Attracting Employees: Great Job and Cool Red Shorts

How would you like to have an organization where people not only wanted to work, they actually trained to compete for the positions that were open? Sound unreal? It is not. It is the L.A. County Lifeguards! There is an article in the June 6th issue of the Wall Street Journal entitled Sink or Swim that describes the competition and the training that rookies go through to get the job that inspired Baywatch. Lifeguarding at this level is not just a simple summer job. Many of the lifeguards fulltime employees and the lifeguards are assigned to the fire department. All are athletes, some with military experience, some with Olymipic aspirations. The benefits are good and the pay starts at over $20/hr with some guards making close to six figures. The contenders for the job go through a competition that washes the less than able out. But the rewards are there.. the coveted red shorts and the orange lifesaving “can” and the glamour. Great employment branding here!

So what are some the lessons we learn from this as employers that will help us attract the “best?”

  • Have a hiring process that promotes “We hire the best”, a competition.
  • Have a vision and rules that support it… for lifeguards it is “Always Face the Water”
  • Pay well
  • Have some sort of “glamour” associated with the position
  • Give something to them that indicates publicly they are part of the “best”- That coveted pair of red shorts.

Do you have an organization where people are clamouring and competing to get in the door? If not you may want to rethink how you can position the company to be the “lifeguards” of you industry.

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