Overcoming Challenges With Employee Recruitment

Employee recruitment

Like many other companies, my family business has pivoted in numerous ways to overcome the challenges we have had to face over the last several years through the pandemic and the tightening of the labor market. Recruitment became a closely monitored activity, which led us to take a fresh look at our strategy and incorporate several changes. Here are just a few of the successful recruitment changes we made.

Corporate recruitment manager

In 2021, we made the decision to centralize our recruitment team and created a recruiting manager position at our corporate office. Previously, a recruiter had resided in each of our five regions and reported up through a human resource generalist. Our goal was to better align recruiting activities and have the team roll up to one person responsible for executing recruiting initiatives. This has proven to be a very successful business model for us, as we have been consistently meeting our recruiting key performance indicators (KPIs) since the transition.

Use of real-time data

One major upgrade we made to our recruitment strategy was to use real-time data as a vehicle of information to influence our decision making. Our business intelligence analyst created a dashboard where we could track many of our activities, such as headcount, new hires, separations, open positions, and vacancy percentages. This information is updated automatically every night and is programmed to track how we are progressing through the year toward meeting our company goals related to turnover and retention. Many views are available within the dashboard based on the time period and workgroup or site in mind.

Now with real-time data readily available, we are able to play offense instead of defense. On a day-to-day basis, we can look at how each of our regions are performing and have the ability to redirect resources and attention as needed. We look at several KPIs: Vacancy percentage, time to fill, turnover percent, and retention rates. We can drill down on our dashboard all the way from a broad region to a specific building we service to monitor our performance. When we start to fall short of our targets, the recruiting manager will provide additional support by reallocating resources, whether it’s additional recruiting help, extra dollars spent on advertising, or an outside-of-the-box solution to address the gaps.

Recruitment toolkit

With a focus on hiring quality candidates and maximizing productivity, we developed a recruitment toolkit for our team to follow. The plan documents the process our recruiters follow to address openings, including the indicators that determine when to escalate our efforts. Based on how long the position has been posted and the vacancy percentage of the region, our team will move up to the next level of recruiting services. Each tool in our escalation plan has an associated cost to help our operations team understand how it will impact their budget. It also serves as a one-stop shop for our operations team to find any forms or process documentation associated with recruiting.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion

In 2022, one of our initiatives was focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion. We have a standardized set of interview questions our hiring managers and recruiters use to ensure fairness and remove any bias from our hiring process. A current project of ours is to generate gender and ethnicity statistics for our leaders similar to what is reported to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) each year. We hope to create a sense of inclusion and bring to light any gaps that need to be addressed. This year, we plan to utilize the ISSA Hygieia Network in support of the incredible women of our organization.

Benefits and training

As the labor market has continued to contract, our team has had an increased focus on employee retention. Many of our company goals and initiatives are in support of providing additional benefits and training for our employees. We’ve made significant changes to our profit-sharing plan, implemented an advanced payroll program, enhanced our health care plans, and created an Individual Career Advancement Plan (ICAP). Our hope is to move the needle through these enhancements on retaining quality employees.

No matter the type of company or organization you run, it is my hope that we all can learn better strategies from each other. The next time I see you at an industry event, perhaps at ISSA Show North America, let’s talk about this.

Matt Vonachen

Matt Vonachen is president of ISSA and the CEO of Vonachen Group, a commercial and industrial service provider based in Peoria, Illinois.

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