Insights & Info

Insights > 7 Ways to Find the Talent Your Company Needs

7 Ways to Find the Talent Your Company Needs

By Generational Equity

Talent Acquisition

Middle-market businesses face several unique challenges in finding employees with the skills needed to help a company grow. Among those challenges: less name recognition than larger companies, smaller HR departments, rapid growth and less robust internal training programs.

The struggle to find talent is very real for mid-market companies. According to a recent survey from the National Center for the Middle Market, an average of 37 percent of middle-market executives say talent shortages limit their company’s growth. In healthcare, business services and construction, 44 percent to 49 percent say their growth is stymied by problems finding enough employees with the right skills.

Is your company struggling to find enough well-qualified employees? Here are seven ways to fix your company’s talent acquisition problem.

1. Start an internal referral program.

Everyone likes to help their friends, right? That’s why your current staff can be one of the best sources of new employees who will be a good fit for your company. Someone who already works for your company knows its strengths and weaknesses, and knows which of their friends and acquaintances are likely to be a good fit for your company’s culture.

Providing an extra cash incentive may provide the added motivation employees need to open up their contact list. To make an internal referral program successful, you’ll need to determine when the payment will be delivered and offer an amount that’s appropriate for the position to be filled.

A $100 referral bonus may be right for a coffee shop worker while $1,000 may be necessary to help you find an IT professional. You may stipulate that the bonus is paid immediately upon hire, or after the referred employee has been on the job three months.

2. Consult your alma mater or local trade schools and universities.

If your company seeks a specific skill set, say engineering, accounting or information technology, local colleges may be a good source of new talent. Pick up the telephone and call the dean of the local college or trade school and ask to attend a job fair or otherwise be introduced to those soon-to-graduates.

Professors can be excellent talent scouts for young people who are both skilled and motivated to find a job and start paying off their college loans right away.

You can also join a local alumni group or get involved with your college’s fundraising efforts in order to network with potential candidates and fellow alums.

3. Start an internship program.

Particularly for professional and technical employees, an internship program can be an excellent way to identify young talent.

Resist the urge to operate a “loosey-goosey” internship. For this to be useful to your company and the candidate, you’ll need to devote some effort to finding meaningful work for the intern, as well as offer regular feedback.

Forget thinking of an intern program as the chance for free work. These days, paid internships are the norm.

Consult this article for tips on how to build a successful internship program.

4. Build your bench through training and development.

Your best bet for finding new talent may be to tap into the workforce you already have. Let employees know that you’ll pay for the training and development courses they’ll need to move into more senior roles. Such investment helps build employee loyalty and job satisfaction.

While it may sound expensive to pay for college courses or technical certification programs, consider the business cost of failing to fill key positions.

5. Expand your HR department.

Is your office manager still juggling payroll, office supplies, janitorial services and benefits administration? Many middle-market companies fail to grow their HR department along with the rest of the company.

If you’re consistently struggling to find new talent or losing potential hires to other companies that pay more or have better benefits, it may be time to devote more company resources to human resources.

A fully staffed HR department has the strategic capacity to get ahead of workforce needs through salary surveys, workforce planning, succession planning and other functions that can help you keep current employees happy and find new ones.

6. Tap into industry associations and local business groups.

Community involvement can be key in supporting your company’s talent search, so join your local chamber of commerce or Rotary Club. After all, these organizations are dedicated to helping its members succeed by nurturing the local economy. A few networking breakfasts or lunches may be all that’s needed to get the word out that you’re expanding your staff.

You also should think beyond local non-profits. Depending on your company’s size, your national industry association may be a good source for talent referrals. State-level trade associations tend to be a smaller pond and may be even more useful in helping you find potential employees who are already familiar with your business or industry.

7. Communicate more – both internally and externally.

A robust communications program can help your company combat its talent shortage, especially for mid-market companies fighting with large companies for talent. A communications program doesn’t have to be costly but it will require some planning to be successful.

Internally, all that may be needed are regular emails from the CEO and a few job posters in break rooms. Your goal is to let ambitious, lower skilled employees know that career opportunities are available or that you’ve launched a new referral bonus program.

Externally, your company’s social media pages and website should highlight open positions, as well as the tangible and intangible benefits of working for your organization. You can also try any number of ways to raise your company’s visibility, from hiring a ghostwriter to pen industry articles to donating to local causes.

And keep in mind that professional buyers will often devote a significant portion of their due-diligence work to determining how well your talent pool is growing and expanding. Having a robust and active employee recruitment and development program will only help you as you negotiate with potential buyers of your business.

To learn more, read the full survey on talent shortages from the National Center for the Middle Market.

By Jessica Johns Pool.

© 2017 Generational Equity, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Make an informed decision

The best decisions in life are informed decisions. We release educational business insights like this every week. Subscribe to make sure you don’t miss the latest news, views and analysis.

Success

Success, you have been added to our list.

Thank you again for all your guidance and support. Any company will achieve what they intend, if they have you on their team!
Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
I couldn’t have asked for a better team than Michael and Deborah. We couldn’t have done it without them.
Robert Evans, President and CEO of Mealtracker Dietary Software
The help you provided us during each step of this process made us feel very comfortable and confident we were selecting the right approach to transition our Company.
Andy Graham, Vice President, Modern Heating & Plumbing
Generational Equity’s assistance was invaluable in compiling and marketing our business.
Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
Michael worked tirelessly, He followed every lead meticulously and urgently to make sure nothing was missed.
Robert Evans, President and CEO of Mealtracker Dietary Software
Tom Staszak is one of the most professional people I have dealt with in my last forty years of business. You’ve got a great group of people and you have built a truly professional organization.
Michael J Polarek, President, Paragon Packaging
I quickly recognized that Don was working for Sharpe Mixers above all else, and held our interests above others.
Jay Dinnison, Owner of Sharpe Mixers
Generational Equity educated and informed us – so that we could be on the upside of a good decision (to sell).
Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
We are very happy with the end result, and are very happy to be able to move forward with all of our future growth plans.
Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
We were happy to see the interest in our company and what we cherished has not just a valuable company but an important company to the communities we served in.
Larry Moore, Owner, A Company Portable Restrooms
I would like to thank you and your firm, Generational Equity, for being our valued advisors in our journey.
Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
I must say that I have never worked with a more driven, competent and focused individual as Don Ho.
Jay Dinnison, Owner of Sharpe Mixers
We are extremely pleased with the way Generational Equity handled the sale of our company. Your associates, Tom and Chris, did an outstanding job of getting us (me) through the process.
Michael J Polarek, President, Paragon Packaging
The process was much more involved than I expected and your help, experience and advice was a big factor in making the negotiations go as smoothly as possible.
Terry D. Wickman, President, Keytroller
We thank you Eric and Generational Equity making our dream come true.
Larry Moore, Owner, A Company Portable Restrooms
Thanks again Phil and feel free to have a future client call me if they would like a referral. You are a true professional!
Andy Graham, Vice President, Modern Heating & Plumbing
I wanted to write you a quick letter to express our appreciation and our delight on the outcome of helping us through the process of our recent sale. We are very happy with the end result, and are very happy to be able to move forward with all of our future growth plans.
Terry D. Wickman, President, Keytroller
We knew it would be a difficult task to have someone really understand our business and our market, prior to researching a possible buyer, so it was imperative that we found someone of your caliber, with definite proven experience in this area.
Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
Bruce and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Generational Equity for assigning Musa Jagne to our transaction. In Bruce’s words, “Musa did one hell of a job for us!”
Karen S. Williams, CFO, BW Manufacturing
Your wisdom and experience were invaluable to me during this once-in-a-lifetime transaction.
Ralph Noblin, President of Noblin & Associates
We will highly recommend Generational Equity and Musa Jagne to any business owner about to embark on the same process.
Karen S. Williams, CFO, BW Manufacturing