“I can’t find any help!” I hear this every day from frustrated business owners. While it might be tempting to throw your hands in the air and declare, “Kids these days just don’t want to work,” the truth of the matter isn’t quite that cut and dry. I, for one, added 35 people to my team in the last 30 days, mostly college graduates. If it’s impossible to find willing and able applicants, then how did I find mine?
In my opinion, the problem is that business owners don't know where to look to find good help. Given the hectic life of the average entrepreneur, they also don't have time to spend looking.
Finding and hiring the right employees is one of the most important tasks of any business. It’s essential to have a process that balances cost-effectiveness and thoroughness in order to make sure you bring in the best people for the job.
Let’s take a look at the process that I use to ensure that I always have ready access to quality candidates.
STEP 1: Pay to post your job on Indeed
The best way to find applicants for any job is to run an advertisement on Indeed, the most popular job search website on the web. Advertising your open position on Indeed provides an immediate pool of applicants, letting you reach a ton of people. You can customize your ad to target specific areas, job titles, and even educational requirements so that you only attract qualified candidates who match what you’re looking for.
You can post your jobs for free on Indeed, but honestly, you probably won't get any applicants. Instead, set your budget at $25 per day and see what you get. You can adjust up or down depending on how many applicants you get. (I don’t have any skin in the game with Indeed. It’s just that in my experience, the paid listings on Indeed bring in a lot of applicants.)
STEP 2: Screen applications as they come in
Once you’ve received applications from potential candidates, it’s important to screen them immediately. This is where having an assistant is critical; they can quickly sort through all of the applications and discard those that don’t fit your criteria so that you don’t have to waste time going through them all yourself. Make sure your assistant has a clear idea of what kind of employee you are looking for so they know what qualifications to look for when screening applicants.
If you tell your assistant, "You don't know what to look for. I'll screen the applications," you're wasting your money on the ad. You are running a business. You'll never make time to weed through all the applications you'll get on Indeed. I usually get hundreds of applications within just a few days of running an ad on Indeed. You’ll be buried. So take a few minutes to tell your assistant what you want and what you don't want, and trust them to comb through the pile.
STEP 3: Message applicants within a couple of hours of their applying
As your assistant filters out unqualified applicants, it’s time to move on to messaging the good ones, FAST. Your assistant should be able to quickly contact those who meet your qualifications and begin scheduling interviews with them immediately so that you don’t lose out on any great candidates while waiting too long. Time is of the essence when it comes to recruiting new employees, so making sure this step is done quickly will ensure that no stone goes unturned in your search for quality talent.
At the risk of stating the obvious, after a job seeker finds a job, they stop seeking. If your hiring process takes a whole week before you even contact people (which is typical), you'll just be calling people who have already found a job.
STEP 4: Let your assistant handle the first interview (by phone)
Phone interviews are tedious. Let your assistant do it. They can quickly narrow down the list of potential employees and eliminate those who don't meet requirements without wasting your time.
Give your assistant a few questions to ask. Tell her what red flags they should look for, and what sort of attitude you're hoping for from the applicants.
When in doubt, always trust your assistant's judgment. If she thinks someone is worth a second look, she needs to schedule a face-to-face interview with you before the applicant even gets off the phone.
STEP 5: Lighten up during your interview
The guy you're interviewing is probably pretty good. He applied promptly to your ad and survived your assistant's screening and interview. He's a good one, so be nice to him. It's not his fault some other employee quit after a week on the job. Complaining to the poor guy about "kids these days" doesn't make him want to come work for you. Put yourself in his shoes; you were a kid starting out once.
Finding employees doesn't have to be difficult or expensive if done correctly. Running ads on Indeed plus screening applications followed by fast calls and second interviews are essential steps in ensuring success during recruitment efforts. Utilizing these techniques can help employers find strong contenders as well as get more bang for their buck when searching for new hires.
"But what if I don't have an assistant?"
I’m pleased to tell you that's a $7.99/hour problem, my friend. Call your Project Manager and let us hire one for you. Having a personal assistant will pay for itself many times over in this and many other ways.