Getting quality workers in the door is no easy task. Recruitment is a serious undertaking, especially in the blue collar industry where turnover rates are high. Here are three steps to help you widen your applicant pool and ultimately hire more quality candidates.
1. Widen your applicant pool
First things first—to get more qualified new hires, it’s helpful to get more interested candidates. The more eyes on your post and the more buzz about your company, the more applicants you’ll bring in. Here are a few tips to widen your reach.
Build up your network
Networking is for recruiters too. Networking in the blue-collar industry isn’t obvious, but it certainly can be done. Here are a few ways:
- Connect with staffing firms.
- Keep in touch with quality workers who have moved on (follow them on LinkedIn).
- Keep a roll call of quality seasonal workers.
- Up your online presence on Glassdoor and LinkedIn or try out blue-collar oriented social networking platforms.
Consider recruiting from within
Ask your best workers for suggestions from their network. You can also incentivize them for acquiring new colleagues. Your employees are your best marketing and if they are satisfied with their job, they will recommend you in their peer groups.
Don’t forget to look into your own talent pool to fill a position. Specifically in regards to management roles in blue-collar, candidates that know your company and all its quirks can often fill that position better than an outsider. It also motivates your team, if promotions are an option.
Don’t ask for too much experience
Oftentimes, putting too many specific requirements on a job post makes the applicant pool smaller. Instead of requiring specific experience, consider improving your on-the-job training program and building a team from entry-level candidates.
Don’t reject overqualified candidates
On the same note, don’t reject overqualified candidates too hastily. It’s impossible to know a person’s story from their resume or application. There may be circumstances that make them perfect for the position like a long-desired career change or special circumstances in a tough economy.
Find the right job board
Post your position where qualified candidates are looking. Social media, in particular Facebook, is an often-overlooked place to post jobs. It’s so successful that it’s been dubbed the blue-collar LinkedIn.
Build your employer brand
Employer branding is essentially marketing your company as an employer. It’s the process of letting the world know just how wonderful your company culture is, all about your work environment, and all the perks in between. Companies who have successful employer branding campaigns are very tempting places to work. You can do this by creating social media accounts and a dedicated careers page on your website that highlight all the things mentioned above. Hone in your mission state and company values to help you refine your messaging. Post lots of photos and don’t be afraid to brag.
2. Improve your pitch
Now that you’ve got all those eyes on your job post, make sure that it sells. Writing a top-notch job description makes your company stand out, bringing in more applicants and helping you refine your sales pitch for when you’re ready to make a job offer.
To improve your job description, make sure to include and highlight the following elements.
Talk to people who are already in the job
Take the time to interview employees who are currently in the positions you are looking to fill. They can offer valuable insight into what you should include in the job description, i.e. what is actually important to the candidate.
Highlight training opportunities and skill development
Many job seekers are looking not only for their next gig, but to build a career. In the blue collar industry, a forward-thinking employee development program will help you attract and retain motivated workers.
Don’t forget the essentials
All job descriptions need essential information. Here’s a list of just that plus a few tips for Internet optimization.
- Optimize your job title with keywords that candidates are searching for.
- Include a call to action to complete an application–make it easy to complete on a computer or mobile phone.
- Wage needs to be included, especially for blue-collar jobs where wages are traditionally transparent and competitive.
- Responsibilities should be listed out. Be descriptive and straightforward.
- Requirements should be kept to a minimum as to not overwell potential applicants by making them feel underqualified.
- Keep it short and simple. Avoid industry jargon and buzzwords.
3. Update Your Hiring Process
If you want to really improve your recruitment efforts, it’s important to also take a look at your hiring process. Once you get a qualified candidate interested, you don’t want them to turn away because of a lengthy, overcomplicated hiring process.
Make it easy to apply
It’s one thing to write the perfect job post… only to have the ideal candidate drop off because the link to the application doesn’t work on mobile.
- Make the application process quick. Across all industries, a large portion of candidates drop off during the middle of an application. Don’t ask too much from the applicant. If you’re missing information, you can always follow up in the interview or in a short phone call.
- Don’t require a log-in before they can apply. This creates an unnecessary barrier.
- Make sure your application is mobile-friendly. Over 90 percent of candidates use their phone to look for a job!
Really want to know what the application process is like? Apply. Walk through the whole application process. Try it out on different devices, from different channels, on a phone and on a computer. You’ll likely find room for improvement.
If someone is looking for a job, they are likely not only applying at your company. The company that hires faster has an advantage. Have a clear process to sort through applications, schedule interviews and get new hires through the onboarding process.
Invest in a good applicant tracking system
If you are hiring often and en-mass, as is the case with many companies in the blue collar industry, it may be worth it to invest in a good applicant tracking system (ATS). ATS’s are software applications that allow you to easily handle applicants through an efficient online platform. This allows you to organize candidates and track their progress through the entire hiring process as well as saves contact information for future use and networking.