Build a Talent Bank to Grow Your Company

There are 10 other companies using the same job advertising sources to look for the same kind of employees we want to hire. We know there’s a limited talent pool for certain positions. Without more people we don’t grow. How do we set ourselves apart as employers?

Thoughts of the Day: One of the big obstacles to growing small business is when companies can’t get the talent they need, when they need it. You need to understand why your current employees are your current employees, and not past employees. Use that insight to market the perks of working for your company to any future candidates. Get ahead of the low staffing problem by planning your talent needs for the next 3 years. Think outside the box as to who else might be interested.

As unemployment rates drop competition for labor will go up. For some positions, it will become more difficult to attract and retain the employees you want. At the same time, employees who’ve waited a long time to switch jobs may decide to go once they think there are more jobs available in the marketplace – thus your company may have even more positions to fill.

Ask your employees what they value about working for your company. Put out job ads that emphasize those things. Whether employees value being part of a team, having a place to work that’s fun, being able to learn and grow, or knowing that the compensation is fair, you want to advertise want what your company can provide. One of the best ways to attract ‘A’ players is to offer candidates an opportunity to join a top notch performance team. Make you ad different by talking about what makes your company special.

Get employees to think of themselves as ambassadors to the workforce at large. Employees may hang out with peers who could be interested in the same jobs that they like doing. Employees may be able to spot candidates you’ve overlooked. Employees who are committed to what they are doing can help to recruit more of the same.

Don’t leave recruiting to the last minute. Lay out company goals for the next 3 years. Estimate the number of replacements and new jobs that will need to be filled, assuming the company hits its goals. Build a resume bank of qualified talent for every level of the company.

When at trade shows ask around about who’s already good at the positions you’ll need to fill now and in the future. Be ready to talk up the company as a great employer. Of course advertise to pull in future talent.

Recruit internally and back fill at more entry level with new employees. Talk to existing employees about what they’d like to learn to do next. Tie salary growth to adding skills and responsibilities. Ask employees to get ready for promotion by finding and training their replacements.

When hiring, hire people with ambition and drive. Then give them opportunity to learn, prove what they can do and move up. Think about hiring as the way to grow talent with the habits and skills you want them to have.

Offer existing employees incentives to build back-up skills in areas where the company needs help. Don’t try to fill shortages of critical positions with temporary workers. Instead, ask people who already work for you to learn how to be the skilled back-ups. Then hire temporary workers to do less critical, more menial labor. Existing employees can get special duty pay and have the opportunity to try out a different job and prove themselves.

Expect increased turnover as the economy heats up. The severity of an economic downturn results in employees being unwilling to risk leaving a sure bet. As the economy recovers, more jobs open up. Good employees consider jumping ship for another opportunity, more confident that if it doesn’t work out they’ll be able to find something else. Build replacements into your hiring and training plan. And minimize losses by giving good employees plenty of opportunity to grow skills, responsibilities and compensation.

Looking for a good book? Hiring for Attitude: A Revolutionary Approach to Recruiting and Selecting People with Both Tremendous Skills and Superb Attitude, by Mark Murphy.