… Be unique!)
  • Flexibility – Do you have it in your company? I strongly suggest and believe that you must have flexibility available to your employees. (Look for my next blog where I will focus solely on flexibility in the workforce).

Now more than ever, companies are needing to hone in on emotional intelligence to attract and retain happy and thriving employees. So the question of where all the candidates are, becomes clearer to me and hopefully to you. It is a different era and there are many great things about this new phenomenon. Changing our perspective and our strategies can help make a big difference in our success and the happiness of our others.


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