Which Way Did They Go?

Now that we have firmly established the importance of good recruiting; how can it be done efficiently and more to the point effectively? We discovered early in our recruitment process we were often unable to offer a prospective candidate employment even after they had passed several of the vetting steps. The reason was they washed out somewhere along the line during the screening process. Our solution was to target the cohorts who have made the grade in the selection process in the past. In other words fish in the right ocean to catch the greatest number of keepers.

Some of the most fruitful groups to go after for us were:

· Early Retirees — Florida is a retirement haven for many. Often those who have retired to our area are in early retirement and given the right incentives (another retirement income, health insurance. etc.) they choose to re-enter the work force. These folks come to us with a work ethic, experience, maturity and discipline.

· Retired Military – Again many who retire from the military are attracted to the possibility of a second retirement income, educational reimbursements, and career promotional opportunities. They are a great asset in they are disciplined, trained and can hit the ground running.

· High School Graduates – Since we will not employee individuals without a high school diploma or GED, why not recruit through the high schools? These potential candidates relate to our ability to pay for college. Since some never dreamed they could afford to go to college, they are interested in their ability to make a good wage during the day, get solid work experience and training and be reimbursed for their college courses taken during off hours.

· Seasonal and Contract Employees – If you or your staff treat these employees as throwaways you are squandering a very valuable resource. For us, these folks have been vetted through our rigorous screening process. Their work is a known quantity and they have been trained to our processes. What an asset. We reach out to these people in every way we can.

· Women Re-entering the Work Force – Many women left the work force to raise children or to be caregivers to family. When they are ready to re-enter the work arena we are ready with a job offer. Most often they come to us with maturity, a sense of responsibility, a work ethic and experience in life and in prior work. They react most positively not just to our rates of pay, but to health insurance for their families, paid vacations, educational opportunities, and our generous defined benefit retirement plan. To all of you male readers out there. Women make up over 50 percent of the work force nationwide. If we males don’t get past the male oriented notion of physical work we are really missing the opportunity to recruit and develop a major source of labor and leadership for the future.

Tell the Story

A major challenge in fishing for employees in different seas is getting your story out in the language that will resonate with the audience you have targeted for recruitment. In the past we were content to advertise in the daily newspaper, trade publications and on the Internet. We weren’t catching many keepers especially for our entry-level positions. Some new communication vehicles we are employing are:

Placement Ads – Place ads in weekly newspapers delivered free in residential driveways. It is important to tell your story to the audience you seek. Highlight the benefits of work with your organization you think will touch a receptive audience. If you are a diverse community, be sure you target your ads in the second language prevalent in the targeted neighborhoods.

Recreation Halls – Advertisements placed on bulletin boards in adult only retirement communities. Remember tell the right story to these potential candidates.

Index Card Ads – These are efficient in getting the story out at Laundromats, college campuses and high schools. Be sure to loop in the school guidance counselors and owners of these establishments.

Separation Counselors at Military Bases – A great way to recruit military personnel preparing to separate from the service.

Bonus to Employees – Consider getting approval from your leadership to give cash or extra time off to employees that recruit new staff for your organization.

Finally, as a part of telling the story, explain to recruits up front about any special requirements of the job. As an example, we let everyone know as a part of our advertising, we will not employ anyone with certain criminal offenses in their past. We also let them know what we will do to find out about their past. This saves them and us a lot of time, money and embarrassment.

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