How to Find (and Manage) the Best Employees

Businesses should consider current employees’ recommendations, network and seek out new ways to reach into the community to find new talent. And don’t forget, the younger generation requires special treatment to perform well.

Phillip Perry

It’s a question every business wants to know the answer to—where are the best candidates?

Smart interviewing tactics reveal personal characteristics that help the best candidates stand out. But how do you attract a great crop of candidates in the first place? Here are a few tips:

1. Start at Home

“View people in your current workforce as recruiters,” says Alan Weiss, president of Summit Consulting Group, East Greenwich, RI. “Tell them you are hiring and you would love recommendations. If you already have an enthusiastic workforce, they will find similar people.”

2. Expand Your Reach into Community Organizations.

“The best employers are always networking,” says Rebecca Mazin, a cofounder of Tarrytown, NY,-based Recruit Right. “Always talk with people and find out what they do. Keep alert for prospects through organizations such as your Chamber of Commerce, business associations, and the gym.”

3. Seek Out Creative Ways to Reach into the Community.

“Even small employers can talk at local colleges.” says Mazin. “Or consider hosting student tours of your workplace. Identify prospects early and frequently, and keep in touch.”

Managing the Millennials

The times are changing, and the younger generation requires special treatment to perform well.

“When the Great Recession hit in 2008, Millennials saw their relatives downsized and people in general lose their jobs,” says Richard Avdoian, an employee development consultant in Metropolitan St. Louis. (richardavdoian.com).

“There was a resulting mind shift, so that people under 40 now see themselves as ‘on loan’ to you rather than working for you. In effect they are saying ‘I will stay here and work hard as long as you invest in where I am going next.’ And they expect training to help them advance on their career path. If you do not provide that training you may not keep your best employees.”

Also, says Avdoian, you need to understand that Millennials have been pampered, protected and guarded, and given praise and incentives even when they were not doing so well.

As a result, they need more parenting and encouragement and affirmation.

“You need to treat them more parentally,” says Avdoian. “That doesn’t necessarily mean you should pamper them, but it does mean you should praise them. If you don’t they may leave.”

When hiring Millennials, says Avdoian, let them know how you praise your employees so they know what to expect. And ask them questions about their life plans. What kind of job are they seeking? Where are they going next? This will help you retain your high flyers as long as you can.

Finally, Millennials have preferences in how they work, so provide the office tools they are accustomed to.

“Ask them what type of phone they prefer and what pens they like to use,” says Avdoian. “Do they like using an iPad or a laptop? Give them what they are most accustomed to using so they can hit the ground running.”

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