If someone asked what your first priority is as a manager, would you say recruiting?
If you said “yes,” then congratulations ... because you, friend, are one of the few who have mastered the difficult balancing act of being a numbers cruncher, results driver, growth hacker, budget obsessor, purpose promoter, and recruiter.
For everyone else, recruiting talent tends to fall into the category of “really important, but last thing I do at the end of a long day.” Which is a shame, because the time and energy put into making a great hire today almost always saves managers time and energy tomorrow.
This is an all-too-familiar scenario for restaurants. With some of the highest turnover out of any industry (nearly 66% last we checked), managers and owners are up against a revolving back door, an ocean of unqualified candidates, and a steady stream of emergencies that are more important than finding someone great. And so they fall into the panicked hiring habit and the turnover problem persists.
If that sounds a little like you and you’re struggling to balance recruiting with your regular job duties, there’s still hope! And it all comes to down to mastering a few effective recruiting habits.
1. Always Be in Recruiting Mode
You never know when someone is going to drop their resignation on your desk and create a hole that has to be filled ASAP. You also never know when you’re going to come across the perfect person to join your team.
Great recruiters know that talent (or non-talent) comes and goes, and it’s why they stay on the lookout for great people.
On the surface, this seems like a hard habit to hone because it takes time — something none of us have enough of. But when has a worthwhile habit ever really been easy?
Here are some easy ways to start building this habit:
Determine how many people you need to meet to cast a wide enough recruiting net.
Designate one day a week or one day a month to meet someone new.
Start simple by meeting with people in your industry.
Attend events in parallel industries so you can expand your reach.
Build a network of allied resources, or people who refer candidates to you on a regular basis.
Use industry specific referral-based networking tools like Jobsabi to track your candidates and grow your network.
2. Recruit Based on Behavior
People have a natural tendency to do some things really well and other things not so well. When you see someone thriving in their role, it’s because their behavior and their skills are working together. When someone is underperforming, it’s usually because their job is at odds with their natural behavior.
Underperformance is also a precursor to someone leaving your organization. But recruiting based on behavior actually gets in front of that problem, ensuring that you bring on people who are more likely to thrive in their job.
As a manager, you need to create a habit of understanding which behavioral profiles will perform well in positions across your organization. Here’s how to start:
Assess your current team.
Determine job requirements for all of your positions.
Determine behavioral requirements for each of those positions.
Find happy, long-tenured employees in the organization and interview them to understand why their behavior is a good match for their role.
3. Practice the Law of Attraction
You know the saying, “you attract what you are.” Not only is it true, but your ability to attract the right people (or not) is now all over the Internet.
Candidates are Googling you, reading about you on sites like Glassdoor and looking at your company’s “About Us” pages. Great employees want to make sure your organization’s work environment is a good match for them.
So when you stop and look around at your company, think about what you need to be doing internally to attract the right kind of people.
Make it a rite of passage to join your company.
Reward people for good behavior.
Celebrate small wins.
Create opportunities for team members to pat each other on the back.
Use surveys to gather employee feedback.
Create an internal referral program.
As you embark on these effective recruiting habits, remember that like any skill, developing a habit takes time. But gradually these tactics will become ingrained in your everyday duties and your ability to recruit talent will happen with a whole lot less effort.