With the economy shaken up by the pandemic, getting your business back on its feet is no easy feat.
With government programs offering financial support to non-essential workers, it almost feels like a mission impossible to find and convince quality employees to return back to work.
With the beautiful summer weather upon us, employees want to stay home and experience a healthier work/life balance that involves getting the “life” part back in work/life balance they’ve been yearning for all along.
In a way, you can’t blame them.
Yet, with the economy struggling to regain what was lost, employees are a vital part of slowly rebuilding what was once put on pause during the 3-month lockdown.
Even with unemployment rates taking a hit, more than “950,000 new jobs were added in the country as of June”.
According to a recent survey:
“More than 20 percent of the added jobs were classified as wholesale and retail trade”, 16 percent in accommodation and food services, 12 percent in healthcare and social assistance, and eight percent apiece in construction and manufacturing.”
This highlights how the retail and restaurant industries were the first in line to have been let go when establishments were closing and the first to begin reopening.
Yet, as the highly popularized French Canadian saying goes : “ça va bien aller”.
As the two hardest-hitting industries with the most to lose, the question remains:
How as employers do you hire quality staff?
After speaking to several industry leaders within the realm, here are some helpful tips we learned:
1. Treat Recruiting Like Marketing by Focusing on the Four “Ps”
With unemployment rates at an all-time high, convincing future prospects to join your team when laid-off workers are paid to stay home can be challenging.
Gone are the days of selling the human experience of “ping pong tables” and “having a fully stocked fridge with goodies”.
Nowadays, employees value the overall flexibility that comes with a job that provides them with a healthier work/life balance.
In order to successfully recruit, you need to get into a marketing mindset and focus on what you can offer them that other places can’t.
A good starting point is focusing on the “4 Ps” of marketing: Product, Place, Promotion and Price
Whether it’s a tangible product or a service, emphasizing the unique selling proposition goes a long way in showing how you stand apart from your competitors.
Defining your product means understanding what you need in order to stand apart from competitors and win over customers.
In other words: What’s your “secret sauce?”
By being able to convey your culture’s USP to prospective employees, you can create a connection of like-minded individuals who embody the same passion you do for your company.
After all, people want meaning behind work.
When it comes to marketing and recruiting employees, go where the offering is.
And often, you also need to create an opportunity for your business by standing out from the crowd.
Standard job sites like Indeed, Glassdoor and Facebook jobs are great places to post job listings on. While they may still come first to mind when recruiting, thinking outside the box can work wonders in recruiting future prospects.
After all, what better way to catch the eyes of your target audience than to be on platforms where they spend a good portion of their leisure time?
Moreover, prospects are usually in a much more positive mood when using apps they love and will receive your ads more positively!
When it comes to writing job descriptions, don’t go the generic route.
In other words: instead of focusing only on the requirements needed for the job (which let’s face it, is usually a wish list) with a 1-2 generic sentence of what your company does, convey the employee experience and company culture through the power of words.
Remember: job recruiting is a 2-way street.
Job seekers want to get an idea of the cultural fit , what the role entails and whether or not your organization is a good match for them.
For example, Fundera, a financial resource for small businesses, focuses on who they are and answers the fundamental question most job seekers ask :
Why should we care?
Additionally, they get into the mindset of the job candidate by creating and answering a flow of questions that might pop up in their mind such as: the main responsibilities of the role, the type of candidate they’re looking for, what will the job seeker get out of the role and the next steps to follow if they’re interested in applying:
Not only does this provide great insights into the company culture but sheds insight into what the job seeker can expect.
While this job posting isn’t retail or restaurant-related, this outline can work for just about any role.
The important part is highlighting qualities from your company that would make job-seekers excited to apply for!
Price doesn’t always mean dollar signs.
Rather it focuses on the transaction a customer is willing to make in order to alleviate a pain point or enjoy a benefit they’ll receive (such as buying a nice dress to look good, or finding a new job).
The same rules apply for job recruitment: What is the “price” a job seeker is willing to pay to apply for your company?
For instance, are they willing to adjust their usual work schedule to work a certain set of hours for your company?
Better yet, do you offer flexible hours that can accommodate them and encourage them to apply?
What’s in it for them? And what will they need to sacrifice in order to get it?
Beyond a competitive salary, It’s important to offer them something that’d be difficult to refuse. *hint hint* – job flexibility.
For instance: during these COVID-19 related times a big pain point is having to take public transit to work.
It can therefore be seen as a high price to come work for you.
Many people don’t want to risk their health (let alone wear a mask…) exposing themselves to large crowds on their way to work.
By offering a monthly stipend on a ridesharing platform like Uber can ease their anxiety and solve the “ uncomfortable” pain point of having to take public transit to work.
Key Takeaways: Highlight your USP, go beyond making it a generic job description that winds up looking like a wishlist. Focus on promoting the “why”, by highlighting the reasons why anyone would choose to work at your company over another.
2. Offer an Employee Referral Program
You don’t have to be a HR wizard to set the stage for a great hiring experience. Although, you can fetch inspiration from thought leaders in the industry like Laszlo Bock.
Google’s Head of HR and author of “Work Rules! Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How you Live and Lead”, Laszlo Bock created a Google recipe for a great hiring experience which includes:
- Hiring the most amazing people you know
- Keep them consistently challenged and happy
- Encourage them to bring their most talent friends
- Provide an excellent candidate experience
- Repeat (until this process inevitably outgrows employee networks)
The key factor in this list? Referrals.
We attract those like us, which means quality attracts quality.
Chances are that great employee you just hired has a friend who shares a similar work ethic or passion in the same industry to them.
Which is why it’s important to keep your employees satisfied and offer a referral program to ensure everyone stays motivated enough to want to refer a friend who can turn into your next potentially high-quality employee.
3. Get Out There!
As the old saying goes: Build it and they will come! (or not).
If you want to recruit the best you need to discover where they are.
As much as job fairs or supporting local movements in person where large crowds are, may not be viable during these unprecedented circumstances, there are alternative ways to make connections.
Instead of solely relying on the trifecta of social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, why not try the offline world?
With summer in full swing, now’s the time to go take advantage of the great weather and get the word out there about your hiring needs.
Whether it be at your outdoor yoga class, friendly bike ride or family picnic, putting the word out there about new job opportunities can go a long way in finding prospective employees
Additionally, looking into sponsorships at local areas where your target market will be can easily set the stage for hiring opportunities.
While we don’t encourage you to start massive gatherings, but as people are starting to get back outside, a targeted presence around their new activities (like sponsorships) can be a clever idea.
By doing so, you’ll be one step above by creating a memorable impression and putting a friendly face to your business.
Additionally, by focusing your efforts locally, you’ll be more likely to retain new prospects as employees, since job proximity aka “Location location location!” can be a dealbreaker for many job seekers.
Lastly, leveraging social media to showcase your company culture and offering a behind the scenes look into your company offers job prospects the opportunity to get a visual overview of the company culture they may be looking for.
4. Create and Leverage Candidate Banks for Future Use
When you hire employees, document everything by keeping an employee profile on each. Start by looking back at past candidates to see whether they’d be a good fit.
A good tip is to add potential candidates on Evolia as “prospects”.
By doing so, you can filter them from the rest of the employed team and write to them as you please using the app’s instant messaging feature.
You’ll be rest assured they won’t be invited to shifts and won’t receive internal messages aimed at the entire staff. Additionally, their information is properly stored there whenever you need it.
When it comes to recruiting, there’s no size fits all model. Every industry is different and has its own challenges, yet one thing each has in common is: finding quality employees is not an easy task.
Which is why it’s important to see things through the perspective of an employee to truly attract and retain them for the long haul.
From offering competitive employee referral programs to putting yourself out there locally to employing the “4 Ps” , these tips will help you successfully recruit new employees even in this new reality we must learn to deal with.
Lastly, don’t forget to streamline your recruiting and onboarding with recruitment software for your workforce.