Seek, and Ye Shall Find -- Practical Recruiting Techniques
You have hit a crossroads. You have too much work to do and too little time to do it in. It is time to hire someone to help you. But how will you go about finding the right person? Where should you look? Who should you ask?
The first step is to develop a Successful recruiting plan. This will help you determine what you need in terms of help before you begin your search. It also helps you decide where you should look for a new employee based on the "level" of person you are looking for. A third benefit of a Successful recruiting plan is that it contains solid, job-related criteria for evaluating candidate resumes. All in all, taking time to plan out your strategy saves you a lot of time and money in the long run.
Of course, developing a plan may not be enough. Here are a few things you should beware of as you put your plan into action.
The Recruiting Process
There are four steps involved in recruiting a new employee:
Figure out what it is you need
Before you begin searching for a new employee, you have to know what it is you are looking for. The easiest and best way to figure this out is to have the person who is currently filling the position write down what they do in very specific detail. In other words, have them write their own job description.
If this is a new position, come up with a list of all of the duties that you think this job will include. Again, be as specific as possible. For instance, do you need someone on a part-time or full-time basis? How many hours a day do you expect this position to require? What skills, experience, or education is needed for this job? Does the work you need done have to be completed on-site or can the person work from home? Is there any potential for advancement? How will you measure productivity? What personal characteristics are you looking for (e.g., initiative, team player, etc.) ? Will physical strength be a factor?
By answering these questions, you can more easily develop a clear job description which can then be used to help you: determine rate of pay; recruit potential candidates for employment; and later, to set standards of performance for the employee(s) you hire. Once you have determined what you really need, you still must decide what you are willing to pay someone. Are you planning to pay by the hour or do you want to pay a salary? What benefits does your company offer? Remember to be realistic. Find out what the market rate is for the type of person you are trying to hire. Your local Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Administrative Management Society, the American Management Association, major companies in your area, and national trade publication salary surveys are all good sources of information for market rate information regarding specific jobs.
It is important to remember that pay is not always the deciding factor when you are trying to hire someone. More and more, companies are using benefits like job sharing, flextime, telecommuting, pay for performance, etc. to hire the best and the brightest. As a small business owner, one of your biggest advantages is your flexibility. So use your imagination!
Determine where you are going to look
Now that you have a clear picture of the job you're hiring for and the skills and experience your new employee must possess, you can decide where to look for prospective employees.
Sources of employees exist everywhere. However, the quantity and quality of the individuals you will attract is directly tied to where you decide to look. For instance, if you are looking for a clerk, you may find that your best response is achieved by advertising in a local, daily newspaper or hanging a "help-wanted" sign on your door. On the other hand, if you are wanting to find a highly skilled technical person, you may want to advertise in a trade publication. This will probably result in a reduction in the number of overall responses you receive, but will also increase the number of potentially qualified applicants you have to choose from.
Believe it or not, recruiting does not have to be expensive. There are many sources of free recruitment if you just know where to look.
For a fee, you can find many recruiting sources that will be more than willing to help you in your search. These include:
Develop a recruiting advertisement
A recruitment advertisement is basically a sales tool. As you develop your recruiting ad, focus on the benefits you can offer a potential employee. In other words, pinpoint those things that make your company stand out. For instance, does your company offer casual dress? What about telecommuting or flexible hours? Is your company culture fast-paced and dynamic or more laid-back and friendly? Each of these attributes will attract different types of people. Make sure you are attracting the type of people who you really want.
Using a display ad or an ad with lots of type may, because of size, attract more candidates; but it is not really necessary to spend the extra money. An ad that is to-the-point, well-written and puts the company's best foot forward will do the job, too.
Just like in any good ad, you will want to have a headline and opening statement that really grabs the reader. Your headline should be the title of the position you are seeking. When choosing a title, make sure that the name accurately describes the position. This will help you avoid confusion in the future. Once you have a title, you can write your first sentence. The first sentence should explain the benefit of working for your company and/or working in that particular position. Try to focus on basic human needs such as independence, career potential, prestige, glamour, etc.
In the main section of the ad, include truthful information about your company. Using a friendly tone and using words like "we" and "our" is acceptable. In fact, the warmer tone may actually be an attractive feature to those who have been laid off or are very family conscious. Just remember that you are setting a tone that will attract individuals who feel the same way you do. In other words, if you write your advertisement correctly, like will attract like.
Regardless of the tone you set, there are several items you will want to consider including in your ad:
References to race, gender, age, color, physical aptitude, and any other discriminatory statements are off limits. All such statements are illegal, not to mention unethical. All requirements listed in your ad should be job related and should contain no reference to the job being permanent, stable, or secure. All of these statements can get you in legal hot water. Last, but not least, be sure to end your ad with "Equal Employment Opportunity Employer."
Here are a couple of examples of effective recruitment ads.
Evaluate the resumes you receive
Regardless of the type of medium you use to get the word out, resumes will begin pouring in soon after you let people know you are looking to hire someone. At this point, you will need a plan that will help you sort through all of the paperwork you will be receiving.
After you have sorted through all the resumes you have received, begin contacting the candidates from your first stack (ie., the candidates you definitely want to interview). Contact as many candidates as you have time for, tell each of them a bit about your company and the job, and then determine how many are interested enough to schedule a face-to-face interview.
|David L. Heiserman, Editor||
Copyright © SweetHaven
Revised: June 06, 2015