December 22, 2015
Part 2 of tips for employers
This article continues a review of best practices for recruiting, hiring and retaining top-notch trade workers.
Look outside your local area. The smaller your market area the more likely it is that you’ll have to find someone who lives in the next county or next state or maybe a thousand miles away. Don’t settle for any warm body just because they live nearby. If you’re serious about recruiting top-notch talent, expand your horizons. That’s easier than ever to do nowadays with so many online websites for people seeking work or hiring. Especially target parts of the country where the economy is tanking and even good people may be getting laid off.
Recruiting someone from afar may require you to pay relocation expenses. These could run as much as several thousand dollars. But that’s a small price to pay for a cream-of-the-crop trade worker. Consider it as a bonus payment for attracting someone who might well help you earn tens of thousands of dollars in the near future.
At some point you’ll need to bring top prospects in for a face-to-face interview, or travel to their location for meetings. That’s added expense, but you don’t do that until you’re close to certain that you’ve identified a great candidate. Most preliminary information can be exchanged via telephone and email.
Don’t focus only on your needs, be sure the prospects understand exactly what your company is about, local cost of living and at least the approximate compensation they can expect. Get consent ahead of time for a background check and drug test. Make sure any wife or significant other is okay with moving and, if necessary, be prepared to help that person find a job either with your company or some other business associate.
If you do pay for relocation, don’t give the money upfront. Draw up an agreement saying you’ll reimburse for all reasonable expenses after the newcomer submits receipts and starts work. This agreement should require the person to reimburse you back if he or she quits or gets terminated within a period of time, usually six months to a year. This is to protect you from paying for relocation only to have the person go to work for someone else shortly after arriving – or not showing up at all. That’s been known to happen.
Don’t over-interview. The job application and resume will tell you all the details you need to know about work history, education, etc. The purpose of an interview is to get to know the person and dig deeper into his/her personality and talents. Try to keep it things casual, as if having a conversation in a bar. Ask open-ended questions that get the person talking about himself. The interviewee should be talking 90% of the time. If you find your voice dominating the discussion, you’re doing it wrong.
If the candidate says something that turns you off to the point that you would not hire the person, cut the interview short. Don’t waste your time and his in a futile pursuit.
Have other staffers interview prospects. A company owner has to have final say over who gets hired, but it would be a mistake to force on current staffers someone who might not fit in. Before you pull the trigger on hiring anyone, have the candidate speak with his/her supervisor and co-workers. If the prospect casts a favorable impression with prospective co-workers, that’s a great sign and means it’s probably time to pull the hiring trigger.
If one potential co-worker objects while others find the prospect acceptable, consider the source. Is the objector someone whose opinion you respect, or a whiner? Some people may feel insecure and look for ways to find fault with a newcomer. Don’t give veto power over hires to a chronic complainer.
More recruitment, hiring and retaining tips to come in my next blog.