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No, it’s not a song by Paula Cole. But it is a real issue facing many contractors from HVAC to big construction. The demand for good workers is there, but the labor pool is lagging behind. In this highly competitive hiring environment, you need to put your best foot forward if you’re going to attract top notch talent.
If you don’t hire well, then you’ll be stuck in an endless cycle. Hire a mediocre employee, then they either flake out or you have to fire them. If your turnover is high, then you’ll constantly be stuck in the hiring process. If you’re stuck in this cycle, then you’re spending a lot of time (and money) just to keep bodies in trucks when you could be spending it finding new jobs and growing your contracting business.
Almost everybody these days turns to the internet when it comes time to finding a new job. Whether it is to look at job boards, research a company that interests them, or reach out to their personal network for leads – online is almost exclusively the first stop.
Think about each of those scenarios. If a person is visiting a job board, you’ll need to have an ad there. That means you need to understand what job boards your desired employees are visiting. Job boards take a few different forms. From traditional structures such as Indeed, ZipRecruiter, to sites that provide other information about employers such as LinkedIn and GlassDoor. The job board is just the first stop. The next stop is to Google the company that posted the listing itself.
Or maybe somebody saw your truck or a lawn sign and has decided to research your company to see if you’re hiring. The same goes for personal recommendations that come from a person’s network of friends, peers, and former employers. Once they hear about your company, again the next step is to look for that company online.
Well, that depends what kind of site you have. If it is old and outdated, or hard to navigate, then you risk making a bad first impression. Whether it’s online or in person, first impressions are everything. If people are landing on your site and they don’t feel like your company is legitimate, or worse yet – they don’t see any jobs listed on your site, then you risk losing a potential employee.
With all of the competition out there, you need to get as many qualified applicants as you can when you’re filling positions. In order to truly attract the best, your website should be a reflection of the type of company you are and what you’re looking for in new hires. It should be professional and clearly describe what you do and what your main values are. Think of your website as a story about your businesses and your employees. Talk about the challenges that you have and how you deal with them. Focus on the problems that you solve for customers.
You should also have a section on your site where you post available positions. Your job advertisement should focus in on the qualifications of the perfect employee. You should help the person reading understand how their role is important as well as how it will impact the business. Ideally there should also be an easy way to apply, or instructions on how to do so if it’s not right on the site.
So if you’re doing all of the right things with your website, then the rest is all about the followup. The best way to keep people engaged is to followup directly. But if you’re seeing a high volume, it isn’t always practical to followup directly. So then you may want to consider ways that you can automate responses and manage applicants more efficiently. A simple and cost effective way to do this is to do a simple integration with MailChimp.
A MailChimp account can be configured to send out an autoresponse any time a new job applicant fills out your form. You can also set up various ‘drip’, or regularly occurring, emails to be sent out based on different criteria. You can also set a dropdown field that you can use to manage statuses as you review and qualify/disqualify applicants. Then, you can set up responses to keep people informed as you’re moving them through your process, or if the job just isn’t a good fit for them.
As if there weren’t enough reasons that your local contracting company needs a professional website, just go ahead and add hiring good employees to the list. Your website is how you present your company and your people to the world. For many local contractors, keeping your trucks staffed with qualified technicians is the lifeblood of your business. So take some time and review your site. Focus on areas to improve so that you’re telling the compelling story that is your business. Then, set up systems that help you manage your applicants and keep them informed.
If you need help getting a website setup, or with revamping an existing one, we would love to help. Check out our local contractor website packages for details.