Seeking referrals key among methods for recruiting of new employees

Posted: June 3rd, 2014

Midlands Business Jourmal – Article by Lori McGinnis Black
May 30, 2014

When looking to hire for your company, ask around.

Referrals are a great way to find new staff members for a company, said Ben Gano, branch manager at Associated Staffing.

Referrals from existing clients are the most effective recruiting tool, said Bernie Inbody, owner of Express Employment Professionals.

In a smaller company, the most important factor determining the overall success of the company is tied to the leader’s ability to hire and retain the right employees, said Dan Hemphill, president of Hemphill Search Group.

“Small to mid-sized growth companies have higher performance standards due to increasing volume and the need for constant change associated with the growth of the company,” he said. “The growth company requires high performance employees who can step up and make it happen.”

Companies throughout the Omaha metro area are finding themselves in a hiring dilemma, said Virginia Kiviranta, senior staffing manager at Noll Human Resource Services.

“In a market of 3.6 percent unemployment, where do you find great employees and in turn, how do you keep you star employees from leaving?”

At Associated Staffing, a high percentage of employees have been recruited by some sort of referral, Gano said.

“There is some truth to the quotation, ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know,’ especially in this day of age,” he said.

Networking and recruitment tools such as LinkedIn bring certain populations closer together and provide a great platform to spread the work of job openings very quickly, Gano said.

A candidate who fits in well with an organization will not automatically be able to play their strengths within a particular position, Gano said.

During an interview, it is important to gauge what strengths each candidate has and why they would complement that job opening.

The employees who seem to do the best job are those who have been referred, said Inbody, who recommends companies provide rewards for referrals. That will generate interest.

Express Employment places employees in a variety of industries, including administrative work, as well as constructions, warehousing and accounting. Many of the employees placed in companies are those who have been referred, and many of those who have been referr3ed are providing additional referrals.

The best way to retain workers is to maintain good communication with them, Inbody said.

“Involve them in their own growth and challenge them to grow,” he said.

In a smaller company, each member of the team plays an important role, Hemphill said. Often, employees have a broader scope of responsibility due to the smaller size of the team.

“Driven employees who are serious about professional development frequently thrive in these growth firms because they are constantly being challenged while having an opportunity to gain new experience and assuming more responsibility,” Hemphill said.

Finding the right employee requires identifying individuals who can produce results and outcomes that exceed the company’s performance standards, he said.

Small businesses can find the hiring and retaining process difficult, Kiviranta said. A recruiter who knows how to effectively source a good qualified candidate can quickly get the best employees in the door to ensure that critical projects will be continued.

Companies also use referral bonuses to attract employees, she said.

“We have seen bonuses from $100 to over $1,000 for more difficult-to-find candidates,” she said. “Due to this, keeping your best employees from being lured away is more critical than ever.”

Retaining talent in a candidate-driven market can happen in a variety of forms, Kiviranta said. Company cultures and rich benefit packages can play a big role. Smaller companies that may have a harder time competing with larger companies in this area may need to get creative to compete for top talent.