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Irrigation Association of New York

Marketing to Attract Quality Employees

“I don’t need more work. I need more employees to help me get it all done.” That’s a quote I am hearing more often from business owners who are enjoying the industry rebound.

Despite an unemployment rate stuck around 6 percent, companies in our industry are struggling to fill critical jobs. Candidates who can make an immediate impact are in short supply. Many companies are looking to fill the same positions at the same time, adding to the battle over good applicants. Candidates are increasingly picky not just about pay, but also company culture and work environment.

The marketing challenge is making your company a target for the best talent. Pay and benefits are important, but so are culture and work environment. Showcase your best if you want to attract the best. Use these techniques to help your company stand out to potential candidates:

Websites sell to applicants too. Customers check you out online before they do business with you. Potential new employees will research your company before they apply. Do you have a “Join Our Team” section? These pages should describe your company’s vision, values, culture and work environment. Is yours a stable, family-friendly environment? Make sure to highlight that. Don’t just use words, incorporate photos that show your team, your customers and your commitment to outstanding results.

Use electronic recruiting tools. The days of the help-wanted ad are over. Now you need to be visible in a wide variety of online venues to successfully market your job openings. Be sure to promote your job openings on Facebook and LinkedIn. Make full use of career websites such as Monster and job boards like Craigslist. Remember, social-media sites require a commitment. By their nature, they create a lot of two-way communication. You can’t just post and forget.

Stand out as a community leader. Has your company participated in volunteer work, charitable donations or food drives? Share your good deeds and demonstrate your commitment to the well-being of others. Good people want to work for good people. Promote your commitment to corporate citizenship. Don’t just say, show: capture photos and videos of employees participating in charitable efforts.

Prospect outside the traditional bounds. There’s a traditional inclination to look for a narrow set of skills or experience in recruiting. It’s not always the best way. Sometimes you get valuable years of experience, other times you get years of baggage. Take a different path. Look for high-potential candidates with core skills: passion, competitive drive, problem-solving abilities and enthusiasm. Then train them on the jargon and job duties. You’ll get a loyal and motivated team member who can help you grow.

For over 10 years, Jeff Carowitz has advised green industry firms on sales and marketing strategies. His website is www.StrategicForceMarketing.com Connect with him on LinkedIn.