Let’s face it: Hiring sucks.

Even if you’re not in a turnover-plagued industry, your company is constantly dealing with the costs associated with it. Hiring is just one part of these, but it’s become an increasingly annoying thorn in the side of teams trying to operate efficiently.

Mehul Patel, CEO of Hired.com, found people would rather have a root canal than commit themselves to a job hunt. Given this climate, Patel says companies are facing an Opportunity Crisis when it comes to hiring.

Patel took his message to SXSW. “Hiring Sucks, but it Doesn’t Have To” his panel proclaimed.

The YouEarnedIt team caught up with Patel in the wake of SXSW for an in-depth Q&A expanding on how to overhaul the hiring process today.

YouEarnedIt: You’ve talked about Hired trying to help people build “purpose-driven careers.” What does that mean, both from an employee and an employer’s perspective?

Mehul Patel: We all crave fulfillment and purpose in our lives, which may explain why 1 in 5 working adults daydream about leaving their current job on a weekly basis. Millennials in particular crave not just a paycheck, but a cause to rally behind. Whether you’re offering employees the chance to get involved with a charitable organization, or your company or product is truly making a difference in the world, showing a prospect the impact they can make at the company is key.

An organization doesn’t need to be creating world peace for work to be meaningful. Whatever your industry or size, authenticity is essential. Transparency, mission-driven goals, and opportunities to volunteer can all help create a purpose-driven career.

YEI: The description of your SXSW session rails against “flashy perks” companies use to attract talent. Why is this the wrong approach? What are companies getting wrong with their approach to perks and rewards?

MP: We believe that while rock climbing walls and free buffets are nice, they’re not what retains top talent. A great company culture and the ability to work on something meaningful are what inspires people to stay and grow with your organization. It’s important for candidates and employees to know that you care about supporting their growth and the value they can add to your company. Also, different employees prefer different types of perks. Opting for flexible work schedules, mentorship programs, and 401(k) accounts over doggy daycare and a personal concierge could help you attract people who care more about the company’s long term success than about the frivolous perks it offers.

While rock climbing walls and free buffets are nice,
they’re not what retains top talent.

Mehul Patel, CEO, Hired.com

YEI: What are some specific things on the wish lists of prospective employees these days — particularly tech talent — and how are companies failing to meet these?

MP: Most employed adults (66%) would take a pay cut to be happier at work — to the tune of 8% (on average) of their current salary; and millennials are the most likely to say they would take a pay cut for happiness at work. What do prospective candidates equate to happiness? A sense of purpose, compatible company culture, opportunities for advancement, and flexibility all top the list for prospective employees.

YEI: The competition for talent in technology, sales, and marketing roles is incredibly tough right now. What’s some strategic advice you can give companies trying to improve their hiring process — especially if they feel they can’t quite keep up with competitors offering higher compensation?

MP: Candidates crave transparency – ditch the smoke and mirrors. Provide candidates with a wealth of information about the role they will fill, compensation, and a rationale for why the company is a good fit from the onset. Candidates will undoubtedly appreciate the candidness and it will cut down on wasted time on both sides.

Also, keep it simple. The more values you try to implement or stand behind, the harder it will be as you grow. Pick what is most important to you and your company and make that the outward statement for all candidates and employees.

YEI: How would you describe the recruiting and hiring process’ role in the overall employee experience?

MP: Candidates have a keen eye for authenticity and it’s important to establish a strong, core mission and stick to it. Even the noblest mission statements can fall flat if they aren’t communicated effectively from day one. It’s easy to get distracted by the latest perks, but a shared core set of values is what will ultimately attract the right candidates who will be excited about your company’s long term success.

It’s easy to get distracted by the latest perks, but a shared set of values is
what will ultimately attract the right candidates who will be excited about your
company’s long term success.”

Mehul Patel, CEO, Hired.com

For more insights from Mehul and Hired, follow him on LinkedIn or visit Hired.com


About YouEarnedIt:
YouEarnedIt is a SaaS HR technology platform that redefines the way companies engage with their employees. By providing tools to connect, reward, reveal and report in real-time, YouEarnedIt can consolidate employee engagement initiatives into one, easy-to-use mobile platform for teams of all sizes. Since launching in 2012, YouEarnedIt has delivered its flexible software to small enterprises and Fortune 500 brands across several industries. Visit youearnedit.com for more information or schedule a quick demo here.

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Skyler Rogers