How Are You Recruiting Top Performers

More than 300,000 jobs were added in the U.S. in February of this year. As noted in The New York Times, “Hiring has been a persistent source of dynamism in the economy since the pandemic lockdowns eased, even in the face of interest rate increases”—yet another sign that the job market remains a hot ticket item.

top performers

However, there are challenges for employers everywhere.  We see it firsthand as a member of the hardwood lumber industry when we try to find qualified candidates to fill positions. We see it in many instances when trying to hire foresters, sawmill managers, log truck drivers, fork lift operators, maintenance technicians and even lumber traders. Top-performing employees are what every company wants most, and they aren’t easy to come by!

That’s why almost all of us within The Baillie Group are constantly assessing our hiring processes. Our hope is we eliminate inefficiencies and increase the likelihood of hiring the right person for the right job.

Recently, we have been emphasizing a few key best practices we came across.  Maybe some of them will interest you.

1. Punch up your job postings. Generically-worded job descriptions are almost guaranteed not to generate the kind of applicant response you want. Focus on crafting a posting that clearly describes what the position really entails. Consider using clear industry related terminology, avoid acronyms and jargon and be sure to use job titles that can be understood by those outside your company.

2. Enhance the applicant experience. Veteran job-seekers see quickly—from the responses they get to applications, the quality of the interview process, and so on—which businesses will likely treat them well and which don’t. With every application, strive to:

  • Respond promptly to submitted applications.
  • Prepare for both phone and in-person interviews.
  • Follow up with each candidate, regardless of their status.

respectful, dignified recruitment process goes a long way towards establishing your company as an employer of choice.

3. Maximize the results of the interview process. A thorough interview covers many areas, such as a candidate’s prior job experience, additional training, and probing into why he or she applied in the first place. Take the opportunity to also explore the candidate’s soft skills (strength in communications, desire to learn new roles, capacity to work in pressure situations, etc.).

It’s also a good idea to standardize the interview process. Apply the same procedure for every job applicant, so you can more accurately compare the results. If the process “is disjointed or it takes too long to move individuals forward in the process, you might lose top performers to other opportunities,” notes Upwork.

4. Make your “careers page” useful and easy. Take a fresh look at the “Careers” page on your company website. Does the page offer useful information? Is it easy to navigate? Include eye-catching graphic design, as well as upbeat photos and videos about your business. An updated “Careers” page will likely draw more applicant interest and encourage job-seekers to learn more.

5. Tap into your employees’ networks. Your own team members are a potentially powerful source for high-quality job candidates. Invite their suggestions informally or establish an employee referral program that rewards team members who help bring new hires on board. As time passes, make the referral program a key part of your company culture, letting employees know how valuable their referrals are, and giving referred job candidates the best possible applicant experience. Also, try to leverage LinkedIn. Teach your employees how to share your company posts or post appropriate work related content of their own and tag you. The more visibility and job role awareness you can get the better.

Great prospective hires are still out there. They might not be easy to find and it’s up to you and your HR team to do all you can to get them in the door. What best practices work for you? Let us know!

Tony Cimorelli
Baillie Lumber Co.
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