As we continue to help businesses like yours grow, we constantly get asked how to recruit and retain quality employees to meet the increased job demand. To help, we asked our friend Justin Sifford, a Senior Partner at the recruiting firm Wylander Solutions, to share some insight. Justin has over five years experience as a recruiter and over twenty working in the flooring and construction industries.
At Wylander, we constantly get calls from owners in desperate need of talent for their market. Sometimes it’s a more proactive approach – the owner has had steady growth, and they see the trend is expected to continue, but other times, it’s a call for help.
Finding new talent seems easy, but in my experience it’s more difficult than expected. It’s not just about finding a qualified candidate, but also getting them to agree to pay, bonus plans, benefits, commute, etc.
Posting Your Position on Job Boards
In order to find top talent in a reasonable amount of time, you need to use all of the job boards that are available to you. Some of the more popular ones include CareerBuilder, Monster, and Indeed. Make your job post appealing – this is your first chance to entice someone into calling you! Be realistic, but keep your posting optimistic.
Use keywords that are relevant to your exact needs. This allows Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to take over – your candidates will use keywords when searching for an open job in their market, and if you’ve used the right ones, your job will show up first in their search results.
Interviewing Potential Candidates
As you move along in your hiring process, being flexible with interview times is crucial. Over 60% of the candidates we hire are passive – this means they already have jobs and we actively sought them out (they weren’t looking). For them, taking a day off for an interview is not nearly as easy as an unemployed candidate showing up at any time you specify. At the interview, be prepared with questions and write down their responses. Notes are important in the second interview stage, or even the upcoming months of their employment.
Perform personality assessments; this will give you an insight into their “areas of opportunity”. But a word of caution: Knowing a person’s personality will not tell you everything about them. Be sure to keep an open mind and have a good understanding of the value and also the limitations of an assessment before forming an opinion about a candidate.
Starting Your New Hire Off Right
When you’ve hired your new employee, it’s certainly an exciting time! But unfortunately, we often forget all of the “tools” our new employee will need to be successful on day one. Plan ahead and prepare a list of items that your new employee will need to do their job; don’t wait until the first day of work to order their computer. Run your list by someone who is in a similar position now to check if anything is missing.
Have your IT person create their login for software programs or websites they will use, create a calendar of training, and note the source for that training. Many software companies have excellent online training that all new employees should be required to do.
It also helps to have an existing employee as a resource for your new hire. New employees never want to bother the “boss” and will often go without instead of asking how to do something. Make your new hire feel welcome and included right away – they only get one “first day of work”. It sounds simple enough, but many owners have not been a new employee for years, and some owners have never worked for anyone but themselves.
I once had an estimator I hired poke his head inside my door and ask, “I’m sorry to bother you but can you show me where the bathroom is, please?” It occurred to me that during the frenzy of daily work and the excitement of checking off the “Hire Estimator” box on my to do list, I never took him around and gave him a proper tour, nor introductions to the staff. Put yourself in their shoes for the first week or two; it can be an enlightening experience.
Retaining Your Top Talent
Now that you have found your next great employee, let’s not screw it up. The generation of 12 hours days as a badge of honer are gone. Face it, Millennials are smarter than most of us, it’s your job to get them to buy into what you are offering. If you get them to believe in what your company is doing and what it stands for, the dedication, and hard work from Millennials will come. There are many examples of hyper successful companies that are run by Millennials.
A Final Word On Recruiting, Hiring, and Retaining The Best Talent
In closing, I would encourage a restoration business owner to look at attracting, training, and retaining new and current employees in a different way. Interview existing employees to see what their thoughts are on the company, workplace and environment and make note of what they love and dislike. Motivating people is not going to work. They are either motivated or they’re not. Stay ahead of the curve and the competition by listening better, planning better and hiring better.
If you find yourself in the constant struggle of finding the right candidates for your organization then let’s talk. At Wylander we don’t know the best employee for you until we get to know you. Stop the guesswork in hiring, and let someone else help you with the puzzle, we do it everyday.