12 Recruiting Tips Leading Into Spring Training

by Coach Rob Balfanz

Need to add more skilled workers to your crew(s)?

In this blog post, I have compiled some tried and true tips to help you find the skilled workers you need to succeed so that you can face 2021 with confidence and a ready roadmap. Start differentiating your business now!

  1. Start Recruiting Now – Be On Offense

Companies that continually recruit have a vision. Companies that continually train are strategic. They have a vision for today, tomorrow and the future. Companies with vision understand attrition, track it and it becomes part of their daily language.

  1. Use Social Media (A Lot)

Though it all might seem like unnecessary noise to distract you during your busy days, social media has become a great place to find quality, skilled tradespeople. Social media is a powerful tool for companies looking to do business, and also a highly effective way of recruiting new crews and/or employees. Social media is also a strategic tool that allows you to do this instantly and from anywhere. There are several platforms to choose from, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Houzz to name a few.

  1. Incentivize Employee Referrals

You’ve probably wished you could clone your top-performing employees, right? Unfortunately, we’re not quite there technologically. Your second-best bet is to incentivize quality referrals from trusted employees and sources. Referral bonuses are a great way to incentivize employees to find new hires for you. You most likely have employees with friends from high school, college, trade school or previous companies. These relationships are beyond valuable, and their network could be chock-full of quality candidates just waiting for you to tap into And, oh,-by-the-way, this is a great way to put extra money in the pockets of your employees.

  1. Incentivize Customer Referrals

Incentivizing your customers is a sure win and one that is often forgotten or disregarded. If you have a happy customer, who would be a better champion of your business? Incentivize customers to share their experience with their network and offer them a referral bonus or in store credit, creating a customer for life. Sometimes, the best ways to recruit are homegrown.

  1. Consider Trainees, Students and More

Hiring trainees or students is another great way to build a pipeline of talent. Bring on trainees or students for overflow work, for example, during the holidays or school breaks, alleviating stress on your full-time employees or contractors. This gives you a feel for their work ethic and other measurable observations for a potential full-time role in the future. Team up with your local high schools, trade schools and community colleges for student prospects. Not only will you be able to handle the influx of work during busy seasons, but you’ll also have a chance to “audition” new talent before taking on a skilled worker full-time.

  1. Hold An Open Interview Day

ABR: Always Be Recruiting! If you need to fill a bunch of jobs fast, then interview when you have the positions available. If you need to fill a pipeline of people who believe in the vision, want to be a part of the bigger picture, want to build a brand and work for a great company like yours, then interview prescriptively with intention. Holding an open interview day or job fair at your facility is a great way to expedite the hiring and pipeline building process. You can find your next great employee or contractor within a few hours; be sure all on your team know this process.

  1. Use Phone Calls, Signage and Mail

And you thought the days of yard signs, wall signs and old fashion phone calls were over. Guess again. Old school tactics still work; you just need to use them correctly, in the right places and at the right times. Some old school tactics that still work:

  • Yard Signs – Target your hiring audience by using a cost effective, street facing tactic while increasing your brand exposure. Just remember, keep it simple, easy-to-read and high-contrast, remember to use bright colors and keep in mind that location matters. You only have a few seconds to capture their attention. Wall, billboard and/or building signage still works too.
  • Phone Calls - If you call and they answer, you’ve got three seconds to make something happen. Have a good opener ready.
  • Mail – Now more than ever, people are home. If you want something bad enough, you must go out and get it.

The bottom line: When it comes to recruiting, there is not one thing that works; you must be diverse and willing to try everything.

  1. Schedule Virtual Lunch & Learns (and Stop at Jobs to Say Hello, Pass Out Business Cards)

As in most of the information provided in this post, sometimes conventional wisdom says, “forget the old way of doing things and focus your efforts on new, leading-edge, technological ways.” Well, in my experience, there is a time and place for all of this and more. Reach out and call people – don’t just text or e-mail them. Ask to set up a virtual introduction or meeting. And when you can, visit job sites, pass out your business cards and information about your company. Relationships are built on trust and on adding value, and this will never change.

  1. Be Social, Go to Virtual Events and Mixers; Visit Job Boards and Websites

You will need to get out there and mix it up – both in person and virtually. There are dozens of meetings, networking events (virtual and in-person), mixers, after-hours socials, job boards and websites. Get your calendar out and put a plan together, map out each month, each quarter and attend the ones that will add value to you and your business. Get involved in as many associations, chambers, and other local, state and national groups as you can, such as the local NARI chapter, the local HBA chapter, your local Chamber of Commerce and more.

  1. Have a Plan – Onboard With Purpose

2021 is right around the corner. The projects will come, so onboard with intention. What will you do once you get the candidate lead? Is your onboarding process defined? Does everyone on your team know and understand the process? Once you have a candidate or a contractor that you want to move forward with, be sure to have an onboarding process mapped out. This is true with a single employee, a class of new hires, a group of contractors or a single crew that will be sub-contracting work from you. You must roll out the red carpet for them.

  1. Track Everything

What is more sought after than crude oil? – DATA! If you don’t measure it, you won’t improve it. We are in the age of technology and analytics. Knowing and understanding history is one thing, but looking at right now and the future can also tell us what we need to know. Track everything and let the data guide you. Regarding recruiting, where are your leads coming from, how much do they cost you and are those leads working out for you? If not, call a time out and pull out the playbook.

  1. Forecast for the Future

Remember the old cartoon series, G.I. Joe? Every episode ended with a line that went something like this: “And knowing is half the battle!”

To go where we want to go, we need to know three things: where we’ve been, where we are and most importantly, where we are going. Look back at the early 2000s and new construction numbers – the U.S. built more homes during that time frame than ever. Fast forward a few decades and something tells me we may be in for a remodeling uptick.

I always say, plan for the worst and plan more for the best. You will experience turnover, lead time issues, sickness/health issues, weather related delays, transportation delays, product delays and more. What are your goals, and are you on track to meet or exceed them?

Be intentional and start recruiting now!

To all you superheroes out there in the skilled trades, reading this blog, “Knowing is Half the Battle!”

Be Resilient – Add Value – Stay Healthy - Trust the Process!

To your success,

Coach Rob Balfanz