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The Struggles of Hiring: Where’s the Commitment?

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Judi Christy, the director of marketing and communication at the Akron Area YMCA, shares experiences in the struggles of hiring.

I’ll admit it, I am one of those people who gleefully accepts an invitation to only later gloomily regret my decision.

At the point of the ask I am seemingly all-about-it, but as the time of the actual “it” draws closer, I think of 1,000 reasons of why I’d rather not. My rationale for the regret is never quite categorized as it bops between being tired, not knowing what to wear, feeling bloated or realizing I hadn’t yet watched the final episode of some random Netflix documentary.

In short, I don’t want to go because I just don’t want to go. I used to think I was alone in this affliction, but then came 2022. This was the year I realized I was in good company – scratch that, bad company.

In 2022, the avoidance of “it” spread into its own epidemic from bowing out of social engagements to blowing off work obligations. Let me explain.

In the year bans were dropped and gatherings were allowed, some folks continued to cloister. They found ways to spend time alone with their thoughts, looking inward on what was and what could be. Some of this alone time led to ZOOM visits to therapists, Amazon deliveries of stuff not needed, Door Dashes of convenience food and beverages, couch surfing waves of TV news. A few folks may have read a book or ten, adopted a dog, remodeled a bathroom or learned second grade math (once again).

Other individuals who may have been working from home decided they really liked their own company better than the company that was signing their paychecks before the world masked up.

Learn More: Lisa Owens on Best Hiring Practices

That’s fair. Sometimes we all need to take a little emotional inventory to assess what and who makes us happy. Sometimes we all need to investigate the Indeed website and see how much we’re really worth.

I’d wager to say most – if not all – folks reading this have checked out job postings to “just see” if they could be making more for doing less. And that’s okay.

What’s not okay – at least in my opinion – is applying for these jobs, getting an interview, accepting the position and then not showing up.

It’s happened to us, and I’m betting it’s happened to many of you.

This year, we have interviewed, background-checked and hired several folks in various positions throughout our organization. We’ve added their name to our email list and spit-shined their work space in anticipation of tallying their talent to the team.

But several of these superstars bailed before opening day. To translate, they did not show up.

Why? Were they just too tired? Did they not know what to wear? Did they panic because they didn’t watch the last episode of that dull documentary?

It’s doubtful, and possible they didn’t want to do it because they didn’t want to do it. And, no one made them.

Our guess in these instances has been they were using us, much like a teen who accepts an invitation to the prom with someone who is just okay while waiting for the dream date to make a better offer.

In this scenario, we’re the kid holding the corsage and the pin with nowhere to stick it. Sure, we’re deflated when this happens. But, it happens. And, in speaking with colleagues in all types of industries, we aren’t the only ones with empty dance cards.

As if the employment situation wasn’t bad enough, we now have folks who make the commitment but don’t keep it. Personally, I can say I have never done this on a job. If I said I was coming, I came.

Learn More: Incorporating Group Interviews in Your Hiring Process

But, if you’ve read my blogs, you know I’m a “dinosaur.” So, maybe commitment means something a little different to me than it does for folks not creeping toward Medicare.  But, I know my children – age 30 and 35 – share my same values when it comes to work. They started in the job-force at age 15 with special work permits and have successfully shown up and moved up with several organizations.

But this is not about me. It’s about us – people who need people – not for dinner dates and dance partners but for getting back to the business of allowing us to stay in business. Examples include restaurants, stores, factories, child care centers, fitness facilities, etc.

Of course, I realize the bygone days of someone working for a company for 30 years and getting a big pension is long gone. But, did the loyalty of that time also pass? I hope not.

I want to believe there are people out there who take pride in working for an organization – like the YMCA – who has picked you to join them. And not because you have a pulse, but because you’ve made a promise.

And, if you make that promise to work for us or anyone else, please show up.

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Judi Christy

Judi Christy is the director of marketing and communication at the Akron Area YMCA.

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