March 20, 2019

Where to find employees who are HR worthy

Any business’s success will be dictated by the employees they hire – and yet, finding good staff is probably the single biggest HR challenge any business owner or manager faces. Our guide shows you where the best employees are likely to be hiding and how to capture their interest.

So your business is growing and you need a new employee fast to fill your next order. Or maybe your star performer has just handed in their notice and you don’t know what you’re going to do. You’ve already canvassed the idea of promoting or hiring internally but there’s no real contender in-house.

Finding decent people is an HR nightmare that almost every business owner or manager has experienced. After all, to paraphrase an 80s pop song, ‘a good employee these days is hard to find’. So where on earth are you going to get that person you need fast? Here’s are some of our HR tips to finding good people:

HR Tip 1: Good ol’ fashioned word of mouth

A surprising number of the very best employees come directly recommended by colleagues, clients and others.

All employers should be open to receiving good employees recommendations even – or especially – when they’re not directly looking for someone. And you should take even more notice if the recommendation comes from someone who understands what you do, the culture of your workplace and knows someone they might consider a good fit.

When I’m interested in someone who comes recommended from someone I trust, I arrange to meet with them as soon as possible for an informal chat. Then I keep them on file and check in with them as often as possible, just to get a feel for what they’re up to and whether they’re likely to be interested if something does come up. Read more about how we hire here.

What I find, is that these staff members are often the best performers because they come vetted and prepared and can hit the ground running. And it can keep you from working too. Nothing in the world can beat that idea of having a book of reserves and potential star recruits in your back pocket ready to join the team at a moment’s notice.

HR Tip 2: Check in on social media

Most companies now have at least some kind of social media following. Depending on what line of business you’re in you may well have an engaged audience too. For instance, if you’re in fashion – like many of our clients – you’ll probably have some people who like your every post, comment on what you do and generally take a keen interest in what you’re doing. By absorbing what you do, these people often get a good feel for what you do and also for your workplace culture. That can make them perfect recruits. And, even if they don’t have the skills or experience you’re looking for, if they love your brand, they may well tell their friends who do.

When it comes to social media there’s both an informal and formal approach to finding people. Informally, it’s about putting out announcements that you’re looking to fill a role and keeping up a dialogue with interested parties. Formally, you may choose to use the paid services of LinkedIn or some other platform – although my experience is that your chances of success will depend on what industry you’re in and what role you’re looking to fill. LinkedIn tends to be much better for professional roles than it does for, say retail or manufacturing.

HR Tip 3: Check out job boards

There will come a time you may have to use job boards. Here again, you’ll have a choice – do you pay for the mass market ones such as SEEK or Indeed – or do you go more niche? The downside of using a job board is usually that you’ll be inundated with CVs, many of them low quality. This is especially true when you use one of the big ones. In an industry niche, you can alleviate some of this problem by targeting only those people interested enough in your industry that they’re looking for a job specifically within it. The downside, of course, is that you may have fewer people to choose from. But those you do receive are likely to be more universally interested in the type of work you do and know something about your line of work too.

HR Tip 4: Engage human resource professionals

Sometimes, however, there will still be no substitute for an HR professional, whether that’s an outsourced HR provider or recruiter. This is especially the case where a) a lot is at stake and hiring the right person matters, or b) you simply don’t have the time to hire yourself.

A good HR professional should have a handle on your business as well as the talent that’s on the market. They’ll be able to match the two quite quickly and introduce you to people who’ll be the right fit. Beyond that, they should also be able to notice red flags in the interviews, manage the interview process so that the right questions get asked and give you an honest view on who’s likely to be the best fit.

This professionalism will cost you in the short term. For instance, recruiters will generally put a premium of up to 30% on the new employee’s salary – at least for the first 12 months. But, in the long run, being certain you have the right employee is likely to save you money.

So, when it’s crucial you get the best employee – say for a c-suite role or a specialist position that you have little knowledge of – this path almost becomes essential.

Good luck on your employee seeking journey

There’s no one path to finding good employees. What works for you is likely to depend on the nature of your business, the role you’re looking to fill, the networks you have established and your own appetite for the hiring process.

Most importantly, is that you know what you’re looking for both in terms of the skills you need and the culture you’re looking to grow.

At Catalina Consultants, we’re recruiting experts and would love to assist you in sourcing new staff for your business. Feel free to reach out to us.

say hi to our author

Merilyn founded Catalina Consultants in 2012 on the belief that all organisations, regardless of size, should have access to top quality bespoke HR services. She enjoys working closely with her clients and believes that the best results are built on relationships of rapport, trust and authenticity. Growing up, Merilyn had her sight set on stardom and dreamed of becoming an actor. She also sang and played the piano, but ended up studying accounting and HR. Whilst she hasn’t won her Grammy just yet, she still loves a good karaoke night. Merilyn loves to travel with her family, with South Africa being one of her most memorable destinations.

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