Grow with Good People

The body count shortage is going to get worse in 2018 and beyond. Savvy operators will develop a superior way of retaining talent and attracting new hires. All service based companies depend on people to satisfy customers. Doctors, lawyers, plumbers and paint professional businesses all must perform their respective services well to survive and prosper. Great companies have an efficient team of good people. In order to expand, every outfit must add associates. For growing enterprises, low turnover is often an indicator of a stable, well run company.

Based on his research of companies that went from good to great, author Jim Collins advocates for keeping a position open rather than hiring a person who isn’t perfect for it. A bad hire simply costs a company too much—as much as or more than $17,000. Finding the right hire in an industry with a skills gap requires a two-pronged approach:

-  undertaking long-term measures to eliminate the gap and

-  adopting inbound recruiting strategies to fill positions in the short term.

Strategies to address the skills gap include building out pipelines, developing apprenticeship and on-the-job training programs, and increasing diversity efforts. But when a business can’t wait years to fill a position, inbound recruiting can more quickly attract prospective hires.

Inbound Recruiting: A Quicker Way to Attract Prospective Hires

Think of how much effort firms put into finding customers. The sales team generates new leads and nurtures customer relationships. Senior staff members likely devote significant effort to promoting the visibility of the company and maintaining customer relationships. The marketing team cultivates the brand and builds a community that may be interested in the company’s products and services. Many of the strategies used to market to prospective clients also apply to reaching prospective employees. That’s the power of inbound recruiting. Here’s how to do it.

Set Objectives

An inbound recruiting campaign has to begin with goals and objectives. It’s impossible to know if inbound recruiting efforts have been successful without first identifying the hiring goals. PPT note: this should be company culture…every associate understands company growth and profit benefits the entire team and individual careers. Employees are engaged and seek new associates specifically including unskilled, semi-skilled and highly skilled).

Understand the Audience

What does an apprentice, journeyman or project manager want in your workplace? Where do prospective hires spend their time, both online and offline? What events do they attend? Which people or organizations do they respect? The better a company understands the people it wants to hire, the more likely it’ll be able to reach them and demonstrate why the company is the right place for them to work.

Create a Marketing (Recruiting) Plan

Develop a plan that will position the company to reach prospective hires.
Use online content, such as blog posts, videos and social media posts, to demonstrate why the company is a great place to work. For instance, profile employees. Give examples of how the company is changing people’s lives. If the firm’s existing social networks don’t include the type of prospective hires it’s looking for, guest blog for a site that the target audience frequents.

If there is a conference prospective hires go to, get a staff member to speak at it. Offer to sponsor a meet up group for industry professionals. These in-person activities will go a long way in building the firm’s networks with potential hires. Just as email remains an important way to convert prospects into sales, it’s an important way of turning talent into employees.

Capture Prospective Hire Information

Content that’s attractive to the target audience will drive people to visit the company’s website. Encourage prospective employees to sign up for a newsletter and follow the firm on social media so they’re aware when a job opens up. Smaller businesses should consider creating an online signup form for candidates interested in hearing about new positions, and segment them in the firm’s email list to make sure it knows who to contact during hiring procedures.

Give Some Love to the Recruitment Page (or add one now)

The company’s jobs page should be more than just a place to stick PDFs of job openings. It should sell the company to prospective hires, just as a sales page draws customers. Turn it into a compelling recruitment page that will make it clear why the company is a great place to work.

Consider Adopting an ‘Always Open’ Application Process
In a competitive hiring market, don’t miss out on hearing from a promising candidate just because there isn’t a current job posting. For companies not regulated by the Office of Federal Contract compliance Programs, consider allowing prospects to send in their résumés any time to maintain a steady pool of potential candidates. For companies that are regulated, consider having a community sign-up instead.

Evaluate Efforts

After implementing the plan, evaluate what worked and what didn’t. Use tools like Google Analytics to see how people are finding the recruitment page. Examine what blog content is most popular with each audience. Refine the hiring outreach quarterly to meet the company’s needs.

This may seem like a lot of effort, but having prospective hires approach the company, rather than seeking them out will save an incredible amount of time and energy. In 2018, grow with good people using a formalized new associate onboarding process.

Chris Lennon is vice president of product management at BirdDogHR. For more information, visit

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