Finding a great candidate that's willing to start off in an entry level position with the potential to move up in an organization is never an easy task. However, it's one that I enjoy since it provides an opportunity to teach those to learn our way of doing business and gain experience in our field. With a huge learning curve it takes some time to teach the specifics of building great websites that earn recognition, respect and rewards for our small business customers. After all, it's taken us over 11 years to figure it out and we are still learning new things every day!
From time to time, it's necessary to hire people for more senior level positions. Unfortunately, there's not a large workforce in the Las Vegas market that's had exposure to our line of business. Many of our competitors are small operators with few or no outside employees leaving a tiny to non existent candidate pool with prior experience. Being diligent business operators that watch our bottom line, we certainly can't overpay for positions where you have to literally teach the basics. What small business can? Therefore, we are willing to invest the time and energy into training entry level candidates and allowing them to grow within the company.
Over the years, we've had the pleasure of bringing in entry level employees and watching them grow into successful senior level workers. Many employees that are with us today started at the bottom and worked their way up in the organization. Others that are no longer with us have been able to move onto respectable positions for other organizations benefiting from the skills and experience gained while under our employ. While we'd prefer for that growth to be with us, nevertheless, it's exciting to see them grow and become successful wherever they land.
When the economy headed south and unemployment steadily increased we though it was a blessing in disguise. We thought we'd have a large pool of eager employees which we could bring in to cross train in our industry and whom could grow with us. There certainly had to be some great candidates let go from organizations that couldn't bear the brunt of the crash which would be an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage.
We've been trying to fill a number of entry level positions at BannerView.com in recent weeks; Four different positions as a matter of fact. The response and influx of resumes has been tremendous because of the number of candidates looking for work. What a great start we thought. However, that's where the enthusiasm waned. What we are questioning now is whether or not many of these people actually want to work. It seems that getting someone to show for an interview has been all but impossible. We are lucky to get half of the people to show up for an interview that previously confirmed a specific date and time! It's mind boggling that so many people would fill out an application online, submit a resume, complete a workforce behavior survey, confirm the interview date and time, then simply "no call, no show."
Our job descriptions are clear in both description of duties and the pay rate. We don't leave anything to surprise when you apply so it's been hard to figure out why people go through all the trouble to simply burn a bridge.
What it boils down to is that it's no easier hiring now than it was when the economy was going gangbusters. In fact, it seems more difficult since we have a harder time getting people to even show up for interviews! It's a lot of work to sift through their resumes, prepare follow ups and schedule interviews. The last thing we want is that time wasted by people not showing up for their scheduled interview. Good thing we've implemented an online job application process that does help save time, but that's still no excuse for "no call, no show."
All the standard stories apply from people showing up in inappropriate attire, to not bringing copies of their resumes to simply blowing off interviews. Some of the candidates we call for interviews don't even recall which company or what job for which they applied. The best stories are those where we've offered someone a position and, even though they've been out of work for nearly a year, aren't willing to take the position because they wanted $1/hr. higher than what we offered! Isn't there a saying that it's easier to find work when you're already employed?
Fortunately through all of this mess, we've been able to find some good people to fill some vacancies. However, we are beyond just filling vacancies and looking to increase headcount by 25% to 40%. If you know of enthusiastic people looking to work for a growing company that's been in business for over a decade, send them our way.
Is your small business experiencing similar hiring issues? Are you having trouble finding quality candidates when nearly 1/7 of the workforce is out of a job? I'd love to hear your stories.
|About the author
Mark Cenicola is the president and CEO of BannerView.com, developers of BannerOS, the software that helps companies turn their websites into powerful business tools. Mark is also the author of the book "The Banner Brand – Small Business Success Comes from a Banner Brand – Build it on a Budget." Read Mark's full biography. You can find him tweeting on Twitter and starring in videos for the company's YouTube channel.
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