By: Eric Herrenkohl
Your company is small but getting bigger. You don’t have a world-wide small company brand -- yet. But you do need to find and hire great people if you want to keep growing. If this describes your business, here are some specific tips for leveraging your current resources to find and hire A-player employees.
Turn every marketing event into a recruiting event. I work with clients to turn every sales and marketing event into a recruiting event. For example, some of my clients are franchisees who operate fitness and running stores. They organize group runs and marathon training programs to attract new customers. We turned these events into recruiting events as well, and make sure that people who attend know about the employment opportunities these companies offer.
What type of marketing programs do you use to find new customers? Make them serve double duty as recruiting events.
Develop a reputation for interviewing all the time. Develop a reputation as a company that is always interviewing job candidates. If your employees know you are always interviewing, they will be more likely to refer people to you. Reward them monetarily if you hire someone they refer.
Develop a referral network. If you interview an individual who has good abilities but is not a fit for your company, refer them to other businesses that are a better fit. This helps you to build a network of small businesses that help one another to recruit good employees.
Network all the time. You have to make time to network if you want to meet A-player employees. Get involved in professional associations. Sit on boards. Teach continuing education classes. Consider using social media. All of these are great ways to rub shoulders with good people and build relationships with them before you need them.
Create a target list. In writing my upcoming book How to Hire A-Players: Finding the Top People for Your Team Even if You Don’t Have a Recruiting Department, I interviewed several executives who have a “target list” of A-players who work for competitors that they are trying to recruit. Put your own target list together. Call people, ask them to lunch, and tell them that you would be interested in hiring them if and when the time is right. Sometimes the direct approach is the best approach.
Set recruiting goals for your managers. In small businesses, too often recruiting responsibility falls solely on the owners’ shoulders. Set recruiting goals for your managers. Develop a farm team of new potential employees. Require them to have a constantly updated list of potential candidates they can dip into if and when they need to hire someone. Make recruiting their responsibility as well as yours.
Hiring Takeaway: You don’t have to have an internal recruiting department to find and hire A-players. Be smart and leverage the resources you already have to find and hire the talent you need to drive growth and profits.
Eric Herrenkohl is the founder and president of Herrenkohl Consulting, a firm that helps clients build great sales teams. He is the author of the book, How to Hire A-Players (John Wiley & Sons, April 2010.) To receive his free e-letter, subscribe at herrenkohlconsulting.