Finding and hiring great staff can be a challenge for any business owner. More so when demand is high, and quality candidates are scarce. But don’t fret –not all hope is lost. From knowing where to look to creating successful job ads and interviewing applicants, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about finding the right person for the job.
Whether you’re expanding to meet demand or replacing an existing team member, your first job is to spread the word. Start by asking friends, family and/or fellow tradies if they know anyone. If that doesn’t throw up the goods, it’s time to get an ad out. As well as using well-known job portals such as Jora, Glassdoor, Indeed, and Seek, try the job sections of industry magazines and local newspapers. Gumtree and social sites such as LinkedIn or Facebook could also be useful, as they house industry-specific groups.
A little old-school, but nonetheless effective, is hanging ads at local supply stores, pubs, cafes, and other tradie hangouts. Another option is to approach a trade-focused recruitment agency. Alternatively, you could consider grooming your own staff by taking on an apprentice. Your local college or TAFE will be able to assist with the process.
The job ad
If you’re putting out an advert, you need to get it right. You’re not going to attract top tradie talent if your ad is dull or doesn’t spill enough details. A strong headline will make your ad stand out. Make it descriptive and punchy. You could even add some humour if appropriate. Other essential information includes the job title, detailed description, hours, salary and incentive info, a bit about your business, plus the qualifications, level of experience, and qualities you’re looking for.
At this stage, you’ll hopefully have a stack of resumes to sort through. Once you’ve ruled out the duds, create a shortlist of the most promising candidates to contact. An initial screening call can help determine whether it’s worth bringing them in. Interviews can be nerve-wracking for potential recruits. Disguising it as more of an informal chat will help keep the nerves at bay. It will give you a chance to see if you gel – crucial if you’re going to be working together day in, day out.
During the interview, make sure to cover the key questions such as how they work in a team, why you should hire them, and a time they went above and beyond. Presenting candidates with hypothetical scenarios (for example, “A client comes to check on progress and gets angry, what would you do?”) will give you a good idea of how they perform in real life. If you find it hard making a final decision, it might be worth calling them back for a second interview.
Getting a colleague to sit in for a second opinion could provide some clarity. Once you’ve made your pick, find out if your applicant’s references check out. Clear? Then it’s time to make them an offer.
Proper onboarding is imperative when bringing on a new recruit. On day one, make sure you get their forms and bank account details, set them up with any tools and tech they’ll need, and add them to payroll – easy if you’re using accounting software such as QuickBooks Online. They will also need to be shown around the premises and introduced to co-workers and company operations. Partnering them up with an experienced team member, who can show them the ropes, can help your new staff adjust more easily.