(By Laurie Kahn) I share tips and cautions about how important it is to set yourself and your company apart when trying to hire quality staff. In all honesty, I have never seen a market like what we are seeing now.
I recently did a 22-hour road trip and witnessed businesses in all market sizes, across all industries promoting open positions. Many of the fast-food locations are only open for drive-through, while full-service restaurants are experiencing slow service, long wait lines and limited menus as they couldn’t open fully due to lack of staff. Many stores have cut hours as they don’t have enough staff. Most trucks we passed were promoting open jobs. Billboards on the highways and signs around town, promoting open jobs.
While this is a boom in recruitment dollars for many radio stations, it will make your hiring more difficult. If you haven’t paid attention in the past, now it is crucial to up your talent acquisition game.
Plan on spending more time and money trying to make hires. It can take months to locate and hire a quality seller to add to your team. It can also take the same time to find support staff or to fill other open positions.
This is not all due to unemployment payouts, and if it is, then you need to review what the going rates are in your community to be able to match minimum hourly pay. Many states are cracking down on those claims requiring applicants to start actively look for and accept employment.
Some things you can do to improve your chances in this environment:
1. Be sure to have a strong career page on your website as job seekers will research who they want to consider as an employer. Over 80% of job seekers research potential employers via the Internet. Have a mission statement which includes your stance on diversity and inclusion. Use testimonials from all different generations of your staff on why they like working for you. Included detailed information on your training, support, and benefits. Share with them reasons why your industry and company are a strong career choice. Include pictures of company events showing community interaction, teamwork, and fun.
2. Change up your ads. Don’t go on about what you are looking to hire and what they need to do but sell them on why you are a good employer and what kind of future someone could gain by joining your team. We recommend not using the word ‘sales’ in your ads as many of the younger generation does not fully understand the job and will shy away from that title. Get them in front of you and describe what a seller does so they better understand the expectations and goals. Encourage them vs. scaring them away. Let them know how rewarding this career can be!
3. Open your parameters. Stop narrowing the playing field by including too narrow of a focus. In all reality, you may not find other media sellers wanting to make a move. Look at people who have the needed skills of meeting people, creating strong relationships, attention to detail with an understanding of marketing. Consider promoting part time, flexible or remote opportunities.
4. Talk up your benefits. Do you offer tuition reimbursement? How about assistance with childcare? What percentage of their benefit package do you cover? Can you offer health club memberships to focus on their wellbeing? All important factors to job seekers.
5. Stop relying on job seekers who may respond to an ad. If your sales team didn’t do cold calling to find new business, you would be in trouble. Look at talent acquisition in the same vein. Build a pipeline and research who in your community should be included. Work the pipeline on a regular basis and focus on those that are the best prospects to build a relationship with so that when they are ready to make a move, your opportunity is top of mind.
This challenge could very well be the new norm in talent acquisition. Having a strong budget and commitment to do it right is essential for success.
Laurie Kahn is the creator and founder of Media Staffing Network. She can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]