Despite high unemployment, finding skilled workers, especially in the graphic communications industry, can be difficult. Here are a few tips to help your firm fill those hard-to-find positions.
- Employee Referrals. For years printers have said that employee referrals are their best source of employees. However, your referral bonus has to have some meaning to your employees. Many firms have a two-stage bonus program, for example $200 upon hire and $200 six months later if the referral is still employed and not on a performance improvement plan. One company we know of had to establish ground-rules a few years ago saying that employees could only refer individuals that they personally know. One enterprising hourly worker started to solicit a competitor’s employees during his off hours.
- Promote from within. You have skilled employees who want to make more money. The best way to do that is to give them more skills and let them advance. These folks will be more likely to be engaged with the company and their jobs and have longer tenure.
- If you promote from within, do it again! For example, if you promote your second press operator to first, then promote the helper to second press operator. Then hire a new helper off the street.
- Evaluate your recruiting sources. Local papers, free and for-fee industry job sites, local PIA affiliate job boards, and local schools. For a listing of schools with accredited programs, visit PrintED at http://www.gaerf.org/.
- Evaluate how applicants see your company online. Do you have an employment section that provides useful and attractive information?
Printing Industries of America also has a new publication designed for smaller shops called, HR Recruiting Templates available through the bookstore for $25.