We’ve heard time and time again, “I could grow faster if I could just find good people.” The good news is that there are good people out there if you know how to find them. This list of tactical tools and key cultural elements will help you hire, retain, and grow your people, and your business.
- Follow your ABCs: Always Be Recruiting
People follow the money, so incentivize recruiting from your staff. Give rewards and awards to your people who bring in other good people. A cash bonus goes a long way, and recognition in the company for building the company is critical. And set the expectation that recruiting is just as much a part of the job as anything else.
- Training for a Career, Not Just a Job
Experienced folks just aren’t sitting around, which means you need to grow your own. Make sure you provide training (and there are a lot of options. Your trade association, IrriTech, distributor, and manufacturer courses and certifications) on how to do the job itself, but also make sure there’s a growth path. It’s the #1 reason people stay with a company for many years… they see a path for their career to grow. Doing this creates loyalty, not competition, so make sure you build a culture around it.
- Make It a Family Affair
Your people need to come first, and you need to realize that their people come first. So when you do that employee BBQ (or breakfast, or happy hour, or taco bar) take the time to extend it to the whole family. The “company picnic” is something that’s gone by the wayside, but when the company feels like a family, your people will stay longer… and recruit more!
- Retention Bonus
Part of the new hire’s compensation package should be a retention bonus. And there are plenty of ways to slice this. You can do 30/60/90 day bonuses. Mid-summer bonus. End-of-season bonuses. Or even a “welcome to your second season!” bonus. But give ‘em something to look forward to.
- Post Signs
Get some yard signs printed up (they’re cheap). Put them outside of gas stations, fast food joints, and home improvement stores. “Better Pay. Harder Work. Family Friendly and Career-Focused? Call Us for a Job.”
- Video Testimonials
Have you already created that culture of loyalty, a place where people love to work? Then get them to do a video testimonial, and post them on your social media and webpage (you could even spin up a Facebook page for your company and post them there, along with pictures of your social events). You can record them on your phone, or with a decent webcam and mic. Take a minute to make sure it’s quiet and well-lit, and just ask “What’s the best part about working at our company?” Don’t make it stiff and forced, make it casual and fun.
These tips, both about building a recruiting culture, and about some simple tactics you can employ (see what I did there!?), will help you find and grow the people who help you grow your business. Good luck!