4 Ways to Get Recruiting Back on Track
By Carol Metzner
President, The Metzner Group
Managing Partner, www.CivilEngineeringCentral.com
In my 20s, I was a young and feisty headhunter. A national E/A firm hired me to reduce outside recruiting fees and to build a recruiting team. Back then, as now, recruiting was tough. Not enough engineers, architects, planners or surveyors. Companies needed to be innovative in their recruiting efforts. Working for a professional services company, I never lost sight that I was corporate overhead. If my managers didn’t have the staff to do the work, they couldn’t bill the client and in turn couldn’t pay my “overhead” salary. What’s a recruiter to do? One day, while sitting around trying to think creatively, it was suggested that I go to the local “watering hole” and meet with the surveyors who visited it after work. “You want me to go to a bar?” When I presented it that way, it was quickly decided that maybe it wasn’t the best idea – although it was creative! So, what can a company do when the shortage of talent won’t even out for at least 10 years?
Here are just a few ideas to get you on the right track:
Revisit your retention plan.
Are you paying attention to your employees’ career development or are you just concerned with getting today’s project out the door?
Create an employee referral plan.
Be careful not to turn your staff into full-time recruiters just to get big bonuses. There needs to be a balance between rewarding staff and bribing them.
Evaluate your old advertising plan.
Success for Internet recruiting has moved from the large generic job boards to specific niche industry-related job boards. Attract the right talent and let the job board drive candidates to you.
Encourage staff involvement in industry-related associations.
Paid time off for paper presentations, use of administrative staff for industry-related correspondence, and company-paid sponsorships for staff to join associations will pay off in the future.
As the old saying goes, “Look to home first for your answers,” then go outside for help!
Carol Metzner is President of The Metzner Group, LLC, a professional search firm specializing in the search and recruitment of engineering professionals nationwide. To contact Carol directly, call 301-293-4206, or visit her on the web: www.themetznergroup.com.