Finding Good Employees28 Apr, 2016 By: Jim Kahrs, Prosperity Plus
The question I am asked most often by far is, “Can you find me good sales people?” The mere fact that this is the most frequent request I get points to the fact that many dealerships struggle with recruiting. The number one area is sales, but I believe recruiting in all areas of the business often falls short.
People are the most important aspect of any company. Yet we don’t always treat recruiting as a priority task. The typical scenario is that we start looking for a new employee when we’ve lost a current employee. This is not a model for long-term success. Thus, here are ways to improve your recruiting success and find good, quality candidates.
Always be recruiting
If you want to build a highly successful team, the place to start is adopting a plan to always be recruiting. The thought that good people don’t exist or that they are hard to find is, in my opinion, directly linked to the lack of ongoing recruiting. If you wait until you need an employee and then place an ad or call a recruiter, you’re starting out with the deck stacked against you. This doesn’t give you enough time to pull in the quantity of candidates needed to have a good pool from which to choose. The result is typically choosing the best of a small group of candidates. And unfortunately, it is quite common for none of the candidates to be ideal. Yet, we believe they are all we have to choose from so we pick one and hope for the best outcome. The other issue that results from this process is that you are typically only interviewing unemployed people. The fact that a candidate is currently unemployed could indicate that he or she is not the best candidate.
But how do we attract people that are already employed and successful in their current position? It starts with putting some parameters around the plan of constant recruiting. I suggest you start with setting a target for the number of interviews a manager must do on a regular basis. In sales I suggest that target to be one interview per week. It doesn’t seem like much but a week goes by quickly. Finding someone to interview each week will take a concerted effort. For administration or service you could modify this to one interview per month as the demand and turnover are not as frequent. By “forcing” yourself or your managers to meet these interview expectations you will be setting them up for success. In order to do the required interviews, managers will need to constantly be looking for people to interview. They will also be encouraged to stay in regular touch with people they have targeted for future employment as follow up interviews still count toward the goal.
This process will yield other benefits as well. First, the team will see that you are “always” interviewing candidates. This dispels the belief that some employees have that they are irreplaceable. If you can get a steady stream of candidates in the door the current team tends to work with more diligence. As mentioned earlier, it also helps managers realize that there truly are candidates out there. Finally, it puts managers in a position where they are not quite so accepting of mediocre performance from the existing team.
So, how do you meet the interview quota? You do it by leveraging many different sources for candidates. You never know where a great candidate comes from so utilizing one or two avenues severely limits your overall reach. There are more sources for candidates than most people realize.
Let’s review key sources for finding candidates:
The best source is usually referrals. What many people don’t understand is that you only get referrals in volume when you actively ask for them. These referrals can and should come from current employees, customers, vendors, friends, other businesses in your area, etc. Make a habit of asking for employee referrals often. To encourage referrals from current employees I suggest you offer a bonus to any employee that recommends someone who is hired.
Personal contact is the next best resource. You interact with people all day, every day. When you encounter someone who strikes you as a good employee ask them to come in to meet with you. This could be the waiter or waitress from lunch, the clerk at Best Buy, the barista who served your coffee, etc. Some of the best people I’ve hired have come from this type of search.
Advertising works well when done correctly. First, you need to know what resource works best in your area. Online sites like Career Builder, Monster and indeed can be good sources for pulling in candidates. In some markets Craig’s List also does well. In other areas you’ll do better with “old fashioned” newspaper ads or online services offered by a local newspaper. It will take a little research to determine which is best.
Job fairs can be a good resource. However, they also vary in effectiveness from market to market. Talk to other businesses in your area to see if the local job fairs are worthwhile. Universities and technical schools can provide a good pool of candidates.
Recruiters can provide a good stream of candidates. The key here is making sure the recruiter is doing the proper screening. If they screen people and bring you only good quality candidates, then the fee is worth paying. If not, you’ll do better finding them yourself with ads.
Like it or not, your overall success is closely tied to your recruiting success. Adopting a plan to recruit on a constant basis will pay huge dividends.
Jim Kahrs is President of Prosperity Plus Management Consulting, Inc. For complete information visit www.prosperityplus.com .