We’ve all experienced the tight labor market in one way or another. The employment rate is at 3.9% and there are more job openings than people looking for a job. However, a few organizations have solved this issue and have qualified candidates lining up. Even in this tight labor market they have no problem filling open positions.

Culture eats strategy for breakfast ~ Peter Drucker

The reality is, if you aren’t building a culture that attracts people to come work for you, you will always struggle filling open positions. One of my clients, had an issue filling open positions. They went to work building their culture with intent. They defined their Core Values and began hiring, firing, reviewing, rewarding and recognizing their people.

The results were amazing. In just 18 months, the culture did a complete 180 degree turn. They now have people coming to them asking if they have openings. People from competing firms have noticed the change and want to work for my client.

There has been a complete shift from struggling to fill open positions, to a line of qualified candidates. Here’s how they did it.

  1. Created a simple set of Core Values.
  2. Used the People Analyzer™to fire, review, reward and recognize their people.
  3. Used a simple Core Values speech in their hiring process along with some simple filtering questions.
  4. Every quarter, they restate the Core Values, publicly call out behaviors in line with the values and reconnect everyone to the company vision.
  5. Created a strong Core Values driven brand with posters, t-shirts, pens, etc.

Note that step 5 is the icing on the cake. It’s not the cake. However, I’ve noticed that companies that take branding internally can amplify their culture significantly. It’s just like a group of people who all root for the same sports team. A great brand can have a unifying affect that shouldn’t be underestimated.