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Fall into Talent: Resource Planning for Your Business

by Roberta Matuson, Staples® Contributing Writer

For many companies, fall is the biggest hiring time, which means there is a lot of competition for top talent. Take stock of your hiring needs and begin your resource planning now so you enter the fall hiring season prepared for success. Here’s how to begin:

Update Your Talent Management Plan

The economy has been fairly unpredictable these past several years, especially for small business owners. Most have kept their projections fairly conservative, but pent-up demand has led many companies to better profitability than expected. Now is the time to update your resource planning.

Ask yourself the following:

  1. Are the people you currently have in place capable of moving your business forward? If not, who needs to be reassigned or replaced?
  2. What lines of business could use some additional staffing?
  3. Are there people in the organization who are promotable and, if so, will you need to hire new people to take on their roles?
  4. Who on your staff has one foot out the door and will soon need to be replaced?

Get Your House in Order

Job seekers today go online to check out potential employers prior to responding to job postings. Make sure your Web site, particularly your career page, is appealing to those you are trying to attract. Will candidates say, “I could see myself working here,” after reading through your career page? If not, it may be time to spruce up your recruitment image.

Effective career pages include a brief overview of the company and the management team, information on employee benefits, current openings, and, most importantly, a link to submit a résumé or application for employment or instructions on how to apply. Those businesses that take it a step further use video to give prospective employees an inside glimpse of what it might be like to be part of the team.

Cast a Wide Net

The more you expand your search for talent, the more likely you’ll have a great pool of candidates to choose from. When it comes to hiring, referrals are the gold standard. Ask your employees, friends and customers who they know that might be interested in working at your company, leveraging your in-person and social media networks for recruiting. If possible, offer an incentive to those employees who refer candidates you hire.

Post open positions on your Web site so these openings can be picked up by popular job aggregators, such as Simplyhired.com or Indeed.com. These aggregators comb the Web and post existing job openings at no cost to you. Consider boosting your recruitment power by posting on some of the larger job boards and those that are specifically geared toward the kinds of candidates you are seeking. Reach out to associations you belong to and ask them if they have a job posting service for members like you.

Be Visible

A great way to attract talent is to become involved in your community. By doing so, you will expand the network of people you can call upon whenever you are looking to fill a particular position. Volunteer to speak at industry conferences so you get the word out about your company, which in turn will eventually lead to an increase in applicants.

Offer to sponsor a club at your local community college or university. For example, suppose you work in the retail industry and you are frequently looking for great part-time workers. Consider supplying the marketing club with pizza for their monthly meetings. Take this one step further by offering to come in and present at one of their meetings.

Prepare Your Team to Select for Success

Getting qualified applicants in the door is only part of the story. You need to make sure your managers know how to assess candidates to ensure they are hiring people who are the right fit for your company. Be sure everyone involved in the hiring process is trained on how to properly interview candidates. After all, candidates today are interviewing you closely to ensure you are indeed the right employer for them.

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