Taking a closer look at your hiring strategy as we enter the winter months, maybe planning ahead for spring? Good move!
I know that this is typically a season when contractors back off of hiring a bit, especially with all the economic unknowns. It’d be nice to be able to predict the future, but that’s not really an option at this point… My best recommendation is to stay optimistic and have a backup plan, including a plan for hiring.
Ready for a few quick tips?
#1: Always be hiring
Even if you aren’t putting as many dollars behind paid ads or promotions, still ALWAYS be hiring. Your website, Facebook, Indeed, yard signs, vehicle signage… “Always hiring!” is a positive message for clients, and can attract quality candidates who are looking for stable work.
#2: Don’t be afraid to ask customers
There’s a resurgence of interest in the trades, and huge opportunities (plus earning potential) for motivated individuals. Let your customers know that you have training for young people looking to enter the workforce, and that you’d appreciate referrals from people who know you, your company, and your values. What a great message to send to your client base, doubling as a powerful way to tap into a larger network.
#3: Group interviews! There’s power in numbers
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard of clients dealing with no-shows, well, I’d have a whole lot of dollars. What a waste of time for you and your team too! I’d recommend blocking off several times per week when people can sign up for a group interview.
#4: Consider removing your online applications
If you like online applications and they’re working, awesome! But here’s an alternative idea, especially if you’re losing time weeding through junk applications.
I have two teenage kids that I have encouraged to NOT work for me but go and get a job with someone else. One firm interviewed my 16-year-old without having him fill out a detailed application, probably because they’re looking for any able-bodied people who will show up! My son easily made it through an interview. They then moved him right into an orientation meeting where he’ll learn how the company works, what they do, etc. The final step is a formal application!
At first it seemed funny to wait until the end to provide an application, but the more I thought about it the more I liked the concept. I think it’s best to get people just to show up (group style) and share with them what you have to offer: training, compensation, vision, company culture… Is there a person or two within the group that sticks out and seems like someone who will fit your organization? Help them move on to the next round of hiring, weeding out the folks who aren’t a good fit. I think so much time is wasted on reading applications that are, most of the time, bogus and filled with fluff.
5) Share your vision and culture
One thing I have seen this past year is a lot of new hires not sticking around for longer than a few days or weeks. One way to help combat this is to make sure these new recruits really know more about your company. This is where you want to share your mission, vision, and company culture with them. I would also encourage you to consider telling each new hire to talk to you (or the hiring manager) the first few weeks/months of working there and get a commitment that one does not up and quit. In other words, have really good communication and make sure these folks feel management is approachable, they can be heard, and that you’re interested in their success.
I am a marketing guy. I help contractors develop a marketing strategy and then make sure we implement it and get leads! The last few years, however, I’ve learned a lot about hiring too, especially as I realized just how complementary hiring and marketing really are. There’s no silver bullet, but by developing a positive company culture, sharing that culture, and consistently hiring, I’m sure you’ll find and keep great people. It’s a long game!