Five Ways for Finding the Perfect Candidate

Talent is defined by the Collins English Dictionary as ‘a natural ability to do something well’. Whether it is sales, management, purchasing, accounting, etc., it is clearly evident that not everyone can do another’s job. For this reason, companies must always be searching for new ‘talent’.

There are many reasons companies constantly seek out new people. The reasons vary from immediate needs to staffing for the future. Firms could be looking at emerging markets (e.g., energy) or could be developing a new division. Whatever the reason, below are five ways to go about locating these potential new hires.

1) The easiest and most cost-effective way is by simply putting the word out on the street. If you are a distributor, your reps see and hear a LOT at your competition. They know what’s going on with whom and where. If you are a manufacturer, it is more challenging as you don’t want to hire directly from your reps or distributors (using a recruiter can help-see #5 below). However, a casual mention of an opening to a few people could provide a surprising number of covert phone calls.

2) Many companies are now using incentives for their employees for referrals. If one of them refers a person who gets hired, there is a typical monetary reward. This can differ from company to company but it could be a crisp $100 bill or it can be made into an event with a stack of 500 one-dollar bills. Imagine the looks on people’s faces when they see that actually paid out. The excitement will wear off fast if the payout is not prompt. Referral bonuses should be paid out on the new hire’s first day.

3) Boomerangs. These folks have already worked for you or your company. Hiring former employees should be a natural and encouraged process. Why? These people already know your system and processes, know your employees, and they WANT to come back to work for you. They left for greener pastures or greener paydays; and at some point, they became disappointed or disillusioned. This is the perfect time to reel them back. Your current employees will see these former employees return and this should make them want to stick around longer. Catch these boomerangs when they want to return home!

4) Placing ads. There is so much debate as to whether newspaper ads work (they don’t), or whether an ad with Monster, HotJobs, etc. will result in a hire. The best way to gauge is to decide if you have a dedicated person to work on the influx of resumes on a daily basis. Dedicated person? Absolutely. An ad, whether well-written or mediocre, will still provide a number of resumes. BUT, are they viable? And how much time do you have to sort through the piles of potential applicants? 85% of the available candidates do not troll through the online job boards. They are out there networking and developing online connections through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, amongst others. Simply, your investment in online ads rarely results in hires for our industry.

5) That brings us to staffing firms. Aside from temp agencies, a dedication to a niche in our industry is key to partnering in identifying, locating and recruiting the right people for your organization. There are agencies that specialize in lighting, others in industrial automation and others who cover the entire industry. The recommendation is to work with a company that only recruits in our industry. That narrows the field dramatically but that gives you a firm who isn’t out there trying to recruit nurses and IT folks in addition to your unique needs. A dedicated recruiting firm will know the business inside and out, will know the distributors and manufacturers, will know the players in multiple markets, and should have already worked and performed the duties for which they are recruiting. Using a recruiter will also keep your confidential openings private if you have a need for a covert hire for any number of reasons.

The electrical wholesale distribution business is a tight industry and one in which there are few like jobs outside our world. Therefore, hiring good talent from within our industry to help grow and nurture the ‘up and comers’ will ensure that you and your company prosper for years to come.

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