One of my favorite ways to find new talent for my company is to engage with customer service people I meet while out and about every day. This could be a stellar server at a local restaurant; a friendly, smiling, helpful cashier at the grocery or hardware store; an employee at a full-service gas station who is eager to engage and help customers. The list goes on and on.
In the restoration industry, our very first focus should be on customer service and character. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “hire for character, train for skill”, and in restoration, that could not be more important. People can be taught how to use Xactimate, MoistureMapper, MICA, DASH, Encircle, and on and on the list goes. But hiring a bad apple on the character side not only can be a setback for you, doing the hiring, but it can also be toxic to the entire company.
Here are some of my best tips to “recruit” for positions like technicians and admins.
This is what I was talking about above – connecting with cashiers, servers, and other customer service people you meet every day. If you find someone impressive, it’s as simple as inviting them to an interview with you. You don’t have to promise them anything! Simply hand them your business card with your direct number and email and say if they’re interested in a possible job change, to give you a call, and you’d be happy to do a formal interview with them to see if there might be a good fit within your company.
Incentivize your current team to refer friends and acquaintances to you who they think might fit the company dynamic and culture well! You want to do this in a way that ensures they refer quality candidates and aren’t just looking for a quick buck (of course, this becomes a whole conversation on culture, which is for another time). This could be as simple as a cash bonus or Amazon gift card to your current employee 60, 90, or 120 days after a new employee whom they referred starts.
For skilled labor, this is one of my favorite techniques. Do you live in a college town, or have a good community college nearby? Sign up for their job fair, and conduct on-site interviews! This can be especially helpful if the college has a trade program and there are students looking to get into construction!
Hopefully, your company already has a pretty good following on social media from current and previous customers and community members. Create some fun posts about hiring, and ask your followers to share the post!
One word of warning!
Don’t get too enamored from the initial conversations with these candidates, though! Be sure you have solid interviewing and onboarding processes. This will greatly help limit “bad hires” and “warm seat syndrome.”