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We Cry "There Is A Terrible Staffing Shortage" -- I Think We Have It 100% Wrong

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By Steve Moran

Maybe this title and article will make you mad . . . but it made me dream!

The Tweet read thus: “Google gets 50,000 resumes a week. This is how it eliminates most of them.” I was actually only mildly interested in how Google eliminates them and, instead was more intrigued by the idea that Google actually gets . . .

50,000 resumes a week!

So, the question that goes begging is this: In this insanely tight labor market, is Google having a hiring or staffing crisis like senior living has?  

The answer is: of course not. Their problem is the exact opposite of the one senior living has. They have more resumes than they can realistically handle. Some of the things they do to get them to a manageable level is eliminate any with typos, lies, or confidential information.

If Google . . .

If Google gets 50,000 resumes a week in this labor market, shouldn’t we be able to do better than that?  

You:  No, they are Google and we are senior living. Working for Google is cool. Working for senior living is uncool.

Me:  Really?

You:  Do you know how much Google pays? Senior living doesn’t pay like that.

Me:  Did you know that for a family of 4 living in San Francisco, the poverty level is over $120,000 a year? Therefore, is Google pay really all that good?

You:  But . . .

Me:  But what?

How We See Ourselves

Because I am a conference junkie, I get to witness 50+ keynote speeches a year. Most of them are pretty good, a few are amazing. And yes, there are always one or two duds.   

As an occasional keynote speaker, I know the content I deliver has great value and yet I wonder if any of my keynotes really move the needle. I also wonder if those big name keynote speakers really move the needle.

What I Think

The reason it is so hard for a keynote speaker or a writer to move the needle is that in order for the needle to move, leaders need to have a mindset of being obsessively driven to make their organizations better. They have to be convinced that status quo is not good enough. They have to be convinced that it can be better, they can be better, their organizations can be better.

They also have to be convinced that when it is not as good as they want it to be, it is their fault . . . and more importantly, their opportunity.  

As long as we keep telling ourselves there is a staffing shortage and that we can’t ever really be as cool as Google, Apple, Facebook, Disney, or Southwest Airlines . . . we won’t be.   

It's a Shame

Look at how cool we really are. We are the one sector where -- over and over again, every day -- we make a massive difference in the lives of our amazing elders.   

And if that is not cool enough . . .

Right now, every day, we are providing pathways for young and not-so-young people -- people who grew up in messy circumstances, that go from just barely passing a GED test to becoming supervisors, marketing directors, plant maintenance directors, executive directors and administrators, all the way up to CEO!

It does happen in other industries, but not as often as in senior living I would be willing to bet. And yet, how often do we hear these stories? Even in our own industry, it is rare -- and outside the industry, it is all but never.

The day we begin to see our sector -- and our people -- as being better than Google, our problems will be over. It’s all about our mindset.

Tell me how I am wrong below . . .

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