I have worked with more than a thousand small businesses since the end of the recent recession, and they all have one thing in common relating to staffing: a shortage.
As the economy has bounced back, businesses are growing and many owners have found themselves too consumed with working “in” their business and have found it difficult to spend time working “on” their business. This has put them in a position of too much work and not enough people or time to get it all done. Here are some ideas that will help you in this situation.
One of the best ways to prevent stress is to prevent surprises, which is why it’s important to build healthy business habits that you can focus on weekly to keep your business running smoothly. Recruiting is one of those areas that should be part of your weekly routine. But, you’re probably saying to yourself, “I don’t have any time for recruiting.” If something is important enough to do, it’s important enough to schedule.
If it’s in your schedule you are more likely to get it done than if you just keep telling yourself that you are going to get to it when you have time. Here are some ways to make recruiting a weekly part of your business.
If You Build It, They Will Come
Social media is not just a marketing tool; it is a recruiting tool as well. The positive image that you portray about your business makes others interested in coming to work for you, and it doesn’t take a lot of time to make this happen.
Spending 15-30 minutes a week on social will help you attract potential new employees. These ideas can work with many forms of social media, but LinkedIn is the best place for recruiting. Here is how to do it:
· Make friends with people that you would like to have work with you. Spend 10 minutes searching competitors, similar industries, and connect with people that might be a good candidate for you in the future. You never know when someone is looking for a new job.
· Post pictures with updates on cool things your company is doing. Don’t forget to include things like office parties, charity events, and of course, cool projects you are working on.
· Have your team spend a few minutes a week sharing what you post. Go viral! If you only post a few things a week, you might only have a few hundred people see you, but if everyone at work shares it with their network, you might have a few thousand people see you.
· Spend a few minutes to “like” or “comment” on your connections’ posts. If someone took the time to post something, then they are hoping people are going to see it, just like you are. This will create virtual relationships and get people to reciprocate who will then like your posts as well. When they like or comment on your post this expands the visibility to their network, which further increases your outreach.
· When you are ready to hire, you now have an audience. Post something fun and upbeat, not just “Now Hiring.” Try something like, “If you like to work hard and have fun doing it, we have a spot for you!” Your network will now do the rest.
· If you are looking for salespeople, go shopping at places with employees who might have some of the knowledge base that you need in your position. As an example, if you are looking for salespeople in the custom install space, go shop a retail electronics store, or a competitor and find people doing the job you need done.
Similar Skill Set
· Using the same example of finding salespeople that can sell custom install products, try a cable or satellite provider, cell phone carrier, or maybe even a model home design center. These people have a technical aptitude that could translate into selling the technology solutions that you offer. They will require some training, but they know technology.
· Don’t forget that there are a lot of great people working in nicer restaurants or other businesses outside of your industry that are looking for a career change. Good people are everywhere and the people with great customer service and limited experience provides you the opportunity to teach them how you want your product or services sold which can prevent bad habits which might come with someone who is experienced. Good customer service, and work ethic is harder to teach than selling.
Create a “jobs@” email address and post positions that you might need in the future on places such as Craig’s List or other local job boards. This has no cost and is a good way to create a database of candidates for when you need them. If you don’t have the time to respond to these emails in a timely fashion then create an auto response to let the applicant know that you will be in contact with them if you’re interested in moving forward. Looking for work is a big challenge for people and you should be respectful of their situation by communicating clearly that you received their information and what they should expect next.
You can also use paid services such as Monster.com, Indeed.com, and even LinkedIn offers a pay program for posting jobs. There are also many industry websites to post job openings on for a fee and these narrow your audience down to your industry. The fees can add up quickly so compare the costs to my next solution as finding the best candidate can take time.
Make connections with recruiters on social media and have an occasional call to discuss the types of candidates they work with. There is typically a fee of up to 25 percent of a hired person’s salary for their service, but if you don’t have the time and need help quick, it’s good to know what recruiter might focus on the types of candidates you need when the time comes.
Recruiters are using social media and other ways to find potential employees and they also have a list of people who they are working with to help get placed. The perfect candidate could already be in their Rolodex.
It’s Never Too Late to Start
The hardest part is always getting started, so don’t procrastinate and remember these takeaways.
· Schedule what’s important so you make it a priority and if something urgent comes up, you can always reschedule it, just don’t give up.
· Make recruiting a weekly part of your business, you will find it far less stressful than trying to figure it out once it’s becomes an urgent matter.
· Use social media to promote your business and attract future employees.
· Even when you’re not hiring, always be looking for good people.
· Post ads and gather resumes for when you need them.
· Don’t stress, if time is more valuable than money, there are always people that can do the work for you so you can focus on other things that are more pressing.
What other ways have you found effective in recruiting? Please leave a comment on what’s worked well for you.
Now just think, in the time you’ve spent reading this you could have connected with two potential new employees. Happy recruiting!
Gordon Isaac is a Phoenix, AZ-based consumer electronics executive, sales leader, and strategist.