By: Larry Fish, President
With many green industry employees and employers parting ways at the rate of some of the hands on cable television poker tournaments, company owners and hiring managers might think it would be an easy task to grab some of the good ones. But, as the old adage goes, finding Mr. or Ms. Right can be very different than finding Mr. or Ms. Right Now.
At GreenSearch®, we have found that the best companies in our industry who seem to attract good people are those who make this a vital part of their strategic planning process. These are the companies who understand and appreciate that finding the right people for the right jobs are like matches made in heaven.
Let’s consider the typical landscape company that is married to the recruiting model, which makes it tough to find candidates that are well-matched to the company. They typically go about haphazardly putting a few bullets together and call it a job description. The attributes noted generally acknowledge how to get the job done rather than looking at them as to what is the best organizational fit. The landscape company owner or human resource manager then recruits according to the job description and places ads in newspapers or on the Internet. Along with the ads is the usual description of company benefits and programs, which the individual hopes will attract the right type of candidate. This process then concludes with hiring someone from the bunch of job seekers and praying the new person will understand the business as well as its culture. After a few months or a little longer, the manager then wonders why things are not working out and starts the process all over again.
Unfortunately, in our travels and during research performed over the past 20 years, there are very few companies in our industry, large and small, who look at recruiting from that angle and believe in its virtues. Companies do need to look at recruiting in a more strategic and cultural way in order to attract and retain the best people or risk having their business going down the drain.
Here’s an example of a client of ours who operates a very profitable mid-size landscape company in So. California and “has gotten it right.” A little over ten years ago, he realized that the talent pool for managers and supervisors was dwindling in his particular marketplace and he had more client business opportunities than he could handle with the current workforce. After trying traditional methods (see typical recruiting model above), he decided to take our advice and change his way of thinking by including a staffing strategy in his overall business planning methodology.
He first clearly defined the company’s business goals and key drivers, which then led him to determine who to target for a superior hiring match in terms of background, experience, credentials, expertise, etc. As a result, he was able to know better what type of person would be more successful long-term in his company than say others who just looked good on paper. Because he then knew whom he wanted, he then implemented flexibility in the employment relationship by building the programs and benefits to attract, retain, and provide a motivating culture for these particular types of candidates. It became a much easier task to recruit the best candidates who matched his overall organizational picture.
Although it took a sizeable time investment upfront, this strategic recruiting approach resulted in saving time during the recruiting and selection phase while targeting only those candidates who met the experiential and behavioral criteria. The client also implemented rewards, benefits, and other more contemporary employee-centered programs (flexible work days, personal development, etc) that complement his targeted/strategic workforce. Turnover in the managerial and supervisory ranks was approximately 12% in 2014, and their business is growing at a 23% clip.
Life is good if you play your cards right.
Are you looking to integrate recruiting and selection into your strategic planning process? If so, contact GreenSearch® at 1.888.375.7787 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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