FOR COMPANIES WHO ARE PRIMARY EMPLOYERS OF THE LOCAL WORKING CLASS, MAINTAINING RELATIONSHIPS IS KEY TO LONG-TERM TALENT SOLUTIONS
The good news is your business is growing! Maybe you landed a big client with labor intensive needs. Or maybe you had the winning bid for a major project. More business means more cash, which means more expansion and growth you can readily fund. The catch? You have LOTS of job openings to fill. Fast. Sound familiar?
If this situation hits home for you, know you’re not alone. Most businesses who rely on skilled workers face a chronic shortage of talent. A 2015 study from the National Association of Home Builders found that 70 percent of respondents are dealing with a shortage. A similar study from the Associated General Contractors found 86% of companies to be struggling to fill positions.
If you offer competitive pay and benefits, you should be able to attract and retain the right talent. Granted, you may need to get a little creative in your recruiting methods. The following 4 ideas will get your creative juices flowing…
1. HOLD A FAMILY-FRIENDLY JOB FAIR
Many of your prospective hires are parents who could use free (and fun) ways to entertain their kids. Daycare is the last thing they want to worry about while job-hunting. Why not help them kill two birds with one stone by holding a family friendly job fair at your facility?
Rent out some kid-friendly entertainment. You know—clowns, face painters, and bounce houses—that kind of a thing. Bring in your hiring managers for a few hours on the weekend to host an open interview day. That way, prospective hires no longer have to stress about what to do with the kiddos for that handful of hours! See our blog post for some basics on how to hold an open interview day. And liven up your efforts with these ideas:
- Have employees host, answering questions from visitors
- Provide tours of the worksite and demonstrations of typical projects to both parents and kids
- Invite teachers from local technical and shop classes to show various skills in trades fields to the kids
- Ask local musicians to come out for a few hours of grooves (PR for them and ambiance for you—win win!)
- Rent some local food trucks to come through with their catering—now we’re talkin’ about a local economy, right?
- Post flyers in daycares, schools, churches, grocery stores
- Send event information to local TV and radio networks
- Promote the event to local Facebook groups
Setting up a job fair to be family friendly means you can promote your event to more venues. Anywhere kids might be who are both stoked about a bounce house and have a parent or two who is in a skilled trades field. The best part is, by offering the child care, you’re making your commitment to these new hires clear.
2. PARTNER WITH A COMMUNITY EVENT
Check out your hometown’s event calendar and find opportunities to broadcast job openings to lots of people at once. If your company’s hometown is a football town, for instance, set up a stand at the next home game. Talk to parents about opportunities with your business. It’s always best to meet with people on their level when beginning a meaningful employment relationship.
If your city has a big festival coming up, talk to the organizer about sponsoring a booth or putting an ad in the event program. Invite employees to get out for a few hours to hand out information on all the job openings, and talk about the perks of working for your company.
No matter what method of reaching applicants you choose, make the message clear. Talk about job openings, pay, benefits, and advancement opportunities, emphasizing your company’s edge. Direct folks to your business’s website or phone number, should they have more questions.
3. PAY YOUR EMPLOYEES TO HELP
We can’t say enough good stuff about employee referrals…
If you have pressing talent needs, consider this: employee referrals are one of the fastest ways to fills open positions. Knowing that a talent shortage won’t stunt your company’s growth is worth the cost! Here are a few activities you can offer bonuses to employees for:
- Referral who fill out an application
- Referrals who attend an open interview event
- Employees who share your job postings on social media
- Referrals hired full or part-time
It is likely that your employees have skilled, reliable friends in the field. So get creative and generate referrals from within your current workforce. Ensuring that you are recruiting the quality hires to build a strong workforce couldn’t be easier!
4. THE P’S OF RECRUITING
OSHRM has some great creative recruiting ideas for filling jobs fast. We borrowed some of our favorite ones (that just so happen to start with the same letter):
- Pipeline: Maintain relationships with quality candidates
- Publicity: Advertise yourself, host local events and programs, and make your company an active and engaged member of the community!
- Pocket packet: Create a packet of information on our company. Include information on benefits, bonuses, advancement opportunities, etc. Keep these on hand during any networking opportunities and send some out to local chambers of commerce, career centers, technical schools, union chapters, etc..
- Paper trail: Recruit a current employee to write for columns in your local paper. Have him or her talk about ways to advance in a career, how to find your first job, do’s and don’t’s of interviewing, etc. Brainstorm a series of topics that would be helpful for the local working class.
- Postcards: Send postcards, emails, or drop a line to candidates you haven’t reached out to in a while. Keep that relationship alive!
For companies who are primary employers of the local working class, maintaining relationships is key. Meet your people on their level—at local events and festivals or by hosting family friend events. Make your company an active, engaged member of the community! These connections will serve you well when your talent needs surge and you have a rich pool of skilled talent from which to recruit.
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