Talk to any business owner about employee hiring and retention, whether in the carpet cleaning and restoration industry or any other, and he’ll say it’s a major issue. No matter how successful a company is, finding and keeping good employees generally comes in as a top-five (or usually number one) roadblock.

In the last decade, it’s become apparent that in order to find and keep the best employees possible, it’s important to make sure employees are happy and engaged, no matter the industry.

In a recent article, contributor Matt Doyle offers “3 Hiring Strategies that Can Help You Find More Qualified Candidates.” In the article, Doyle explains, “A focus on keeping employees happy is not very common in the blue-collar industry, as many employers rely on the idea that simply having a job is good enough.”

Doyle adds, “If you want to be the best in your space, you must have the best people working for you… You want those people who’re going to defend and fight for your company on a day-to-day basis.”

After experimenting in his own industry (construction), Doyle developed the following three strategies to obtain the best employees, even when competing with much larger companies for those employees.

One: Test different mediums for job postings

Doyle recommends trying posting job openings in different ways and places to find the one that works best — online job sites, traditional print media, etc. to find what works best for your area and industry.

Also, try to think like someone in job-search mode. Doyle says to put yourself in a prospective tech’s shoes and try searching how they might. For example, you might search “mold remediation technician jobs” or “carpet cleaning tech jobs.” See what sites show up first, and consider posting there first.

Doyle emphasizes the importance of analyzing to see which posting means offer the best return on investment.

Two: Use more realistic job postings

“Often, ads are so focused on the fluffy parts of a job that responders just apply, forgetting about the actual requirements, skills and hard work that will be needed,” explains Doyle.

Rather than putting job benefits, company description, etc. at the end of a job posting, Doyle recommends putting qualifications at the end so that it is the last thing prospective employees read to make sure fewer unqualified prospects apply.

“Put the details about skills, qualifications and work ethic at the bottom. This way candidates [remember] that there’s hard, qualified work involved,” Doyle recommends. “This strategy cut down on the number of unqualified applicants, saved us days of time and helped us filter through the everyday regulars so that the rock stars stood out.”

Three: Implement skills tests

By testing potential hires’ claimed skills, Doyle explains, you cut down on hiring new employees who have lied about their industry skills and knowledge.

Doyle recommends creating three simple questions about industry fundamentals, things a job candidate who’s actually qualified at the level you are hiring for should know. Ask these questions of potential hires in a phone interview to eliminate unqualified applicants from the face-to-face interview process, saving your needed time.

“Pay attention [during the skills test], though — sometimes you’ll find a candidate perfect for a lower position, and you may be able to snag yourself a good employee for a different job,” Doyle recommends.

Try following these three strategies next time you are looking for a well-qualified employee, and perhaps you’ll find yourself having to use them less and less as time goes on and you build up a strong, loyal employee base. But don’t forget to treat these loyal employees well, or you’ll be looking for new hires all over again.

For the original article by Matt Doyle, vice president and co-founder of Excel Builders, please click here.