Winning the war for talent

Several weeks ago, Business High Point through our Interchange initiative hosted Chris Czarnik, an acclaimed keynote speaker and author of the book Winning the War for Talent. Workforce challenges have and remain a giant elephant in the room for many companies across multiple sectors.

While High Point is a growing city, some of our own members and organizations that call this community home, struggle mightily to attract talent and retain their existing workers — challenges within a larger problem of an aging workforce.

Per Czarnik, there will be a gap of 8 million workers over the next 10 years as baby boomers are retiring and the number of people entering the workforce is far less.

This deficit has Chris zigzagging the country nearly 300 days a year imploring companies to make key changes. Switch up their tactics. Be MORE proactive. And contemplate, “Are they working as hard for their next employee as for their next customer?”

Chris added, “Jobseekers don’t know where they belong; we need to tell them where they belong.”

Personally, I valued our speaker’s hands-on approach and outside-the-box suggestions. One was requesting attendees to check out a job search engine and find their open position posting. For most guests who attempted this, nothing showed up. Our job postings didn’t stand out amongst countless others. And with this aha moment, Chris shared key steps for how companies SHOULD go about posting a position.

“Describe the person you hope applies; build a persona by interviewing your employees,” Chris said. “Good job ads are about creating questions, not answering them.”

Years back (you may not remember), there was a Snickers commercial starring Betty White in a football-related montage to sell the popular candy bar. The ad then quickly cut to their now famous “Snickers satisfies” tagline.

Chris leveraged this ad and key phrase to indicate that the candy company was selling its product to capture one’s emotions. Nike, Walmart, McDonald’s, Snickers and many major organizations sell by creating answers.

Per Chris, “We are not selling the job, we are selling the chance to have the first conversation. A job ad is a cold call — the goal to identify, soothe, then sell.”

And with this perspective, we took applicable steps to build a job post that took us outside the box and moving forward with a new outlook that might help our and other local organizations win the war for talent.

For more information, I encourage you to reach out to BHP and/or check out

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