Acquire Your New Hire from Your Connections

We’ve all been there. There’s a job to be done that is just out of reach, either by skill or by time and you and your current staff don’t have the capacity to get the work done.You aren’t looking forward to the process, but it’s time to hire that new employee.

However, once you define the job parameters that need filled, finding qualified candidates can be a challenge. When you post an ad on general employment websites like ZipRecruiter, Indeed or CareerBuilder, the cost is more than just the price of your ad.  With an average response of 50-100+ recruits, many(if not most) not matching the skills experience you are looking for, the time spent in sorting through the resumes can be significant. A recruiter or hiring service is an option, but the position or your budget may not permit that in every case. Another method for finding a specialty or professional employee canbe through your business and personal networks.

Every Wednesday morning, I meet with the BNI Networking Group in Cornelius for presentations and conversation. Our chapter has over 35 active local business owners that meet. The specialties range from graphic design to accounting to real estate. Businesses looking to expand with new employees can either find a local professional in a networking group, or receive recommendations from other members. Often others in the group have talked to potential employees who were not right for their business but might be right for yours. Over the Christmas break I brought my daughter Sara (a UNC-Wilmington sophomore majoring in Entrepreneurship and Business Development) to our meeting to network for a summer internship.

For virtual networking, LinkedIn has become the standard for meeting and connecting among business people and professionals. Look at mutual connections as well of those in the same field that you’re searching. There are even numerous groups you can join that are geared toward particular professions, which is a great place seek candidates. I am a member of several groups, and even if I don’t have an immediate need, I keep an eye out for referrals or relevant information for the future. Also, make sure you have a LinkedIn page set up for both you as an individual and your company. As a company, you can post updates, including a call for resumes or for a virtual career fair. Small businesses have reported they get fewer applications (but an increased number with more applicable skills) when they recruit on LinkedIn. And don’t be afraid to let people in your personal network know you need help.

Still not finding your ideal candidate? Time to get creative. Post or peruse local Facebook job groups. Go to a lecture series or convention for that industry. Contact local universities for access to their job boards for rising talent. Let your loyal clients or customers know you’re hiring, since they know your business well.  Trade referrals with your casual professional connections.  You can even look to who works for your business competition, since they are already familiar with the industry.

Whichever method brings you candidates, it’s tempting to settle for the first semi-qualified candidate who crosses your path. This can be a very expensive mistake. It costs a lot of money to hire and train a new employee. And hiring, even by the professionals, is never a guaranteed success. That’s why it’s important to have a job description written in advance that sets out with great specificity the skills (hard and soft) and experience you want in the person sitting in that chair. Have a plan when you interview the candidates and, if possible get another set of eyes/ears on the short list of final candidates, either within or outside of your organization.  The old adage “hire slow-fire fast” still applies. Take your time to make an informed, well-reasoned decision. You’ll be far less likely to be conducting the same search again in three months.

If the task of hiring is daunting or you don’t know where to start in your process, Performance Growth Advisors can help. In our consulting package, we can be your hiring manager to find that key employee. We also have several excellent professional recruiters we work with. Call or email today to get started!