Shopping for a Can Opener - AgileHR
  • Shopping for a Can Opener

We all live in an imperfect world and the other day my can opener bombed-out on me. No big deal, we’ll just head out to “the store” and get a new one. But a funny thing happened to me as we were shopping for our new can-opening device. First, I found that can openers have gone up (like everything else) and more importantly, my son triggered an epiphany.
My middle child and first of two boys wanted to go with dad, so we proceeded to the nearest shopping center that features a well-known store and looked for our new can opener. We didn’t find the desired product for me as I wanted our new device to match my other appliances. This is where the story gets interesting.

At the second store, another department store we all know, my son asked me, “Daddy, why do the people working here seem to be less fortunate than the workers at the last store?” (And I changed his wording slightly for the sake of being nice). As most know me, I would like my answer to be correct or at least have some thought process behind it, so I replied that, “I didn’t know,” and started thinking about his point as we walked to the kitchen department.

This really hit home for 3 different reasons:

1. I’m a people person that thinks about what people do and why, I’m very empathetic and often study people and their behavior.
2. I’m in the business of helping companies hire talent for their company’s workforce.
3. I’ve thought about this before myself but abandoned the thought process once my ADD-type of mind was attracted to something else.

But here’s my point. Do different economic levels of people attract to certain companies? Do different types of personalities attract to different companies? Yes, they do. That’s what we call employee branding. So my next question is this- What does your employee brand look like to your customers and is that the brand you want portrayed?

To expand on my two-fold question I must say, do you really want such a strong employee brand that all you’re getting to apply are the same people? Wouldn’t you want your workforce to be more diverse? And what kind of message are you sending to your customers? Lastly, should you evaluate your current workforce demographics and try to diversify your applicant pool by changing your recruiting tactics?

Now these are a few questions I don’t have the answer for but think about and that involve discussion. I’m not sure there is a right or wrong answer as to having the same type of individuals in your workforce, especially if you’re a niche-serving industry. I do know that my son and I are not the only individuals that would notice a workforce made up of similar individuals. I’m also not saying that this is a good or bad thing but found it very interesting. Interesting that my son at the age of 13 noticed and interesting that he’s right. Workforces are made up of individuals that were attracted to your company for one reason or another, maybe that works well for your company or maybe some thought and discussion need to go into your recruiting tactics. Just some thought for digesting and future discussion and just the things we think about when shopping for kitchen devices.