If you followed last month's advice, you're now a coach, and your team is ready to make you a winner. This month we want you to be both willing and able to provide a positive working environment that will retain your female employees and attract the cream of the crop - both females and males. You cannot afford unhappy campers spreading their woes to relatives, friends and neighbors about your bad business.
In reverse, you will not even believe how effective a bragging female ambassador will be in finding and recruiting the good help that every contractor needs. Fortunately, all of this female team-building effort does not cost money - it makes money!
But, many of you will have to start at ground zero. Since you do not have any female employees at present, you certainly do not have any female ambassadors promoting career opportunities with your company. If you are willing to make a commitment to prove women can and will do this "man's work" profitably, you have several feasible options for recruiting.
First, begin with your present workforce. If you are very small (10 or less employees), you can recruit females by word-of-mouth through discussing your intentions with each employee. You can do this at a group meeting, but it is much more effective one-on-one. Ask if they know a female relative, friend or acquaintance who would be an asset to your company. You may be surprised that one or more of your office employees would welcome that opportunity for herself. You can also ask if they know of any existing obstacles that might interfere with providing a positive environment for a female employee.
Many companies now offer a recruiting bonus to any employee who brings a good worker to the team. Some will pay half of the bonus when they start and the other half after 90 days. I recommend a recruiting and retention bonus, which is then repeated at the end of each year that employee remains on the payroll. Your employee then has a vested interest in assuring your new employee's job satisfaction.
Talk to your customers. They will be flattered and really appreciate you giving them an opportunity to help one of their friends. This goes back to Good Customer Relations 101.
If you have a larger company, you should include your invitation in each employee's pay envelope. This guarantees that everyone knows about it. I recommend providing several blanks for them to write names and have them return that information with their next week's time sheet.
Be certain to follow up with interviews of every individual they recommend - even if you are not hiring at that present time.
Keep Your Eyes OpenVisit any motel in your area while the maids are cleaning and restoring bedrooms. These are hard working ladies who are very dependable and typically earn low wages. Also watch for receptionists, store clerks, landscaping or house cleaning employees who are diligently doing their jobs. Here again, let them know what a great career you have to offer. Discuss wages, flex time, moonlighting and training. Ask them to share your invitation with their friends.
Talk with the ladies who work in DIY retail stores. You should also discuss your needs and intentions with male service clerks who will tell you about their lady customers who buy there regularly and do their own repair work.
Attend Career Day events at your local high schools, vocational schools, adult education centers and colleges. Offer part-time employment or permanent career opportunities. You should prepare written handouts to clarify your message. This also gives them an easy opportunity to pass the information to their friends.
Most of these schools will even schedule a private career day for your company and invite interested students to attend. They also welcome and encourage you to post your "career opportunities" posters on their bulletin boards. They need good jobs for their students as much as you need good help.
Be Pro-ActiveGo to church, but not merely for the power of prayer. Visit any or all of your local places of worship to spread your career opportunities. The clergy and staff know their parishioners and welcome the chance to help in any way possible.
Contact any Parents Without Partners group and schedule a career day meeting with all of those interested in our type of work. Many single mothers do not attend these meetings, but they have friends there who will relay your message to them.
Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity or any of the Amish barn building or Christian building programs that have become popular since Jimmy Carter's involvement. You will meet and work with females of all ages who are proudly performing so-called "man's work" - without even getting paid. There was an article in our local paper about an all-woman volunteer team who built a complete house for a needy family. These are the type of females you are looking for, but unfortunately, they do not know you are looking! Go tell them.
Check with your local temporary manpower agencies to see if they will also provide womanpower. You can use these ladies on a short-term basis to determine if you are right for each other. Keep in mind, that employee will then become one of your company's ambassadors as she spreads the word about working for you to all of her friends.
Attend scholastic and after-school sporting events and talk with the fans. We have little leaguers in baseball, softball, soccer, basketball, tennis, football, etc., from pre-kindergarten to college age. Most of these parents know each other and will gladly spread your need to potential recruits.
Effective AdvertisingYou should come up with a catchy slogan with a picture of a couple of ladies dressed in your company's uniform working on a jobsite or beside one of your service vans. Say all of the good career things that potential employees want to hear. That's what advertising is!
You can place big signs on each of your jobsites and magnetic signs or decals on all of your company vehicles. These vehicles are moving billboards that become visible to thousands of potential recruits. You can display your career posters in most businesses and educational establishments with their permission.
I highly recommend printing your message on placemats and furnishing them to any local restaurant that will use them. People sit and wait for their meals and will usually read the placemat in front of them.
Although there are many more good options for recruiting females, this list should give you some good ideas of where to start. Keep in mind that any of your existing employees can use this list far more effectively than you can. Recruits will believe what an employee has to say about their job more than what any contractor promises.
I must remind you that none of this recruiting for females will work if you do not provide a positive, "happy camper" atmosphere in your workplace. If the job you offer would be a good career opportunity for your own wife or daughter, it will also be one for anyone else's wife or daughter - or even their son.
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