Thursday, May 8, 2008

Hiring, Retaining Super Star Employees Just Got a Little Easier

BUSINESS WIRE--Using the blank space on the back of the business card, placing a memo beside the time clock, or putting magnetic signs on company trucks are just a few cost-effective ways to find good employees, according to a new book recently released by small business consultant Tony Bass of Tony Bass Consulting.

50 Ways to Find, Recruit, Hire & Retain Super Star Employees taps into Bass more than 20 years of landscape and green industry experience to provide growing small businesses with creative ideas to discover and keep high-quality people in the company.

I know hiring and retaining people is tough work and it is a problem that keeps many business owners up at night, says Bass, who is also founder and president of Super Lawn Trucks, which manufactures vehicles designed specifically for lawn and landscape contractors. The annual employee turnover rate in the United States is over 20 percent, but with this book business owners can improve their bottom line by learning to build a dependable and talented team.

According to Bass, recruiting doesnt have to be expensive. The most frequent mistake a company makes is initially allocating too much money on traditional methods of finding employees such as newspaper ads. Through 50 Ways, Bass offers over four dozen free and low-cost ways to get multiple employee candidates.

  • Use That Empty Space on the Business Card: Almost everyone carries a business card, but does anyone print on the back? Bass recommends printing available positions on that blank space, which costs a fraction of the original business card order. The business cards can be provided to all existing employees so they can hand them out if they encounter a prospective new team member. They can also be placed on the business card boards at local restaurants.
  • Simply Ask: In order to find employees, an owner has to ask for employees. And the very first place to ask is inside the company. Post a job announcement beside the time clock, the front door, and any other location in the company where people may enter or congregate. A physical posting in the office will constantly remind staff and visitors that the company is hiring. The second place to ask for employees is outside the company. Every time payment is sent to a vendor or supplier let them know of the companys desire to find a certain type of employee. Simply include a printed copy of the job announcement inside the payment envelope.
  • Signs of the Time: Invest between $35 and $100 in two types of signs for the company. The first is a portable help wanted sign that can be stuck in the ground in front of the office. I have seen small signs like this draw up to 50 applicants in one day on busy streets, says Bass. The second type is a magnetic sign that can be placed on the sides of trucks or trailers. Always make sure the company phone number is displayed clearly on the sign for people who might see it after business hours or passing on the street. Almost everyone has a cell phone today.

One strategy from the book that has helped our company is building a staffing system upon objective, performance-based criteria, said Adam Sproule of Salisbury Landscaping in Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada. By focusing on a candidates past job performance you eliminate bias based on personality from the decision making and ensure that everyone in the company hires in a consistent standard.

50 Ways to Find, Recruit, Hire & Retain Super Star Employees can be purchased for $99 by calling (478) 822-9706. Other books available that have been written by Bass include: The Money Making Secrets of a Multi-Million $ Landscape Contractor (1998), "10 Marketing Secrets for Landscape & Irrigation Contractors" (2001), "Growing Your Landscape Irrigation, Tree Service or Snow Removal Business" (2006), and "Preparing to Retire or Sell Your Contracting Company for Maximum Value" (2006).

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