Attracting High-Performing Candidates

To succeed, every business depends upon the quality of its employees. In the hardwood lumber industry it is no different. People make the difference!

We know firsthand how challenging it can be to attract and retain high-performing employees. Whether there’s an opening for a sawmill manager, log truck driver, forklift operator, a lumber trader or a maintenance technician, we try to leverage all of our internal “hiring best practices” to improve our chances of finding the right individual for the job.

Here are a few tips on locating quality job candidates for your business that were passed on to us. Perhaps one will benefit you!

Beef up your “careers” page. When is the last time your HR team revamped the “careers” page on your company website? Remember, this page is often the first place job-seekers go when exploring opportunities with a prospective employer. To capture their attention, be sure to:

  • Include useful, relevant information.
  • Make sure website navigation is user-friendly.
  • Feature eye-catching graphic designs.

It also helps to include “upbeat photos and videos about your business,” making it more likely to draw applicant interest in your organization.

Customize job descriptions for greatest impact. Describing an open position within your company in generic wording (“a great opportunity” or “entry-level opening”) will almost surely be ignored by the types of job-seekers you want.

A posted job description “is often one of the first impressions a job seeker has of your organization,” notes Business News Daily. An effective posting includes a description of “skills, tasks, expectations and role requirements” of the position, while also offering readers a feel for your company culture.”

Emphasize your benefits package. Sophisticated job candidates are looking for businesses offering a wide-ranging benefits package. Generally speaking, emphasizing the benefits you offer such as health insurance, family and medical leave, and unemployment insurance helps a candidate what they can expect for them and their family.

Promote job openings in different venues. An online job description isn’t the only thing you can do to attract high-performing candidates. Encourage your HR team to participate in local or statewide networking events (conventions, trade shows, etc.), where they can engage in face-to-face encounters with prospective job-seekers and learn more about what competitors are doing in their own recruitment efforts.

Also, look for opportunities to connect with local institutions of higher learning, such as universities and community colleges. Work with these institutions’ career centers “to list job postings for interns and new graduates,” suggests the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and “develop a talent pipeline of students who are eager to gain work experience in their field.”

Highlight individual opportunities for growth. Today’s job-seekers aren’t looking for a low-level or entry position that has no clear path to growth. Professional learning and development are key objectives for these individuals, so it’s vital that you emphasize such growth opportunities exist within your organization (and back up this claim with relevant and informative classes and webinars).

What other techniques work for you? Let us know!

Tony C.
The Baillie Group
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Link to the Baillie Group Careers Page