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Edition 153 – If You Seek, Don’t Seek!

If you default to Seek when you are searching for staff in your family business, you’ve not doubt noticed the serious deterioration in the quality of candidates responding to your advertisement in the past 12 months. Today, I’m challenging you to stop heading for Seek and instead, seek other means of finding staff to solve your labour issues.

In January last year, I used Seek to recruit for a role in my own business. I was definitive in the advertisement and highlighted some key criteria that were critical for consideration for the role. 
In around 90 applications that I received, about 10% met those key criteria. That means 90% were completely unsuitable for the role – not because I’m fussy, but simply, the candidates failed to meet my key criteria, were too lazy to note this and hit “send” on the email anyway.
The problem with Seek, or any other online portal, is that it has made employers lazy, thus encouraging applicants to be lazy too. As an employer, you need to think differently when it comes to recruitment.
In 2019, if you’re looking to recruit staff, consider these options:

  1. Your existing team – who do they know and would they fit into your business? “Like” generally associates with “like”, so why not pay your good team a spotter’s fee if they bring in a worthy candidate.
  2. Suppliers – particularly in trades based businesses, suppliers see lots of people come and go. It’s not always the owners that wander in to pick up parts.
  3. Industry colleagues – not just in your immediate competitive space, but up and down as well. If you’re an architect, who do the builders you work with know that might work for you?
  4. Local schools – family businesses are asked all the time to sponsor or fund raise for local schools. Why not ask for something in return – the potential to present yourself to the school community as a potential future employer.
  5. Sporting bodies – when you advertise with your local sports club, it’s not always for business. Make sure it is building your labour pool as well. One client has been incredibly successful over 15 years recruiting from within their soccer club.
  6. Professional advisers – who do your solicitors, accountants, financial planners not only know, but would be prepared to vouch for?
  7. Chambers of Commerce and other Business Networking events – get involved! Not only is it a great way to find out what’s happening in business in your local area, it’s a great way to build rapport with other family business owners, who can act as a pseudo recruitment arm and spread the word for you.
  8. Facebook – depending on what site you’re on, I’ve seen it used effectively to find staff in a range of fields.
  9. Linked In – some of my most successful clients have used Linked In as a tool to connect with others inside and outside their industries – then target the right candidates once connections have been established.

The one key to all of this is that recruiting staff is an ongoing process. It is not something you should be considering only when a position becomes available. Much like some family business owners are good at continuing to cultivate business relationships, they need to turn that networking skill set to cultivating future employee relationships as well. No use bringing in the business if you don’t have the staff to actually do it, is there?

This Week’s Tip

The other source to avoid are recruiters. Big fees, short guarantee periods and poor vetting processes means you’re paying big bucks for what could be, in 6 months, a former employee.