Strategies for Effective Recruiting
A common complaint across all industries nationwide is the inability to attract and retain great employees. The temptation is to just “fill the seat,” and yet, if you can find those applicants who have the potential to be satisfied and successful in the position, you will have made a major step towards alleviating turnover and reducing “empty seats” in the future. This pressure to find and keep talented employees is motivation to re-examine any stagnant hiring policies or strategies.
Review your advertisements
When is the last time you reviewed your recruitment ad? If you saw your own ad, would you respond to it? In a survey of 9-1-1 Directors, 73 percent said they wouldn’t respond to their own advertisement. No wonder there is a shortage of applicants! What message are you sending to potential applicants? What does your ad tell others about your agency?
Know the Audience
Millennials are one of the largest generations in the workforce. This generation tends to seek out employment with companies that align with their personal values, where they can be led by someone who is more of a coach than a boss, and where they can experience democracy within the workplace. These types of goals within a company can benefit all employees, not just the Millennials.
Having a clear understanding of your organization, who you are, what your vision is, and what makes you different, goes hand in hand with understanding your audience. With this clarity you are able to address the mindset of your audience by showing how your organization fits with their employment goals.
Sell the job
Stop and think for a minute – why do the people who work for you now show up for work each day? A paycheck is certainly a motivator, but that can be found in any number of places. If you ask dispatchers what they love most about their job, in other words, what motivates them, you’ll hear the following themes:
- It is very rewarding to make a difference in someone else’s life.
- I enjoy the camaraderie and the team environment.
- We live on the cutting edge of technology.
- It is very satisfying to know that I helped someone today.
Try it! Ask some of your better employees what they like most about their job and you may be surprised by these answers. These are the components that should be included and highlighted in your job ad – sell it!
Think Outside of Salary
A team environment will influence an applicant’s interest in a job, as well as whether they stay in the job. The feeling of being respected and a part of a team is vital in the employee/supervisor relationship. There are many reasons why teamwork is beneficial on the job, including fostering creativity and learning, promoting a broader sense of ownership, improving working relationships, and increasing job satisfaction. When employees work within a team they can support each other, learn from each other, and accomplish more.
The values of a company, and actions which go along with those values, can also help to attract top talent. There should be policies in place which reinforce the values of the company. For example, the value “community involvement” could be reflected through policies that support or reward those who take time to volunteer in the community. The value “employee development” could be reinforced through policies supporting continuing education or self-improvement.
Skills are not enough
Have you ever hired someone who may have the skills for dispatching but are still clearly not the best employee? Some may think the missing link is personality, but it is more than that. For example, one of the key elements of a successful dispatcher is the ability to own responsibility for one’s decisions and/or actions. This behavior can be found in any number of different personality types. Personality does not determine consistency in performance. Instead, a behaviorally based assessment identifies the common threads that make top performers successful.
Behaviorally based assessments for both 911 Dispatchers/Telecommunicators and Communication Supervisors (consider the important role of supervisors in creating a team environment and influencing retention) are available from Select Advantage. These job-specific assessments will help you move the right applicants forward to the next step in your hiring process, ultimately reducing the time spent in recruiting because you’ve got people who possess the behaviors necessary to be successful in the position. We can also help you review your job ad to send the right message to applicants. Call or email us to find out how we can help!