This piece is part of our GVLtoday Q+A series. Do you know someone we should interview? Nominate them here.
Profile: John Uprichard is the CEO of Find Great People (FGP), a nationally recognized talent acquisition and HR Consulting firm located in Greenville. We chatted with John about the current state of the workforce after “The Great Resignation,” his advice for businesses facing hiring challenges, and what he thinks a perfect day in Greenville looks like.
Q: For those of us not in the loop, can you explain what “The Great Reshuffling” is and how it’s affecting businesses?
A: The Great Resignation began as a result of COVID-19, but as the market has started to pivot towards normalcy, we have moved to a reshuffling. People are now moving to roles that offer more flexibility, and fulfillment, and more frequently than before, moving to entrepreneurial roles with the mindset of “no better time than now.” Flexibility outweighs finances, and people, for the most part, can now live where they want to live and be location-agnostic when it comes to work. Greenville is a benefactor of this shift as more people are moving to the area, with or without jobs that are based here.
To remain on the beneficial end of The Great Reshuffling, employers need to look at ways to continuously “lean in” on flexibility and intentionally focus on both the attraction and retention of talent. The companies who are having success with talent have shifted to a “production anywhere model,” where location doesn’t matter as long as quality work is being produced.
Q: How has the idea of the perfect candidate changed recently?
A: Hiring the perfect candidate has become less about the experience and more about being adaptable, curious, and agile. Employers want authenticity and vulnerability — someone who has great self-awareness and an appetite for growth and a desire for new knowledge and change.
Q: What’s the biggest challenge you think businesses are currently facing when it comes to hiring?
A: Competition. Employers are competing for talent in a way they have never had to before. Competition used to be geographically based, but now many roles are location-agnostic, so you’re competing with regional and national companies as well.
Expectations have shifted as a result of Covid, so now businesses are having to be competitive with regard to flexibility, engagement, and other benefits; not just money.
Q: What advice do you have for business owners who are having trouble finding great candidates?
A: Business owners are struggling to recruit but the root cause is a struggle to retain. It’s important to invest in engagement — not at the top, but in the middle. It’s all about the employee’s managers and their daily experiences and relationships with those leaders. Find strategic ways to positively impact your culture and develop your middle management to help drive engagement and greater retention. Invest in the current people you have. If you solve retention and enhance your employer brand, the frequency and demand for finding talent won’t be as challenging.
Q: What’s something that every Greenvillian should know about?
A: It’s important to understand the history and legacy of the city. We got our start in textiles and have had many major leaders who have made a significant impact on our growth and brought us to where we are today. Today, you see a thriving downtown and exponential growth, but it’s good to know where we started and not lose sight of how we got here, so that we can fulfill our obligation to “pay it forward.”
Q: What advice would you give to those currently searching for a job?
A: Think about the lens of the receiver as it relates to your resume. What story does it tell? What story do you want it to tell? What do you want their takeaways to be about you? People get caught up in format and structure and neglect the narrative and personal brand they want or need to convey.
When you’re job searching, think about the culture, environment, and workforce model that will provide the highest degree of employment “happiness.” For example, if you are highly independent, remote work might make sense. If you have a high need for collaboration, make sure you take that into consideration. The workforce model is going to be more important than the job itself, so think about what will be best for you personally and align with your personal needs.
In an interview, “Be You.” People are hiring you. Don’t tell them what they want to hear, be authentic and be vulnerable. You have to bring your whole self to work, so bring your authentic self to the interview to ensure they know the real you.
Q: Describe your perfect day in Greenville.
A: The day would start with a walk with my wife Kris on the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail, starting at First Baptist Church and heading towards downtown and going all the way to The Commons and Unity Park.
Along the way, we experience many great, friendly people as we travel through Cleveland Park, Falls Park, and our downtown. We would grab lunch and a beer at the Commons, then walk back. It’s a seven-mile walk in total; an opportunity for exercise but also for appreciating the incredible people and assets of our city. We would spend the afternoon by our pool, and close out the day with dinner downtown at one of our many wonderful local restaurants.
Q: What’s your go-to coffee order?
A: Dunkin Donuts large hot coffee with cream and one Splenda.
For more insights on the hiring market and current industry trends, follow Find Great People on LinkedIn.
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