"Hiring employees is difficult" - I can't tell you how many times I have heard this, asked why this is and how I’m handling the employee’s market, along with the frequent complaint that there are just not many great potential hires around. It seems to be common theory that hiring employees is hard, and that finding new employees is next to impossible. I can't disagree more: hiring employees is not hard, it’s easy. Recruiting and opportunities for hiring great talent are all around us. In fact, if these are some of your common complaints, you have probably missed opportunities today already!
Think quickly about the successful and smart people you know. The ones who continue to get promoted and are always excited and passionate about new ideas. One thing all good employees have in common is just that: they are employees. Meaning that they work somewhere else. The good employees aren't going to respond to a help wanted posting on your website—they already have jobs, ones that they are successful at. That’s why it is essential to build a great culture at your company, and then get out there and seek them out.
We have many resources in front of us today to connect us to talent. Growing Vendasta to over 200 people this year has called for strategy and being proactive. Throughout our aggressive hiring, I am confident we have the best of the best, and we are not stopping. Without further ado - here are three quick tips on how we are doing it.
Top 3 Tips for Hiring Employees
- Feed and entertain them - Once a month we host an event called Ideas on Tap. We have a new topic each month and invite businesses and people into our downtown office to share their stories. The event is free, and we provide beverages and appetizers. This event attracts great and interesting people; people that are ambitious, intelligent and open to new ideas and opportunities. Of course, they don’t leave Ideas on Tap with a new job, but we connect, they learn about what we have to offer and it is easy to reconnect with them at a later date. Make your own “little black book” on your desktop and just keep adding your connections. "If you build it they will come.”
- LinkedIn creeping - In 2014, the median job tenure was 4.6 years (Bureau of Labor Statistics), and for tech companies, talent retention is even more elusive, estimated at three years (gethppy). There are endless connections on LinkedIn, and with keywords such as your state or industry, LinkedIn puts the best candidates right in front of you. Reach out to them, either to refer you to other candidates or directly about themselves. Professionals are flattered to be approached, and are often interested in hearing more. If they aren't wanting to meet with you, they may know someone who will. Reaching out and establishing that connection provides them with a reference to your company, and you never know when they may be calling you back. I am not offended when our employees get contacted—I expect them to! Don't worry about what is out of your control, but focus on what is, and that is providing an engaging and rewarding work environment so that your people want to stay with you. You can turn LinkedIn prospecting around and approach some of the same tactics with recruitment in mind.
- Look everywhere - For talent recruiters, this is not a one time task until you find someone—this is an ongoing part of your everyday life. Out for supper, getting gas, meeting with a school group...these people all have jobs, and you get to see them doing what they do best. If someone makes a good impression, get their name and add it to your contacts. Invite these people out to events and encourage them to bring friends. For me, inviting people to our next Ideas on Tap event is a great way to get them into our office to have a good time while testing out our environment. The saying that good people know good people is true—ask your employees for referrals and recognize them when you hire someone they have recommend. Also, when you do come across a gem, hire them. People focus on roles and where is the best fit instead of who is the best fit. Encourage them to niche out their role and see where they thrive.
These are just three of the strategies that have helped to double our employee growth over the past 18 months. The best part is that an engaged and happy staff naturally brings in more engaged people. Take a look at your team today and do what you can do make them happy. I am proud of our free food, yoga, education funds, Vendasta University and social club, as they create an environment where people love to be. Nothing can beat that.