The job market out there is fierce. A few years ago, it wasn’t difficult to find good help but now, many small businesses are struggling to recruit new employees. The old methods aren’t working like they used to, so business owners need to look at how they hire differently as the labor force has changed.
Let’s explore some new ways to attract employees to your business.
1. Think More About People’s Lifestyles Today
As Millennials flood the job market and as people become more connected when they are mobile, consider how people now live and want to work. Today, people want to work hard and play hard. They want to get the most they can out of life and making some small adjustments to how business is conducted can make your business look more attractive to those looking for employment.
Today, it’s not so much about coming into an office and working in a cube as it is open spaces and having more flexible work hours. Maybe offering to have people work at home a couple days a week is something you can experiment with. This will allow them to do things like take care of their children by themselves more or give them a chance to get some chores done at home while they also get their work done.
As long as their productivity doesn’t suffer, some time working from home can be a big benefit. Doing this will break up the week for people so that they’re not going to the same place, day after day, all week long. Sure, some people may want that so it shouldn’t be something that’s required. And then you might want to set this up for only certain days so that you can have meetings with everyone present during the week. Maybe offer it on Tuesdays and Thursdays or something like that.
You might even find that people actually get more done by taking more breaks when working at home or being able to get more accomplished during the day.
Some companies like Netflix even offer unlimited vacation time (within reason, of course). Can you believe that? And it’s working, too. Think about it, if you get people who really like what they do and you offer them a huge perk like that, they’ll work hard to keep that kind of job.
2. Offer Unique Perks
Perks today don’t have to be wildly expensive. They can be relatively small. Maybe you have lunch catered every Friday. Maybe you offer free dry cleaning once a week. That kind of thing.
Here are some more ideas for small but powerful perks:
- Free coffee (the good kind)
- Gym memberships
- Dogs at work
- Massages once a month
- Casual dress
- Bus/transit passes
- A non-management break room
- Free, fresh-baked cookies / snacks / fruit
- Free breakfast once a month
Observe the behavior of your staff/team. What do they like to do? Maybe the play cricket or go on bike rides. See if you can offer them help or sponsorships.
3. Company Outings and Events
Events and outings can be going to a movie, sporting event or concert. You can also to team-building types of events like a ropes course. Volunteering together can also be really great to build a team atmosphere and get people working together outside the office.
You can schedule them monthly or once a quarter – whatever works best for your team. Plan them well in advance so that people can set those events in their calendar and work other plans around them.
4. Offer a Referral Signing Bonus
You can often find good employees from existing employees. They have friends and family that might need jobs or want to switch companies. Working with your friends can be really fun. Make it worth it for your team to bring in people like that and offer them a bounty if they do. Your employees will start doing your advertising for you on their social networks (both online and offline).
Pretty soon, you could have more people that like working together, getting more done.
5. Give Out Proper Recognition
Recognizing key employees for their contributions is one of those things that might seem small but is really a big deal to those working for you. You can have awards monthly or quarterly and hand out prizes or bonuses. Doing that will get everyone competing to do their best work.
And you can even start small and just hand write a “Thank You” note when you see or find out someone did a great job. Regularly doing this will go a long way and it doesn’t take much time at all. Look for opportunities to thank your team.
6. Work Your Business Connections
Your friends, colleagues and former colleagues can be a great resource for finding new employees. Most of them might not even know you’re looking for help, so get the word out. Use tools like Facebook and LinkedIn to spread the word easily. Send out emails or call people you know to see if they can help you find who you need.
7. Reach Out to Colleges / Professors
Star making connections with colleges, universities and tech schools in your area that pump out great students. Maybe there’s a way you can come in and present your business or get into a job fair. Even meeting with a few professors can give you more insight or a connection where they can send you the cream of the crop.
Students are looking for good jobs, so connect with them where they are to make sure they come to you.
8. Contact Former Job Candidates
If you have a new position, maybe someone who has interviewed with you is the perfect fit. Go back and review who you have brought in. If someone is a close fit, then contact them to see if they’re still looking or if they might be interested in the new position you’re offering.
If they are fine where they’re at, they might be able to refer you to others they know or have them contact you. It doesn’t hurt to shake that tree so see what you get – one thing may lead to another and your future, best employee might be withing arm’s reach.
9. Make Taking Applications Very Easy
If your website doesn’t offer a job board or page that’s mobile friendly and easy to use, then it’s time to get that set up. People need to be able to fill out a job application form on their phone. Most website traffic today is mobile, so your job listing and forms need to work on those devices.
Check out your website on your phone right now. Is it easy to use? Can people apply online? If not, then it’s time to get that done. Talk to your local website developer about what it will take to set that up. Do it before you start sending job seekers to your website or they may be turned off by what they see and go elsewhere.
There are a number of ideas listed here but really, what you want to do, is make your business the one people can’t pass up. You want to be the company that everyone wants to work for.
Make it all about the employees. Show them that you care and that you want their help and you’ll see things change in your business. At that point, recruiting new help will be easy.
Shifting your thinking in this regard is a big step for many business owners but reach out to other business owners you know and find out from them what is working and what is not working. Be willing to accept new ideas to bring in the quality people that you need and you’ll soon find the few things that make a big difference, which will lead to you getting the help you need and expanding your business.