By Travis Sterrett, Bronwick Recruiting
Everyone knows that the strength of our organizations is only as good as the people we employ. Having the right people on your team is essential. Getting the right people in place might be one of the most challenging aspects of running a business. In our current market, filling openings and finding the right talent for your organization can be difficult. With an unprecedented labor shortage, you may need to think outside your usual hiring process.
Hiring good people requires more time, effort and money than most realize. Worse, it costs your operation time and money when key positions go unfilled. People are working on tasks that anyone could do (you included) rather than spending their time on things that only they can do. Having the right people in place can be profoundly intangible in its effects (sometimes hidden). Still, we would assert that nothing makes an operation run smoother, a stronger team, customers more pleased, and stress levels decrease faster than effective hires.
Great candidates are out there looking for the right next step in their careers, and they might not realize that the stone industry could be an excellent fit for their talents. Or maybe a great candidate with stone experience is available, but your job description isn’t compelling enough. Or those qualified candidates who have tried applying can’t get ahold of busy hiring managers. Hiring great people is a competitive process. It can be done well but must be prioritized as much as the other strategies within your business.
The Search Begins
When looking for your next great hire, is anyone on your team ready to be promoted? Before you post that next job opening, look for candidates internally. Who on your team is prepared to level up? Promotions are essential because employees want a viable career path. Changing someone’s scope can reenergize their work ethic instead of incentivizing them to work hard due to a pay increase. Doing this opens up other roles within your organization that may be easier to fill.
When looking outside your organization, remember that candidates have a digital footprint. Everyone in our world does these days. There are tools out there that can help you quickly identify candidates with the right experience. Consider a few of these:
- LinkedIn Recruiter Lite Subscription: Not quite as expensive as a full-on LinkedIn recruiter membership but offers increased resume searching capabilities on the platform.
- Indeed Recruiter Subscription: This is similar to the LinkedIn recruiter subscription, although a bit pricier. It does offer an increased ability to search Indeed’s extensive candidate database to find the right candidate.
- Ashby: This recruiting software requires some financial investment and focus of energy on your side but will work on your behalf to find, contact and seamlessly communicate with candidates.
Evaluating a Candidate
When considering a candidate, focus on the three C’s: culture, character and competency.
- Culture: Do you know what your company culture is? Do you know yourself and your leadership team enough to understand who will be a good fit? Ensuring a candidate will thrive in your environment is as important as the technical skills they bring to the table.
- Character: Are candidates telling the truth? Do you have time to call three references to find out? Just because someone was let go in the past doesn’t necessarily mean they were at fault. Ask some leading questions in the interview to learn about their ethical compass.
- Competency: What are the pillars of each job description? Ensure you’re clear about your needs and that your candidate responds well to the tasks you’ll be asking them to do. Measuring competency is all about hard-core, concrete data. What previous data can the salesperson you’re interviewing present to you as measurable proof of success? How many square feet per day was the template technician candidate previously able to accomplish? Did you test that person to determine if they can accurately read a tape measure? Did you test them to find out if they can run the laser?
How do you get great candidates across the finish line? Onboarding is usually about efficiency and clear communication. Candidates will not convert if the onboarding process takes more than a few days. They must hear from you if you want to keep them interested in your position. Get an offer letter with competitive pay and benefits, and get them started as soon as possible.
When communicating with your potential new hire, we recommend having a liaison between you and them — an advocate who can keep communications consistent and effective. Enroll someone in human resources, administration or operations to help with this, or consider hiring a recruiter to be part of your team. Finding great people, putting them through the appropriate evaluation processes, and getting them across the finish line should be someone’s full-time job. If no one on your team has time and you aren’t able to hire someone internally, partner with an external recruiting firm.
A recruiting company will pursue candidates who aren’t even job shopping and quickly catch those who are. They have the time and resources to search that you and your leadership teams do not have. They can fill any position and work alongside your existing recruiting efforts to help you fill jobs faster – and with better talent – so your company can thrive.
The labor market is challenging, but using these tools can fill openings and inspire good work among new hires and existing employees. If you cannot focus on recruiting full-time in-house, allowing a recruiting firm to come alongside your team could be a helpful next step. The money you invest will pay dividends when your new hires quickly bring value to your company. Perhaps you’ll even find your next leader — someone who could take the reins when you retire.
About the Author
Travis Sterrett is the director of sales for Bronwick, a national full-service recruiting firm that helps companies in the stone industry find and acquire the talent they need to run and grow their businesses. Bronwick is interested in long-term partnerships with companies ready to take their hiring to the next level through focused attention on getting the appropriate people in “the right seats on the bus” (—Jim Collins, Good to Great). Learn more at www.bronwick.com.