We might be a marketing, advertising and publishing company, but we believe in helping our clients in any way we can. That, and I feel that if I’m going to spend as much time as I do in a classroom, I might as well share as much as I can with others. So, I’d like to give all the business owners and managers out there a little advice that I’ve partly learned in the classroom, but mostly in real life. And don’t worry, I promise not to bore you to death.*
(*Disclaimer: I cannot control your emotions)
When companies have a position open, they either have on tap or quickly come up with the best-sounding job description they can. The responsibilities are all-encompassing, and the qualifications reflect the most perfect person ever for the job – one who will most definitely apply immediately and stay for years. Sadly, these ideals almost never come true. Why? Because they’re ideals. They’re the equivalent of chocolate-covered, deep-fried cheesecake bites with no fat or calories. And the worst part is that when an employer finds what they only think can be their unicorn, they find and focus upon one imperfection that isn’t ideal and call it a deal breaker (ie OK… so maybe the cheesecake has 100 calories… game over).
My advice to you? You can only think so far ahead and be so picky. I’ve written before about the plight of the military spouse to find work when his/her spouse PCS’s to a new base. And while I am certainly not saying that every military spouse is super qualified for your open position just because they’re a military spouse, I am saying that many are simply not given the chance because they are like the 100 calorie, chocolate-covered, deep-fried cheesecake bite: almost perfect, but not quite. It is often thought that because military spouses are all but guaranteed to move again that they are not worth the time and money it would take to train them. An understandable concern, but ultimately an unreasonable one.
The average military family PCS’s every 3-4 years, with some switching as often as every 2 years. But think about it this way: long careers with one company are no longer the norm. In fact, many employees do not stay with a single company longer than two years, and some experts even encourage people to switch companies every three years in the interest of greater salaries and titles. Comparing this to the military spouse, it is incredibly unlikely that a non-military employee would stay any longer. Even these facts aside, think about it this way: How would your company benefit by hiring a qualified military spouse for a year or two versus a less qualified individual for maybe longer? The fact of the matter is that great employees are hard to come by. Military spouses, in my experience, tend to be dedicated and hard-working because they are truly appreciative to have a job (that, and the military discipline of their spouse can rub off on them). So, if you have the chance to actually hire a great employee, TAKE IT and enjoy reaping the benefits as long as you can. Instead of thinking how much you’ll hate having to interview again when they PCS, think about the asset they will be during the time they are there.
Without naming names, I have literally held jobs where I have seen one employee be more productive and beneficial to the company in a week than another has been in two months. No joke, no exaggeration… on more than one occasion. While I can’t (and don’t want to) tell you how to run your business, this is just something to think about that may help your business to run better, more efficiently, and even grow.