“I just can’t find good people.”
I hear that a lot. How about you? Have you ever uttered that in a moment of desperation? Wouldn’t it be cool if you could magnetize, hire and orient your best team ever in a single day? Let me share a neat strategy engaged by one of my clients. Then, try it yourself and let me know how you made out!
Pick the One Day…
Put the date on the calendar. A Friday works well. On this day, you and your existing team members are going to host a career fair at your shop. Prior to that day…
- Stop talking about how hard it is to find good people. If I, as a good person, heard you say that, I wouldn’t want to work for you.
- Make a list of 10 great reasons why a good person would want to work with you. I imagine that you are a wonderful person. I bet you want to do right by your team. You may be already offering a sensational benefits package and work environment. Gather your employees and create the list. Do you drug test? Offer health insurance? Treat people honestly and with dignity? Have a Operations Manuals and Training Classes? Maintain clean and safe vehicles? Clean uniforms? I know you can come up with a terrific list.
- Put the word out. Scrap that tired ad that lists everything you want applicants to be. Instead, use your list to compose an irresistible ad. End the ad copy with, “Want to find out if you have what it takes to join our team? Call XXX XXX XXXX and arrange a brief phone interview. That’s step one.” Post the ad on Craig’s List, everywhere online, newspaper, supply house, church bulletin, etc.
- Screen out the “No Ways.” If they don’t show up for the phone call, it’s over. If they can present well enough on the phone and seem to have a bit of fizz, schedule a drug test and basic skills test, if you have one.
- Call and say, “Congratulations on making the first cut. You are invited to our Career Fair on ______. On that day we will be hiring, so be prepared to wow us. Check in is between 9:30 and 9:45. Latecomers will not be admitted.”
- Get ready. Gussy up the team, the shop, and the property. Make sure everything is clean and tidy. Assign team members areas of responsibility. Also, pick a few employees to help with brief presentations about each aspect of your business.
On the One Day…
- Welcome all applicants to your Career Fair! If someone arrives even one second after 9:45 that person must be turned away. Now everyone knows you are serious about punctuality. Have them all gather in your training room or the warehouse and fill out any additional paperwork.
- Deliver your, “Been, Now, Going” speech. Tell the history of your company. Share your dreams for the future and brag on what you have to offer. Let them know this is a day of competition and discovery. Everyone here has a chance to see if this is a good fit. Imagine…American Idol meets the Marines.
- Split the applicants up and tour with the employees. Rotate through each area of the business. Make sure there is a back and forth of conversation. Give your existing team members a chance to learn about the potential newcomers.
- Engage in one on one interviews and skill tests. Alternate between quiet test taking and practical exams. They know they are competing so encourage them to tell you and demonstrate why they are right for the company.
- Be a good host. Provide healthy food and drinks. Maintain an atmosphere of love and discipline.
During the course of the day, touch base with team members privately. Be respectful of the applicants and do not discuss them within earshot of any of them. Have existing team members take notes and keep the notes out of sight.
At the end of the Career Fair, gather all the applicants up. Thanks them for participating. Let them know that you will email and text them by 10 am the next day and let them know one way or another.