OPTIMAL STAFFING

The ultimate throttle on growth for any company is…the ability to get and keep enough of the right people.

—Jim Collins, Good to Great, The hiring process is critical to the success of your company.

Done well, it can build a hardworking, loyal staff and help grow your business; done poorly, it can increase turnover and stunt your staff.

FINDING APPLICANTS

It used to be simple: You ran an ad in the newspaper, and applicants either mailed in a résumé or applied in person. Now, applicants also use your company’s Website or one of the many online job sites—www.jobberman.com

To stay competitive and attract applicants, you may also need to participate in job fairs, recruit at local colleges or trade schools, run ads on the radio, or hold open houses at your workplace.

When you advertise or post a position, it is important to stress the benefits of working for your organization. That is what applicants want to know (“What’s in it for me?”). Another critical element is setting your company apart from all the others that are hiring for the same type of position: What can you tell job seekers that will excite them enough to contact your organization? Of course include the job requirements and what is expected of the chosen applicant, state the date by which applications must be received, and always provide multiple ways for applicants to contact your organization, including online applications, a fax number, and a street address to send a paper application. Direct applicants to your firm’s Website to learn more about the company.

One of the best and the most cost-effective sources for applicants is an employee referral program. It produces high-quality applicants (because your current employees won’t want a bad referral to reflect on them personally) and lets you gauge employee morale (because employees won’t refer others if they are not happy in their jobs). Employee referral programs can range from a simple e-mail asking all employees to refer friends, to contests with cash awards or prizes for employees whose referrals are hired. If you use a recruitment agency, it can design a program to meet your needs.  

Keeping in touch with former employees you’d like to hire again is another excellent strategy. Some of the world’s largest and most successful companies bring such “boomerangs” back by letting talented employees who leave know that they will be welcome to return. Top companies stay in touch with such employees and keep them connected to the organization by sending them announcements of new clients or awards. Then, when the time is right, they invite them back. When boomerangs return, they come with new skill sets and, typically, renewed commitment to the organization.