Finding and hiring the best people can be very challenging in today’s labor market. So what is the best way to tackle the challenge? The best way is to develop a three-prong strategy designed to differentiate your business from your competitors for people:

  1. Determine where and how you will source potential candidates
  2. Determine what you will offer (pay, benefits, and other rewards)
  3. Develop an onboarding program to protect your investment

Where and How to Source Candidates

There are many ways to source candidates, starting with your own company website. Whether you post your job openings or not on your website, individuals interested in applying for a job with your company will go to your website. Your website is your calling card. Make sure it is up to date, accurate, and attractive.

Social media is a very popular method for sourcing candidates today, for example, Linkedin, Instagram and Twitter. External jobsites are also popular, such as Indeed, Glass Door, Zip Recruiter, CareerBuilder, and Craigslist. Another resource is professional associations when recruiting for professional positions. In addition, employee referral programs are a low-cost way to find viable candidates. Open houses and job fairs are effective and give a potential candidate the opportunity to learn about your company and the position and interview on the spot. Another very effective way to find people is to establish strategic relationships with other organizations that can refer candidates to your company, such as local high schools, technical schools, colleges, and churches.

What You Will Offer Candidates

Before sourcing potential candidates, know how best to compete in your labor market by leveraging the reasons why an individual would want to work for your company versus another company. Ultimately, your strategy should include pay and benefits as well as other rewards that are highly valued by candidates, for example, opportunities for career development, time off, flexible work schedules, recognition, and a positive working environment and culture. By taking a strategic “total rewards” approach and branding it, you will optimize your competitiveness within your local market.

Retaining Your Best Employees

Retention starts with hiring the right individual for the right job. Before you hire, document the major functions of the job, education and experience required, and the skills, competencies, and knowledge required, then develop a list of relevant interview questions that include behavioral, situational, and general questions. Do background and reference checks as appropriate for the job. Once hired, implement an onboarding program. Onboarding programs do not have to be expensive – just effective. For example, have the employee meet with others with whom they will be working, do regular check ins and feedback sessions with the employee, assign a “buddy” to whom the employee can ask general questions, and so on. A good onboarding program in addition to a solid total rewards strategy will go a long way to protecting your time and money investment in hiring.

Development of a total rewards strategy and platform can be especially challenging for non-profit organizations.  Budgets are often limited, yet programs must be sufficiently competitive to attract and retain the talent required for the organization to succeed in delivering on its mission.  In the attached article, author Marc Kroll of 360Comp LLC, discusses the challenges non-profit organizations face when designing a total rewards program and the questions to ask in order to balance affordability and retention of a stable and talented workforce.