Have you ever heard or said a variation of this:
- I just can’t find good help…
- Nobody wants to work anymore…
- We are a week out…
- He sucks, but if I get rid of him, who will do the work?
There are two BIG problems behind these common hiring-type statements.
1. Toleration of poor performance
If you are tolerating poor employee performance, then you are allowing your company to take the slippery slope to being mediocre at best. Mediocrity in business is not profitable or fun.
Jack Welch, the legendary CEO who grew General Electric from $12 billion to a $410 billion in his 20 years at the helm, had a famous leadership dictum about employees.
To summarize, Welch said a company will have:
20 percent A players, 70 percent B players and 10 percent C players.
- A Players – are filled with passion and make things happen.
- B Players – are the heart of the company and should be coached to be A Players.
- C Players – are employees who can’t get the job done. They suck energy from the organization, procrastinate rather than deliver, they find problems rather than solutions.
His principle was to continually remove the bottom 10 percent of GE’s employees. Think about the effect of that. Does a C Player on your team come to mind, a bottom 10 percent-er? Why do we keep them around if they are sucking the energy from us and our people? Is it our fear of change? Are we too comfortable where we are?
Do yourself a favor, break the habit of tolerating bad performance. Always be hiring.
2. Can’t keep up with demand
If you can’t keep up with demand, you are losing sales. You are essentially slowly dying by losing your customer base to faster companies that have the manpower and are eager for the business.
Now a days everyone wants it right…NOW! Tomorrow is not fast enough. If you frequently keep whole house sewer back-ups waiting till the next day, you are losing customers.
Your hiring problem is really a growth problem. Are you growing or are you dying?
Ultimately, how fast you can take care of the client is in direct relation to what a client is willing to pay, people value FAST.
Your hiring marketing must keep up with your drain and plumbing service call volume or you are dying.
So, you understand that a service business that desires to continue to evolve will need to make sure they have a continual flow of great men and women to do the work.
How Do You Trick the Best People to Work for You?
Over the years I have developed several “evergreen hiring campaigns” that work. Evergreen means a marketing asset — a letter, a post card, a video, a Facebook post, etc. — that is easily re-deployed.
The direct mail hiring letter is one we have deployed multiple times over two years with continued success. I tweak it a little depending on who we need to hire, apprentice, journeyman or installer. I also sequence the letter with inexpensive postcards to keep us top of mind without resending a four-page letter.
Let me tell you why direct “old school mail” is such an effective media for hiring.
I mail my letter and cards to a list of licensed plumbers, apprentices, tradesmen, journeyman, drain cleaners and/or utility installers. These people hold the licenses we need. The best prospective employees are working and NOT looking for a job on the internet. That’s why I don’t slap an ad on Indeed.com or Monster.com — those job boards are only reaching people looking for a job, and lazily looking for a job at that.
I am mailing to everybody holding the needed license. With this letter, plus the strategy of hitting the right people, I place myself in a category of one, with my employee recruiting. We are in front of our target audience whether they are actively searching for a new employer or not.
Many licensed plumbers take my letter and put it away in a file. When technicians finally have had enough of where they are currently working, they come interview with us, and many say that I sent them a letter two years ago. Every time they see our truck on the road they think about my letter.
There are other tricks even if you are not in a state that has mandatory plumbing and drain licensing requirements. I have repurposed the same letter template with Facebook and video ads as well, to target the right people. We once turned off a Facebook video after 1.5 days because our call center was getting too many calls from prospective employees. Cost me $70 bucks.
It is about the right audience and the right message. A green apprentice has different “pain” than a journeyman who has been in the field for 30 years.
What do prospective employees want at this stage of their lives? Sell it to them.
Jeff Longspaugh is president of ClearWater Plumbers and founder of Independent Plumbers Marketing Group. For a free copy of his successful long hire letter and to see his super simple $70 Facebook ad, email him at email@example.com
with Hiring Help in the subject line.