How to find employees:
- Make your brand stand out
- Ask staff to spread the word
- Emphasize social media recruiting
- Connect with nonprofits and universities
- Search for soft skills over hard skills
- Improve the onboarding process
- Create a community of care
While many companies spent 2020 experiencing reductions in their employment needs, Silgan Plastics, Inc. was as busy as ever.
“Among other things, we were making plastic bottles for hand sanitizer,” said Human Resource Business Partner Kim Allman.
That meant company leaders were frequently asking themselves how to find new employees. This year, those needs are changing again—for Silgan Plastics Inc. and seemingly every other organization. One recent survey showed that 42% of business owners had jobs that couldn’t be filled, with 91% stating they had few or no qualified applicants. For Silgan Plastics, part of the challenge came from the loss of one of their best recruitment opportunities, a local job fair that has been on hold.
“Most years, we take part in a local job fair,” Allman said.
For now, they’re trying a classic hiring technique—getting hiring recommendations from current staff.
Ask staff to spread the word
Much like Silgan Plastics, Inc., 48% of businesses report high-quality hires come from team referrals. That’s just one of the great reasons to let your employees know you’re trying to find new team members.
“Our team members are our best source of referrals,” said Mary Curtin, Senior Vice President of Administration, 4imprint.
In addition to asking staff members to keep an eye out for new team members, 4imprint has also invited staff members to share “We’re Hiring” signs on their personal lawns.
Make your brand stand out
Employees today aren’t just thinking about what kinds of jobs they want, they’re also taking into account who they want to work for. Studies show 75% of staff members consider an employer’s brand before they apply. To get potential staff excited to join the team, create posts and pages on your website that share:
- Values: Show potential staff members what you care about by sharing corporate culture, ideals and the volunteer activities/nonprofits your organization supports.
- Story: Offer details that start with your founding and end with future plans.
- Differentiators: Explain how your vision, mission, goals, products and services set you apart.
Emphasize social media recruiting
If a successful business is about “location, location, location,” finding potential employees is often about being where candidates are looking for their next opportunity. According to one study, 79% of job seekers use social media when looking for work.
Sharing open positions via organic and paid social media posts is step one. To get even more bang for your job-posting buck:
- Share daily life posts: What matters in the life of your organization? Post pictures of someone working at home, in the office or on the front lines. Share special occasions and everyday events.
- Make it easy to apply: Making your application simple and mobile-friendly ensures no one decides to apply “later.”
- Respond to people who reach out: When you share a job posting, it’s inevitable that people will have questions. Responding quickly to potential recruits will give them the information and encouragement to apply.
4imprint has asked its team for assistance in sharing their stories via social media.
“We’ll ask staff to share their stories on Yammer®, our internal social media network,” Curtin said. “And we’ll get permission to share those stories to help attract new staff through external social media.”
Connect with nonprofits and universities
Universities and organizations that serve veterans, refugees, the homeless and other groups are frequently looking to connect with businesses to find work and internship opportunities. By connecting with these organizations, you can often expand your pool of potential staff members.
Search for soft skills over hard skills
With 97% of managers stating that soft skills are either as important or more important than hard skills, keep in mind that your next ideal staff member might just be a few weeks of training away. Instead of seeking experience first and soft skills second, flip the script and look for great employees who are eager to learn a new industry.
The search for soft skills has helped Pella Windows & Doors of Boston fill multiple positions.
“We’ve definitely been searching for people who have a hunger for learning,” said Administrative Assistant Janice Potvin.
Improve the onboarding process
Keep in mind that finding a great candidate is only the first step to keeping a great candidate. New employees who experience a great onboarding process—including setting up meet and greets, creating a schedule, and setting plans for the coming year—are 18 times more committed to their organization. At 4imprint, the pandemic created an opportunity to use video to help with both the hiring and training processes.
Set up meet-and-greets to create a great onboarding experience.
“Before we perform an interview, we’ll sometimes have the interviewee watch a video that details the day-to-day work they’ll be doing,” said Curtin. “It lets us and them know if they’ll be comfortable in the position up front.”
Once they’re hired, candidates will then watch training videos before receiving individual or small-group coaching. “Having them learn the basics of the job up-front makes it easier for them to ask questions and make the most of their coaching time,” said Curtin.
Welcome new employees with branded promotional items.
Create a community of care
In addition to creating a great onboarding experience, it’s also important to know how to welcome new employees—and make a regular habit of letting them know they’re appreciated.
“Everyone gets a bag filled with swag,” said Potvin. In fact, she jokingly refers to herself as the “swag fairy.”
The bag contains multiple branded employee gifts, including a mug. The onboarding care extends far beyond the first day or week, with the team sending congratulatory cards for births and buying lunch and pastries for the company on a regular basis.
Today’s tactics pull in top recruits
In the end, knowing how to find employees may be all about sharing—whether it’s information, your brand, new opportunities, or care for your current staff. And even as the job marketplace continues to shift, that sharing is sure to lead to one great new staff member after another.
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