Some say the Great Resignation is over, but the monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor statistics shows millions of workers continue to leave the workforce. The data shows that voluntary worker resignations have reached an all-time high.
Worker exodus in the Engineering and Construction (E&C) industry is compounded by retiring baby boomers, and unprecedented labor shortages across most industries.
If you are a small business owner, the stakes are already higher given the highly competitive labor pools. Retaining your team and keeping them from getting burned out, stressed, and seeking greener pastures presents an additional challenge.
The hunt for talent never ends. That’s why savvy business owners and executives are always on the lookout for their next new hire. A highly successful construction industry leader I spoke with recently shared these best practices for finding great talent.
Get to Know the Rising Stars
Pay attention to the people you meet in your own company and outside at networking and industry events. Who is contributing thoughtful and innovative ideas and suggestions? You can discover the rising stars by posing questions to meeting participants who don’t get much floor time.
If you only engage with senior executives at conferences and tradeshows, you are missing out on the next generation of industry leaders. Look for opportunities to collaborate with them or participate in an initiative that will allow you to further assess their capabilities and interests.
Leverage Your Network
Most of us have a growing list of contacts and connections made over the course of our working lives. How often do you make time to reach out and speak with them? Staying connected takes time, but it pays dividends.
If you have a network of trusted advisors and industry colleagues, help them understand the role that you are trying to fill, and the level of experience required. Referrals are one of the best ways to find talented people, and you can return the favor sometime. Helping other people is a true form of human connection. While you may not get a candidate name, you will increase your knowledge.
Identify Retiring Industry Executives
Keep up with retiring executives and workers on the owner or client side of your business. Look for workers in government agencies, utilities, and other industries who may be accepting voluntary or involuntary retirement packages, but still want to work. If you can be flexible and are open to full-time, part-time, or consulting work, you may find the ideal person to help you grow your business.
One caveat to this approach is that not everyone can make a successful transition from the owner side to a profit-minded E&C company. To help mitigate this risk, spend time getting to know the candidate. Make sure she fully understands your expectations and how your business works.
Notice Industry Shifts and Reorganizations
As businesses grow and evolve, so does the corporate culture, leaving some employees unsettled and looking for their next opportunity.
Mergers, acquisitions, and corporate realignments present opportunities for new candidates to enter the labor pool. I am not talking about poaching your competitors. The fact is, there isn’t much a company can do to keep an employee who has firmly decided to move on. Often these candidates present themselves unannounced. Which leads me to the next tip.
Make Time to Talk With Job Seekers
Business owners and executives have many demands on their time. Throughout my career, I have been surprised at how few make time, after hours, if need be, to speak to job seekers who can create value for their companies.
Pursuing a great candidate is time-consuming. It is a bit like bidding on a job that you really want your company to perform. You may have to spend time convincing the candidate why your firm provides the best opportunity for job satisfaction, success, and rewards. If you believe the candidate has what it takes to get the job done and help your company thrive, then you must create a compelling vision of what their life will be like once they join you.
Create a Favorable Impression
Poet and Author Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
When you make a client presentation for a major contract, you strive to answer all their questions, address any objections, and leave them with a favorable impression of your firm. You know that even if you lose, building a strong reputation is necessary for the long game.
The executive I interviewed for this article is a genuine people person. The type who answers calls and responds to emails. He knows how to connect with people. He listens. He is one of those unforgettable people.
He gets a lot of calls from job seekers and makes time to speak with them even if he doesn’t have an opening. People who enjoyed working for him previously often jump at the opportunity to work with him again.
Strive to make every candidate feel respected and heard. Convince them that your company is a great place to work. You can’t hire everyone, but you can create a favorable impression of your company. Use these recruiting tips to help build your brand and grow your business.