Where to find your next employee Email
Tuesday, October 11, 2016 03:00 AM

Hire stampWhen recruiting employees, it's important to use more than just newspaper classified ads, online job sites, and your company website. You can use your network, on- and off-line, as well as community resources to actively search for that next great employee. 

Employee referrals
Word-of-mouth is invaluable. Encourage your employees to share information about job openings on social media, in their community, and among friends. Current staff have the potential to be your company’s greatest ambassadors. Finding candidates through current employees costs less and is often more effective than other hiring methods.

Research shows that candidates who come from employee referrals are more likely to remain with the company. Because they have “inside information” about the business, they are better informed about the company culture and have more realistic expectations of the workplace than a person who is hired without any relationship to the business.

In fact, one survey showed that while just 7% of applications came through employee referrals, 40% of those candidates were hired. That’s the highest percentage of hires among all sources of candidate referral.

Social media
Use your business’s social media accounts as well as your personal accounts to let everyone know that you are hiring. Schedule periodic posts describing open positions or directing contacts to your ‘careers’ or ‘we’re hiring’ page on your business website. (If you don’t have such a page on your website, that is something to consider adding as well.)

Again, encourage your employees to share your posts with their own networks on social media. Sharing stories on social media that include employee profiles can be a way to both acknowledge good staff and let the public know that they could join a great team at your business.

Community recruitment events
An attractive method for recruiting employees is participation in a job fair or hiring fair. While they may appear to be a convenient, one-stop shop for hiring, it’s important to note that they are just one part of a recruitment strategy. With that in mind, you should understand the benefits and challenges of each event.

Job fair: multiple employers on hand with multiple job openings
A job fair is an opportunity for businesses to meet a large number of job seekers and educate them about the company. They can also learn about job openings.

Participating in an industry-specific job fair has the benefit of possibly attracting candidates with industry experience or a desire to work in the landscape industry.

Participating in a general job fair, not specific to one industry but tailored to your region presents its own unique opportunities. While many candidates may not know about the landscape industry, it will allow your business to promote careers in the industry and reach candidates from outside the industry who may be willing to learn or train.

One challenge of the job fair is location. While candidates may attend the job fair because of a convenient location, they may not be willing to travel to your company’s job site(s).

Another challenge for job fairs is the cost of participation. Many job fairs charge a fee to participate. You must also factor the cost of employee time and travel time for the event.

Hiring fair: one employer (possibly 2-3 small ones) looking to fill multiple positions.
At a hiring fair, the expectation is that the employer plans to interview and hopes to hire that day. Candidates are expected to bring everything they need to apply (resume, references, ID, etc) and interview on-site.

The hiring fair has the benefit of helping your business focus on filling multiple positions that need to be filled immediately. But while a hiring fair allows your business to shine as the focus of the event, it also means that turnout will be smaller. Anecdotal evidence from Colorado workforce centers shows that a small business hiring fair currently attracts 5-15 attendees.

Those in attendance may often be those with a specific in interest in your company or in the industry, so it is a positive that you will attract those who are most likely to have the experience you seek. It is less likely that candidates considering a career change will attend a hiring fair.

Hiring fairs can be hosted at your place of business, or they can take place at a community location such as a workforce center.

Want more tips on recruiting new employees? Download the recruitment resource guide at ALCC's recruitment resource page.

Read more in this issue of Colorado Green NOW:
The benefits of observing peers at work
Federal overtime rule: bonuses may account for 10% of salary
Best of Colorado Green NOW: 8 things your snow contract should cover
2016 Landscape Industry Certification recap for Colorado