How to Build Your Team in a Challenging Labor Market
May 21, 2015
Let’s start with one assumption: good employees make happy customers. It’s not a new idea, although it some may not realize it. CEOs of Walmart, Costco, Starbucks, Patagonia, Apple, Hallmark and many corporations are growing their business through internal culture. You’ll find employees who are well paid, supported in their personal endeavors, and offered valuable benefits in exchange for their labor.
Why invest so much in human capital? Because, quite simply, the market for certain jobs is saturated and the turnover is high. Retail, technology and graphic design are three of those fields; property maintenance is another.
Anyone can mow. But can anyone care for your customers? Of course not. The reality is that you need to attract those top-level candidates, who understand service and excellence. But remember—the market is saturated, and turnover is high. How do you find the loyal, talented team members who’ll actually help grow your business? Here are a few ideas.
- Go Grassroots
The best prospective employees are the friends and family members of your current good employees. Generally, these people live in the same neighborhoods, attend the same churches, and frequent the same establishments. The good news is, this makes grassroots recruiting pretty intuitive. At U.S. Lawns, we offer our franchise owners customized “We’re Hiring” flyers and door hangers, for placement in local grocery stores, restaurants, community centers, employment centers, and apartments. You and your employees help target their neighborhoods, for a truly community-based campaign.
- Incentivize Your Team
Rewarding employees for referrals is a common strategy used by many companies. At U.S. Lawns, we actually gamify our referral activity, using booklets of 20 tear-off cards with each team’s information. Employees write their initials on the back of the cards, then hand them out to people they’d like to work with. Employees who generate new hires receive an incentive. In fact, our talent recruiting tool includes a binder which helps track these incentives in detail.
- Pop Up Recruiting
It’s never a bad time to recruit new employees. That includes your kid’s soccer game or a community fair. U.S. Lawns has our own portable tent, with a fully collapsible four-foot table, director’s chair, and table covering. This is a completely branded tent, from the inside out, with high resolution graphics and copy. (We’ve used messaging in both Spanish and English because of our target demographic.) It’s a display that definitely gets noticed, and it’s easily portable for minimal hassle. You can even have a trusted employee, like a manager, work the tent for you.
- Advertise the (Not-So) Old-Fashioned Way
Believe it or not, classifieds are still a great way to find a job. Except now, these job boards are digital, like Craig’s List. Using local job listings is a low-cost way to get results. At U.S. Lawns, we provide both written and graphic “Help Wanted” ads to our franchise owners on USB drives.
We also go a step further with targeted ads, or Direct Mail. Our recruiting mailers are personalized to our owners, and franchise owners have the option of choosing recipients by age, household income and other demographics. Best of all, the mailer is sent only to households within a few mile radius of the local U.S. Lawns, so prospective candidates will be members of the community.
Finding the best people isn’t impossible, even in a challenging labor market. You just have to know how to look. We package all of these ideas together as part of our Talent Acquisition program, which makes things easier for our franchise owners. We know it works; so jump it, get started, and recruit your next great team today.