The Best Place to Find Quality Employees

By Rich Lindblom

It’s not just our industry, it’s a nationwide problem affecting every business sector.

Every single one of you is fighting the same battle as every other company out there today when it comes to finding good employees.  You’re no longer just competing with similar businesses in your market area — you’re competing with every business in your market area.

With the creation of HRSource and CareerPlug, BrandSource has taken a huge step in the right direction towards helping the members solve their personnel needs.

See: Ristow Intros Sweeping HR Initiatives

But I have a little secret I’d like to share about where I believe you can find the best candidates.

There are a ton of job sites out there and while some of them do get results, others are pretty much a waste of time and money.  And the ones that are effective typically cost a lot of money. Let’s take Indeed as an example.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing them. In fact, I have used them in the past.  But the problem is they charge you 10 percent of the new hire’s annual salary as a finder’s fee. So, if you hire someone for $60,000 a year, you must cut Indeed a check for $6,000 if the new guy stays more than 30 days.  And if they don’t work out or leave after six months, you’re back to square one.

Well, I think I have a better idea.  Instead of spending $6,000 to find a new employee who must be trained and will hopefully stick around, why not invest that $6,000 in your current employees.  Think about it: If you are willing to spend that much to find someone off the street, why wouldn’t you be willing to invest that same amount in someone you already have?

OK, maybe the title of this article is a littlemisleading, but I’ve been doing a lot of research into this, and it simply amazes me how many companies are willing to let good employees walk away without so much as a fight. 

It actually goes much deeper than that. If you took better care of the good employees that you already have, maybe you wouldn’t be caught in this vicious circle of needing to continually hire and train replacements.  If you took care of your employees — treated them right and compensated them well — odds are they would never leave you. 

In short, don’t give them a reason to look elsewhere! Happy employees are the lifeblood of your business and without them you’ll constantly be struggling to get ahead of the labor curve. 

Last spring I wrote a three-part series on “The Three R’s of Employee Retention”: Reward, Respect and Recognition. And as the labor market continues to tighten, employee retention becomes more critical than ever. 

But in addition to those three R’s, I’d like to add a couple of C’s to the mix as well:

Communicate. Talk to your team members openly, honestly and regularly.  Create an open, two-way line of communication. Let them know you genuinely care about them and their happiness. 

How many of you have the kind of relationship with your employees where you can walk up to one right now and say something along the lines of this: “I know there are plenty of other opportunities out there for a person with your skills, so I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for being a part of the XYZ Appliance team, and to let you know how much I truly appreciate the effort you give us every single day.”

Compensate. And while you’re telling them how much you appreciate them, how about taking some of that $6,000 you’d have to spend finding a replacement and giving them an unexpected pay raise of say $50 to $100 a week instead?  Nothing says I truly appreciate you more than a pay increase that was neither due nor expected.

In my research, I learned a couple of interesting tidbits. Did you know that 60 percent of employees have referred someone to their current employer?  Or that more than a third of all hires came from referrals? 

Based on those statistics, here’s one more idea for you: Maybe your best source of new hires is an employee referral program. And let’s face it, a happy employee is far more likely to refer someone to your company than a discontented one. 

Hey, so maybe the title wasn’t all that misleading after all.

I have three goals in mind with my columns: To motivate, educate and entertain.  If I have achieved at least one of those, then I’ve done my job. Don’t be shy about letting me know if you agree. Write me at egvrich@gmail.com.