Hiring Employees - A Unique Approach Explained...
When looking to hire and recruit new employees to your business we can all agree that it can be a bit frustrating and challenging these days. The reason why is a long list of things that we could spend hours and hours talking about. In this article we would like to talk about a completely different approach that you might find interesting, cost effective and much more rewarding than the classic approach of an ad in the local paper or an online recruitment site.
First of all we need to mention that finding a great employee is the first step, but you need to ask yourself, are you even worth working for? Once you obtain this new staff member do you think they will keep working for you for very long? These are the difficult questions that you need to ask yourself right now. If the honest answer is that you might not be that great to currently work for then we suggest that you should still hire the staff member but make sure it is a priority to get organized and create a culture and environment that your new employees will welcome and thrive in.
At the bottom of this post we will talk more about what you can do internally with your company to create a strong culture that will help retain new employees. For now, let's talk about 3 unique ways that you can bring potential candidates your way more frequently.
1) Head Hunting - Yes, thats what I said and i won't sugar coat it because another word for this is "Poaching". However, right off the bat I will say that our industry is far too small and connected to do this and it will give you a bad name really quick. At our store we meet so many people in our direct industry including business owners and staff members and would honestly never imply anyone to come work for us or even refer them to another company. What I am talking about is reaching out to other people in completely different industries and letting them know that you would love the opportunity to speak with them if they were ever looking to make a career change. Being able to read people on the spot and understanding quickly what attributes individuals have is a great benefit and a skill you will want to learn.
You are at Subway grabbing some food and the person that is serving you is going above and beyond and you see that they have excellent attention to detail. You leave and say to yourself, "Wow, what great service I just received". You go back a few times over the next two weeks and sure enough every time this person blows away your expectations. So what do you do? Is it wrong to tell them that they are unlike most other people you interact with at other Subways or restaurants? Of course not! But has anything changed? They still work for this company and you still need a great employee. So ask yourself, where would this person fit best within my company? Sales? No. Field Staff? Maybe not. Estimator or office staff to answer the phone? YES!
Would it be rude to talk to them while they are working and make them feel uncomfortable or even piss of the boss or owner? Damn right it would! So what we suggest is that you make a bunch of business cards ahead of time and keep them on you at all times. We even suggest that you create some 3 digit codes and hand them out to your staff, friends or people who you value. Maybe even some of your great customers that you have known for a while and trust can get in on the action. Call these cards the GOLDEN TICKET. Record each persons card numbers as you hand them out and tell each person to hand they out to anyone they meet that fits the criteria that you outline for them. Base your criteria on your personal and your companies core values. Here's an idea of what the cards should say.
"You are excellent at your job. The core values that you display each day fit perfectly in line with "Insert your company name" and although we are sure that you are happy working here, if you are ever decide on a career change we would love the opportunity to show you how our company is different than most others"
-Flip the card over and on the back write-
Use the QR code and fill out our online application plus make sure to submit the 3 digit code on the bottom right. To thank you for your time we are going to e-transfer you $25 within 24hours of receiving your application. Have an amazing day :)
On the card you should include your website, email, phone number and logo so they can poke around on your site to see if they are at all interested before reaching out to you.
When you e-transfer them make sure to include a nice note in the subject line and tell them to send over their friends as well!
Here's a few other things to take into account.
- If you hire this person and they last 3 months you will need to give away some type of referral bonus to whoever handed them the card.
- Only give out 5 cards to each person/per year. Record the people they send your way and try and ensure when they give away a card they text your office and tell you where and who they gave the card to. If they don't take it serious and hand the cards out to a bunch of duds, then take them out of the referral program
- Employees must work with you for 1 year before being allowed to participate as they need to understand the companies core values and culture.
2) Word of Mouth - Yes! Much like the way that most small business owners start their company and especially when they are on a very tight budget. Problem is after a while we start feeling bad about telling everyone that we have positions within our company to fill. We feel that it makes us look pathetic and understaffed. So, instead we tend to start badmouthing or loosing faith in the workforce or blame it on the younger generations unwillingness to work hard. The time we spend speaking or thinking negatively could be better spent understanding the "Advantage" that is hidden inside of the "Disadvantage" that is right in front of our face.
We have no problem talking about our business when we meet new people and we often tell them about the companies that we have worked for and even show them pictures of our projects. We do this for the chance that they might hire us or even better tell their friends. Why not spend that time highlighting the accomplishments of your staff members and tell them why your staff is so thrilled to have an opportunity to work for you. Tell them how you have a Golden Ticket process, how you pay your employees weekly, how you have a Christmas bonus based on hours worked, how you ask personal questions when you hire them and strategically reward your staff with items and events that they have told you interest them. Wait what! We do all this now? YES you do, or you should at least consider. Again, at the bottom of the article we will explain how to do this to help retain and also pursue employees.
3) Landing Page - Have a page on your website set up specifically for obtaining applications/resumes. That way when people type "pressure washing jobs" in your area, you will be able to be found rather than people just scrolling through indeed and saying "that looks fun, I think i'll apply" and then they do the same to another 20 places and wait to see who responds. This is why they are not showing up. They have sent their info to 100s of places but get bored of the idea of working for you shortly after. Plus, you don't even know about their core values. At least if they are specifically searching for jobs like yours they have more invested interest. Plus, if you set up your SEO ( Search Engine Optimization) correct you can land people onto your page if they search for other things like: cleaning jobs, physical labour, construction work, outdoor work, roofing etc. Do yourself a favour and get people coming to your website who are more qualified and have an interest in your line of work right off the bat.
How you set up your landing page is very important. So, when they cash in your Golden Ticket or organically find your page you will want to give them a choice of the type of work they are most interested in. Let them use a drop down menu and choose between: field staff, office work, estimator and list any type of team members you are looking for. Even if you are not ready to hire that position you should still offer it as it makes you look like a very organized company and BIGGER than you really are. Theres nothing wrong with being professional. Just because they fill out an application does not mean you need to hire them and it also does not mean they get to be put in the exact job title they choose. It's just good to know what they might like to do and when that position becomes available you will have your first internal interview all ready to go!
Stop for a minute and understand that everyone in your industry and other similar industries is having trouble finding great, new employees also and at the same time you need to understand that the chances are that most of us are using the same bait to reel in the BIG FISH and its clearly not working or been over fished!
If you are looking for older people with a little more life experience I promise you that there are literally 1000s or hundred of thousands of people tired of working a dead end job with a boss who is not organized, not nice as does not show any interest in them. If you are searching for young and energetic people, they are out there also. Maybe they want a different type of job that is not so conventional like the jobs their parents have. Maybe they don't give a crap about about your "benefits package" and they just want every Friday, Saturday & Sunday off to hang out with their friends. Ask them ahead of time, and adapt or get left behind. Most employers think they are doing the staff a favour by providing them a job. Im telling you it's the other way around. Its a privilege to have great staff members not the other way around. "Treat your employees better or the same as your most valued customers"
Now, lets talk about 3 ways that you can keep these people working for you once you have hired them and remember the famous words that "you only have one chance to make a great first impression" Why not systematize this and hit the ball out of the park every time. Heres how...
Stream Line Your Interview Process - After they complete the online application set a rule to reach out to them within 24 hours. Have "Questionnaire #1 ready to go. Over the phone, ask them all the basic questions like:
- Where have you worked in the past? what did you enjoy most at that job? what did you not enjoy?
- What were some of your responsibilities? who did you directly report to?
- Do you have a valid licence? are you comfortable driving with a trailer?
- Have you ever worked at heights? If yes, did you feel comfortable working at heights?
- Do you enjoy working long hours? working as a team or on your own?
The list can go on and on for ever, but you have a starting point! Have the team member who directed the interview rate their feeling on a scale of 1-5
- Very good potential
- Not bad, worth a second interview
- Hard to say right now, lets do 1 more interview
- Not a chance
- If you hire this person, I QUIT!
Then set up the next interview...In person...
Reiterate the answers that they provided in interview #1 and ask them to explain their answers in better detail. Don't listen to their answers too much as you already know how they feel about each question. Instead, watch their body language and try and get them to talk more about what they didn't like and why they are looking for a new job. If the words they are saying fall in line with your core values then they are a match. This is where you get to flex and show them why they are going to love working for you!
Create a new employee handout which will include a:
- Non Compete
- Photo Disclosure (allows you to publish their photo)
- CRA Requirements
- Christmas Bonus Breakdown
- Benefits Enrolment Package
- Contract - This clearly states their starting wage, raises throughout the year based on passing a knowledge test and training manuals.
- First 3 Month Training Manual With Checklist - Highlight and outline things that need to be understood after the first 3 months such as: Down Streaming, X-Jetting, priming a pump, backing up a trailer, window cleaning without any supervision, testing PPM for a water outlet etc.
- Plus the best of all - Have them fill out your New Hire Questionnaire
The questionnaire is a form that you have made ahead of time that ask them several personal but easy going questions. The questions would be like:
- Do you enjoy watching sports?
- If so, what sports do you enjoy watching?
- Do you like any specific genres of music?
- Are you married? Single? Divorced? It's complicated!
- If married, when is your anniversary?
- What is your partners name?
- Do you have kids?
- If so, what are their names?
- What is everyone in your families birthdays?
- Do you have any pets? names? birthdays?
- Are you a Starbucks or Timmys person?
- Whats your favourite hot drink?
- Cold drink?
- Whats your favourite place to shop for groceries?
Now it gets good...
- If you had $500 and you had to spend it on 1 night out, where would you go and why?
- Where would you go on a shopping spree?
- Do you have any major life goals? Like a new car or buy a house? Think BIG.
On most questions it wont hurt to have the words "prefer not to answer"
Use all of this info to reflect on throughout the year and heres how.
Set google alarms in your calendar or use your CRM to to this. Send them small gifts on birthdays, flowers on anniversaries. Let's say you have a male working for you and he is married to a women or a man (who cares). If you give their partner a reason to kick them out of the bed in the morning when they feel like skipping work you have done your job. I can see it right now. "Hunny you have been complaining for so long how your previous jobs never treat you good. This new job has given us a welcome gift, Christmas bonus, gifts for the kids on their birthday and flowers on our anniversary. Get off your ass and get to work you BIG dummy." Treating a spouse good goes further than you think.
How about actually knowing how your employees like their coffee so when you show up on site with hot drinks they will be impressed. Do all the little things that nobody else has ever cared about or remembered except maybe their family members. Then they will treat your business like a family. The best part is, if you have a half decent office staff then they can set all this up for you. If you don't have an office staff yet because you don't have enough for them to do, well, now you just created a bunch of work to justify that first office member that will pay dividends because you are going to have a very happy staff who is creating an amazing culture and bringing in more and more great clients each month.
Keep in mind, all of this is manageable and you can set this up in your annual budget ahead of time. If they have 4 kids then maybe stick to anniversaries and adult birthdays. If they have no kids and are single then find 2 or 3 reasons through out the year to say thank-you. Remember, it's the thought that counts not the cost. You can spend less than $20 and still have a great result.
Not one thing is going to make your company great, it will be 100s of things that you do, so make sure to at least handle this aspect and then focus on other aspects of your business later.
After 2 Weeks Of Work: Your new hire is awesome. They haven't been late and have not missed a day. We pay weekly so on their second cheque you should include a pre-written letter that welcomes them to the team. We also include a $75 gift card to the place they indicated they grocery shop at (also a write off for your business.) The hand written note says something like this...
I wanted to take a moment now that you have been working with us for a couple weeks to send you this email and let you know how excited myself and the rest of the (Your Company) staff is to have you on board with us :) I completely understand that starting a new job can be a bit overwhelming and even stressful at times. Myself and my team are fully committed to ensure that you thrive and flourish within this company. With safety, customer satisfaction and our employees well being at the top of our priorities, I am confident you are going to prosper with this opportunity to work for such a dynamic and thriving company. The choice is ultimately yours as to how far you grow with us. We are diligently seeking smart, hard working people like yourself so we are grateful to have met you. If you have any concerns at anytime then please feel free to speak directly with me or email our office at (Your Email)
Included in your 2nd cheque envelope will be a "Welcome To The Team" gift for you to enjoy. This is our way of showing that going the extra mile and giving 110% is as important for us to do with you as it is important for you to do with us and our highly valued clients.We wish you all the best and we are looking forward to a long lasting relationship!Boom! Have you ever got this at any of the crappy companies you quit working for? Probably not. Thats why you need to do this! Hand this to them in an envelope with the gift card and email an additional copy later in the day so they can re-live the excitement again. On multiple occasions and even one time with tears in the eye I had an employee tell me that nobody has ever done this for them and that it came at a perfect time as they were not sure how they were going to eat that week. I literally shed a tear myself. (RIP Nick)Build trust, friendship and respect right away and a good employee will go to battle for you everyday.This is only just a few ideas of how to exceed expectations and we can honestly say that Big Shot Supplies & Big Shot Pressure Washing works hard everyday to treat our employees and customers with this level of service and respect."If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way" Napoleon Hill