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Meet Your Hiring Goals in 2021

I don’t often use the phrase “dumpster fire,” but when I do, it’s in reference to 2020.

Let’s face it.

2020 sucked.

On January 6th we all started out recharged, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and we had a plan for 2020.

And then February happened.

And then March happened.

And then things just…




One of the silver linings of 2020, was that we all learned a lot more about ourselves. We’ve all had to adjust, and for those of us fortunate enough to be thriving business wise, we’ve discovered that the way we were doing it before, isn’t necessarily the way we’re going to be able to do it moving forward.

So, let’s focus on the positive.

Remember when remote work was a nice to have or a perk that only really forward-thinking companies offered?

2020 has shown us that (at least in the knowledge sector), remote work, works.

Remember when the idea of hiring someone without actually shaking their hand seemed nuts?

2020 has shown us that shaking hands with someone outside of your bubble could literally kill you.

Remember when a company’s culture was defined by how cool its office space was and what snacks were offered up in the kitchen?

2020 has shown us that our newly expanded Pivot + Edge HQ (we signed the new lease in January), is nothing more than a REALLY expensive mailbox.

Above all else, 2020 has shown us that  Life Changes. Yes, that’s a link to an awesome country song by Thomas Rhett. I saw him play a show in Ottawa in 2019 and he was awesome. 🙂

As we’re all looking for the silver linings and trying to put together a post-pandemic plan of what life could look like in 2021, we learn that there are a lot of things we can’t control.

There is, however, a lot that we can control, specifically as it relates to setting ourselves up to win, hiring wise.

Here are three things all CEOs and business leaders can do to meet their hiring goals in 2021.

Update your careers page and job posting templates

I live and breathe this stuff every day, so it’s possible that you have a higher tolerance for stock imagery than I do, but I personally can’t wait to see Shutterstock’s new line of pics of diverse unemployed models wearing masks while “collaborating at work”. 🙁

We’ve all been in lockdown for months. We’re all accustomed to working from home (or living at work, depending on how you look at it), and we’re all very aware that the future of work does not include long commutes, mass gatherings in an office space, and generic team fist bumps.

If I’m describing the imagery that’s currently on your careers page, I’m sorry (I’m not actually sorry), but your careers page sucks and it’s time for a refresh.

The same goes for your job posting templates.

If your job posting template still starts with, “Reporting to the blah of blah, the blah will blah blah”… and doesn’t reference anything pandemic related or how your business or hiring program has shifted as a result, now is the time to pull out the magic digital eraser and put a more thoughtful message out to your potential hires about who you are as a company, and the types of people that you really want to connect with.

Need somewhere to start?

Get your C level comfortable sharing their perspective on social media

If I had a dollar for every excuse I’ve heard from a C level that’s not actively sharing their perspective about their business, and why people should want to join their team on social media, I’d already be retired.

Full disclosure, I don’t have a Facebook account any more, and I also dumped my Instagram a while back, so I’m not saying that every C level has to be sharing on every platform, but at the very least they should be visible on the platforms where their ideal candidates live, work and play.

People have always, but even more so now, cared about who they are committing their time and energy to, what their leaders believe, and what their values actually are.

Social media gives everyone a platform to share, show and prove exactly that, and potential hires are paying attention.

If you’re still part of the, “Yeah, but…” C level club,” I’ve got news for you.

Your business is also still part of the, “Yeah, but… we’re going to have to pay a head-hunter an obnoxious fee to convince someone to join us because I still think social media is a fad.”

If you don’t want to be part of that club and are looking for some resources to get you on the right path, check this out.

Make every job applicant feel like a potential customer

I get it.

You’re a very important person. You’re trying to balance your life and work, and you don’t have time to return every single email.

Here’s the thing.

As far as I know, there still isn’t a “People Store” just around the corner that stocks the exact profile of the person that you need to make your business successful.  You can’t pick them up like a carton of milk at your convenience.

When it comes to hiring in 2021, the talent you need is scarce.

Sure, we’re in the middle of a pandemic, but those that have not been negatively impacted professionally, are far less risk averse than they were this time last year. They are in control and they are looking for meaning in their work now more than ever. If you can’t tell your unique story where these people will see it, you won’t even get them in the door for an interview.

If you can get them in the door, treat them like royalty.

Have a few bad Glassdoor reviews?

Own them!  

Do you have a disorganized interview process?

Fix it! 

Are you trying to hire on a shoestring budget?

Spend your pennies wisely. 

The companies that win the war for talent are the ones that prioritize hiring and people.

If you can’t agree that prioritizing people is important, then I’m sorry (not sorry), we can’t be friends and you’re not going to get an invite to my birthday party next year.

We’re almost through 2020, and I’m confident that we will all be better off learning from the nightmare that we’ve just experienced.

The vaccines are coming, masks are now fashionable, and we’re about to settle into a long winter.

If you are fortunate enough to be a part of a business that is growing, set yourself, and your teams up to win at hiring in 2021 by considering the three steps above.

If you just don’t know where or how to start, or don’t feel that you have the cycles internally to do so, have no fear, this is something we live and breathe every day at Pivot + Edge. If we can take some weight off your shoulders, we’re happy to chat. Book some time with us here.

If you’ve been impacted professionally by the pandemic and you’re in the National Capital Region, we’ve just launched a new careers page for the Kanata North Business Association, and it highlights nearly 500 jobs.

If you came here for the dumpster fire giphys, you can find me on Twitter @bigtalljohn.

I mainly tweet about nonsense stuff that makes me laugh, but I think my giphy game is pretty strong.

Be well everyone, 2020 has been an unforgettable year to forget.

Let’s make 2021 memorable, together.


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