One of the biggest challenges facing service businesses is finding great employees. Restaurants, retail stores, service businesses or any business that needs employees in customer-facing roles have all dealt with the frustration of posting an ad and being completely underwhelmed by the responses. Pair this with the fact that these businesses often have a high turnover rate and you have a recipe for frustration and sometimes even failure.
So, what’s a business to do?
It’s a simple little strategy I call A.B.R.
It stands for Always Be Recruiting.
So, how do you incorporate ABR into your business?
Adjust Your Mindset
I know, you want to find some great employees and keep them forever. Unfortunately, that is exceedingly unlikely. So, you need to adjust to the reality that you will pretty much always be hiring. With that in mind, you need to treat it as a strategic area of your business. Invest the time and resources you need to build some systems and processes to make recruiting easier and more effective.
Sell Your Opportunity
The first step to successful recruiting is being excited about the opportunity. It doesn’t need to be a great role for you - it needs to be a great role for your ideal hire. So, the first step is to make sure you understand for whom your role would be a great opportunity. It could be a more flexible schedule, the chance for commission or tips, the opportunity to sleep in - or be done by noon. You need to understand not only what makes the opportunity a good job choice but also a good lifestyle choice. We all know people entering the workforce today are much more interested in figuring out work fits into their life versus fitting life around their work.
If you can’t figure out how to sell your opportunity - fix it. It’s easier to fix a bad job than to keep recruiting and replacing people. Think strategic and figure out how to create a win/win situation for you and your employees.
Ok, now that you're ready to always be recruiting and have a great opportunity to talk about to people - let’s get tactical.
Business Cards + Compliments
Make sure you always have business cards on you. When you’re out to dinner, getting a coffee, even going to the movies, if you receive great customer service or see problem-solving skills that would be successful in your organization - compliment them and give them a business card.
For example, my husband and I were mattress shopping and our sales associate was totally on-point. She approached us, offered advice and then left us alone while also sensing when to come back and when to leave. She was a natural at reading verbal and nonverbal cues - which is huge in recruiting. So, as we were wrapping up our transaction, I said, “I just want to let you know you’re amazing at your job. You have a natural talent for recognizing when to sell and when to let us think. You’d be a natural fit at recruiting and I’d love to talk to you about it if you’re interested in learning more. Here’s my card - feel free to give me a call when you’re not at work. I’d love to tell you more about the opportunity and why I think it’d be a great fit for you.”
That’s it. No pressure, nothing smarmy - you’re just opening a door so they can choose to call or email you - or not. It’s just a compliment and the sharing of an opportunity.
And yes, she did call. I hired her. She was a success. So, you just need to decide if you’re willing to be slightly uncomfortable for 30-45 seconds to start hiring awesome people.
Rikka Brandon is the author of the best-selling book Hire Power: Everything Entrepreneurs Need To Know To Hire Awesome People. She’s the creator of the Hire Power Program, an online program designed to help small businesses build a rock-solid recruiting strategy and stop settling when they hire. She’s the Founder of RikkaBrandon.com and Building Gurus. Rikka is the go-to girl for growth-minded entrepreneurs and forward-thinking business leaders and is considered as the USA’s Top Hiring Expert for Small Businesses.