Finding New Employees and Keeping Them

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Recruitment and retention are hot topics in today’s industry. The truth is companies have never done as much hiring as they do today, and they’ve never spent as much money doing it. The days of someone walking into your office and asking for a paper application are almost nonexistent. Most companies have moved to electronic applications, and some have been outsourced to third party companies based out of India.

How are companies recruiting today? I can tell you from experience that within the last 5-8 years, job fairs have shown a steady decline in attendance. Today’s youth typically won’t be motivated to print out 10-15 resumes and spend the time handing them out. Popular websites like Indeed, Zip recruiter, and Monster are good tools to use, but are you reaching the younger demographic that way? Maybe, but you cannot effectively market your company from those websites alone. Sure, you can post a job and get responses, but chances are there are 50 other companies looking to hire for the same position the same way.

So how do you make your company stand out and appeal to someone who’s looking for a new career? Today’s generation is infatuated with their phones, and they are typically look at some form of social media. With that said, if you are not marketing your companies on TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, and other forms of social media, you are missing a whole demographic of potential employees.

In the world of social media, content is king, and short videos get the furthest reach by far, which makes them one of the best recruiting tools you can use on social media. Making these videos doesn’t take much time and posting them is easy. Your videos could be as simple as footage of a piece of equipment in action, an overview of a completed job, or even just short snippets of your people working. Add in testimonials from employees with them talking about the positive experiences within your company, and you could reach a lot of potential, long-term employees looking for their path in life.

Then there’s retention – that’s keeping the employees you hire. We all know that companies often hire from competitors, which on the surface saves some time with training. The issue this practice creates can be a vicious circle where trained people must constantly be replaced. Finding seasoned employees is great, but focusing on new, long-term employees is necessary.

When hiring someone, a review of the resume is crucial, not only to judge their experience, but also to examine how many companies they’ve worked for and their tenure at each job. If someone had six jobs within the last two years, that’s typically a red flag and a potential indicator that they’re not planning on sticking around long. These employees may leave for less than a dollar an hour pay increase, and there’s not a lot you can do about it. Recognizing these “Job Jumpers” can save you from headaches down the road.

When someone leaves, it’s helpful to conduct exit interviews and ask the reasons why: was it pay, safety, or was the employee unhappy? Sometimes you can reason with your employees, and they will stay, but we all know that’s not always the case. Regardless, the info you get from exit interviews can be invaluable to keeping the rest of your people happy and working for you.

Some ways to keep employees is to create an environment where employees want to come to work. You can do this by having a good benefits package, offering competitive salaries, and providing effective training. Opportunities for advancement are always an attractive way to keep employees within your company. That said, all companies are struggling to hire people.

We live in time where the employee has the advantage – it’s a worker’s market, so to speak. So, using some savvy recruitment and retention tricks may help you keep your company staffed.

Mike Flowers is Director of Safety, Training and Education for National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA).

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