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Guest Column: Moving From Panic Hiring to Planned Hiring

Moving From Panic Hiring to Planned Hiring feature
September 13, 2011
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Let’s face it - few things are the way they used to be. In the current economy with millions of people searching for work, you’d think finding qualified candidates would be a snap.



Let’s face it - few things are the way they used to be. In the current economy with millions of people searching for work, you’d think finding qualified candidates would be a snap. Unfortunately, business owners, hiring managers and corporate recruiters are not only having trouble finding the talent they need, they’re also inundated with hundreds of résumés that clog up the recruiting process. Companies that utilize a strategy I call “Always on Recruiting” attract the talent they need to grow while avoiding costly panic hires.

Recruiting used to be pretty straightforward. Owners realized they wanted to grow or needed a replacement for a fired or promoted employee. They likely reacted by posting an announcement on the bulletin board in the lunchroom, placing a newspaper ad and perhaps posting the opening on a mega-job board. While this method may work for some companies and some positions, it’s a short-term recruiting strategy that increases the odds of making costly panic hires. Panic hires result in lost productivity, wasted wages and incalculable company morale damage.

“Always on Recruiting” centers around the idea that smart businesses are always looking for the best employees and that job seekers are using many non-traditional ways to reach out and say “I’m interested.” Let’s take a look at the key components in an “Always On” strategy.

Search Optimized Company Career Page

Your company career page is often the first impression a job seeker receives about your firm. Is your career page just another web page with an e-mail address? Many people start searching on job boards, find out which companies are hiring, then head over to a career page to apply. If the experience is ho-hum, incorrect assumptions might be made about your company.

A managed company career page provides an outlet for posting unlimited jobs without the expense and hassle of posting to job boards. Over time, managed company career pages get indexed by search engines and job “aggregators” (JobCentral, Simply Hired) who scrape the web for legitimate job openings. That means you get wide exposure, reach, and attention for your open jobs without having to “pay and pray.”

Most people say “Google” when asked where they go first to look for people, places, products, services and jobs. If your firm is invisible when future employees look for you online, you may get passed over. Get found online and attract the best … first.

Leverage Multimedia

For professional video it’s a safe bet to estimate costs of $1,000 per finished minute. That’s fine for some, but the purpose of using video is to show off your company, your jobs, and your employees, not to show off how large your marketing budget is. I typically shoot my video (which is HD-1080P) using a $99 Kodak Zi6 camera I procured from Amazon. I edit with iMovie, which comes free with every Mac and is now even available on the iPad. (Windows machines come with MovieMaker.) By creating “good enough” for the web video using my team as the “actors,” we make videos that entertain, inform, and show people that our work environment is pretty inviting. (Here’s an example: http://youtu.be/ILil3Xrgap8)

Applicant Tracking

Working to build your own tailored pool of applicants before you have a particular opening eliminates the panic hires we’ve become accustomed to. By leveraging an applicant tracking solution your firm has a paperless, searchable database of applicants, not stacks of résumés or e-mails in inboxes.

Using a tracking system provides a standardized application, often customizable for your specific needs. The online application ensures that you’re collecting the proper data on your applicants including EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) data if required. There are at least 50 applicant tracking solutions on the market that will accommodate even the tightest of budgets. Now when it’s time to hire, you can tap into the asset you’ve built, reach out to potential candidates, and decide if you have an ideal pool to choose from.

Auto Responders

Applicant tracking systems also allow for leveraging past applicants by sending e-mails to them announcing your new job opportunity. Auto responder e-mails save time and keep your applicants informed. For example, an auto responder can be set up to alert applicants that you received their application and give them further info on your timeline for filling the position.

Social Media

One of the most talked about but least used recruiting tools is social media. If you’re hunting for the best candidates to bring onto your team, go where they are and engage them. Sites like LinkedIn and Twitter as well as blogs and online forums can be great complements to your recruiting process while providing more outlets to show the world what your firm is all about.

Social sites and tools make companies more “findable” online improving Search Engine Optimization (SEO) rankings for sites like Google. Translation: Someone searches for your company - they find it. Keep your content specific to the types of audiences (colleagues, associations, prospective and current employees, clients, etc.) whom you most want to reach, but don’t be afraid to show off your company’s personality.

“Always on Recruiting” is a way for companies in specialized trades like construction, engineering, and infrastructure to strategically move from reactive hiring to proactive recruiting saving time, reducing stress, and freeing up resources so you can work on your business - not just in it.


Join Doug Mitchell at Best of Success

Doug Mitchell will speak at Roofing Contractor’s Best of Success conference in Clearwater Beach, Fla., Sept 26-27. For more information about the event, see pages 50-51 and visit www.bestofsuccessconference.com.

 

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