Throughout his many presentations and consulting gigs over the years, Daren Fristoe has repeatedly sold one phrase: perpetual recruitment.
Fristoe, owner of The Fristoe Group, at one times served as the human resources expert for Sherwin-Williams’ A-Plus Network of shops. He says that forming an active recruiting plan allows you to easily track quality candidates in your area and ensure you’re not scrambling when an employee moves on.
“Recruiting never stops,” he says. “You've got to have that net out all the time. You've always got to be interviewing new talent. Because you're going to miss somebody, and the guy down the street is going to get him.”
Fristoe covers how to form a year-round recruiting plan that ensures you always have quality candidates queued up.
I would encourage people to map out their recruiting plans for the whole year. It’s a daily, weekly, monthly process. You’ve got to be thinking about it all the time.
First, you will need a budget for both your money and your time. On a month-to-month basis, evaluate your resources. That budget should include advertising, whether it’s online or in the newspaper.
If there are career fairs at the local technical schools, it costs money to get a booth. You could even host a learn-and-lunch, where you have candidates come in on the weekend and you hold an open house.
If you have apprenticeship opportunities, you could be promoting those through your local vocational schools, your industry connections, your vendors. The military is also an excellent place to find really good people. Customers are even a place to look. Referral plans can work in your favor, whether it’s internal employees or referrals from other people. There are so many service people coming home that are ready to learn and go to work.
There’s almost an endless supply of people who want to help you find talent for your business.
Essentially, you should be making it clear you accept job applications year round. You can post job advertisements on CareerBuilder, Monster, Craigslist and Indeed, but your website will be your best, most cost-efficient option. It costs little to nothing to put another tab on your site labeled “Career Opportunities.” That casts a virtual net that’s expansive and from which you can collect résumés and applications. Just make sure it’s accessible on a phone.
You can include the caveat that you’re not looking to hire at the moment. We may not have this opening today, but there might be one tomorrow. That makes your business look good, that you’re always looking to hire the best.
I would recommend broadening your search and posting an ad online in other markets where people may want to relocate from, especially if you’re in a rural area. Maybe they’re in Chicago, Minneapolis, Kansas City—who knows. Candidates are more willing to move now than they used to be.
What I encourage shops to do is perpetually interview. That way, the net is always cast, you’re always advertising, you’re always recruiting. It’s the people you don’t expect to leave that will leave you. The problem is, if you don’t have a backlog of talent, you’re just going to hire the next person who walks through the door. And that doesn’t help your business long term, and can hurt you across the board.
I encourage holding three interviews for each candidate, just because it’s hard to fake a good interview three times. However, only hold three interviews if the position is open. If you’re just getting to know a potential candidate for the future, do one interview and when a position opens up, bring them in for what I would consider the second interview.
During the interview, take notes, highlight your best candidates, and then create a database and track it, following up with people you’d like on your team down the road. If you hit a busy season or you need apprentices, they’re waiting in the wings. Even if you don’t need them right away, you may need them in six months or one year from now. Heaven forbid you expand to another facility and you need one of everything.
Interviewing is time consuming, so I would recommend recruiting managers or members of your team to help or head up interviewing, though you may want to have them take a class on interviewing best practices. Then you only have to come in for the final interview and decision.