Treat the source, not the symptom

If you’re a growing company, there are an infinite amount of creative tactics for hiring more great people.

Running hyper targeted social ads, securing press mentions about your cool, laid back culture, building out an email marketing campaign to applicants, getting listed on career communities, creating a social media presence that shows a fun day in the life of an employee, utilizing the referral networks of your current team, and connecting with professors at reputable business schools.

My personal favorite is when these executives recommend creating a hilarious viral video of their employees doing something crazy in their workspace.

That will fill our applicant pool with top talent, right?

Probably not. Because as we all know, any brand that tries to go viral, doesn’t.

What bothers me about this entire line of thinking is, it’s putting the employment cart before the horse. Yes, many of these tactics do work, but the issue is that they’re treating the symptom and not the source.

Like throwing your back out and immediately going to get a massage. It’s a lovely short term solution that feels relaxing and stops the pain, but the reality is, you probably need to commit to doing regular core strengthening exercises instead.

That’s what my mother, a personal trainer and pilates instructor, told me after multiple back injuries over the years.

Treat the source, not the symptom.

Growing companies ought to heed that same advice. Instead of trying to compete with other companies by bragging about your iguana friendly office, just treat your people better.

Build an atmosphere worth coming to. Don’t hire assholes.

Those aren’t the most creative ideas in the book, but maybe creativity isn’t what we need here.

Having worked for a few startups myself, here’s one thing that bothers me about their recruiting process. These companies spend millions trying to compete on who has the best, healthiest snacks for their employees.

But instead of having better snacks, why not just pay people more?

That’s why my new invention is going to change the world.

Peckish is a corporate fasting program that sends everyone in your company a personalized weekly email infographic indicating the amount of money that person has earned by not having any snacks in the office. No more fighting over protein bars, kale chips and and beef jerky. And no more cleaning up wrappers, crumbs and napkins. Just more money.

Talk about making a fast buck.

If companies offered programs like that, they wouldn’t need to make clever videos to convince candidates to apply there. Because every recent college graduate would be telling their friends about it.

Did you hear about that new tech startup that basically starves you, but pays a shit ton of money?

You can lose weight and get rich at the same time!

Treat the source, not the symptom.

Focus on the value your company provides for its team members, and the marketing will take care of itself. 

Are you trying to solve the wrong problem?


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