Need new employees? Try word of mouth
August 29, 2017
An old business saying has it that word-of-mouth advertising is one of the best ways to get new customers.
Turns out it's a dandy way to get new employees as well.
Staffing services and companies with their own in-house recruiting departments have been filling positions through job fairs, online ads and — most importantly — recommendations from their existing workers.
"Actually, referral is our best and strongest way to get great people into the jobs," said Jackie Doan, Reno market area director for staffing firm Adecco USA, which is helping e-commerce company Radial Inc. fill 1,500 positions for the coming holidays.
Employees telling friends about available jobs also helps grow smaller businesses, such as Laura Hyde's Sunshine Cleaning Service, which counts the Tesla Gigafactory, Q&D Construction and the Silver Legacy Resort Casino among its clients.
"That's how I get my quality employees; they get to know about me and my business," Hyde said.
Word of mouth referrals have opened the hiring doors for a range of applicants at all levels of business, some of whom can use a leg up.
"I currently have two employees in high positions who had prison terms, and they are absolutely wonderful," said Hyde, who also has hired seniors who connected to her business through friends.
CustomInk offered positions to 14 applicants, and are keeping in touch with another 11, out the 109 job seekers who came by its factory southeast of Reno-Tahoe International Airport during the printer's two-day Hire-A-Thon at the beginning of the month.
"We hired a pretty small percentage of the folks who came in, and that's very typical for our recruiting process; it's incredibly selective and very competitive," said company recruiting manager Isaac Johnson.
"We also found that a high percentage of people who came to the event were referred by an existing team member, and that's also a trend we've seen a lot of success with," Johnson said. "Our current team members know really, really great people, and that helps us connect.
"Most of the people we extended offers to were referred by an existing team member."
An increase in the number of people finding work throughout the area was reflected in the state's county and metro-area employment report for July, which came out last Tuesday.
"For 11 consecutive months, unemployment rates have declined over the year in all 17 of the state's counties, continuing to render good news for the Silver State," Nevada chief economist Bill Anderson said in a press release issued with the report.
At the same time, the report showed that Reno added 4,900 jobs during the same time last year, with a concurrent increase of more 3,000 people in its labor force (those either working or actively looking for work).
For job seekers, it's a welcome change compared to the recession years when signs were much more likely to say the businesses had no jobs and would not accept applications.
Hiring has been good enough that it might turn into a job-seeker's market.
"We've definitely noticed that, in the Reno market, our candidate pool has started to shift," Doan said. "Candidates really have their pick of jobs – there are so many new companies that have been moving to town, and so many places that are experiencing growth, that from a numbers perspective jobs have been on the rise year over year."
As a result, hiring services are reaching out to as many potential applicants as they can.
For instance, Adecco has a line of yard signs along Longley Lane advertising warehouse jobs that they are filling for e-commerce company Radius Inc.
Competitor Surge Staffing has a similar setup just to the south.
"I love the yard signs, because they're easy billboards for us," Doan said. "We can put them out in areas of high traffic or places in the market where there might be potential job seekers."
The signs on Longley also help applicants find where to go for their job interviews, given that Adecco's Reno offices are inside the Radius warehouse where some of those jobs will be.
Radius has positions to fill at a facility on USA Parkway in Lyon County as well, Doan said.
Hiring also can include taking extra time to get comfortable with each applicant — such as at CustomInk, where managers and line employees alike took time to talk with the newcomers and show them around the facility.
"It was really great to bring people in and show them what it's like to be part of our team," Johnson said. "We had folks who are not typically part of the hiring process be really close to the experience that we provide our candidates.
"We had folks doing tours, greeting people, having conversations with them while they waited to have the process completed. So overall, it was a huge success for us."