Kory Ballard talking about hiring tips to attract employees

Finding and hiring good employees is a daunting task for any company, especially for those that face high levels of turnover. It can be a timely and costly process, but the right employees can make all the difference in company operations and profit.

The question is, how do you find the right employees? How do you make sure your time and money are not wasted? In his Facebook Live with Jobber, Kory Ballard, founder and owner of Perficut Site Management and Ballard Inc., shared some tips on how he finds his best employees.

Tip 1: Always Have Active Recruitment

Many companies will wait until it’s absolutely necessary to start recruiting, but not Kory.

His company is always running ads and attending job fairs. He says a good company will always be on the lookout for quality employees, even when they are fully staffed. In his case, active recruitment helps his company stay properly staffed at all times. It also makes it easier to eliminate poor performers.

“We’re constantly hiring in our company, we’re constantly recruiting. We’re recruiting even when we’re full, because the problem is most companies wait until they need people and then they go out and start looking for people and at that point you have a two-week, three-week, sometimes four-week window. And then you’re short-staffed.”

Tip 2: Consider Employee Referrals and Sign-On Bonuses

Kory pays a $500 sign-on bonus for every new employee they hire. The sign-on bonus is paid in three increments—a portion at 30 days, at 60 days, and at 90 days. He says with the competition for workers in Iowa, the signing bonus has given his company an edge in finding workers that will stay.

“We started looking at what it cost us for our turnover, what it cost us to recruit, how many interviews we were doing, the orientation process, going through the manual, giving guys new uniforms and never getting the uniforms back.We started saying, would we pay $500 for a great employee tomorrow? We decided we would. They’ve got to make it to the 90-day period, and they can’t have any write-ups.”

According to Kory, referrals from existing employees is another winning recruitment method that has helped his company attract and retain some of its best workers. His referral program pays $300 to any employee that refers someone who stays with the company for at least 90 days.

“We found that our number one recruiting is our people inside our company. Because those guys hang out with guys that do the same thing—whether it’s construction, landscape, or snow removal. And I think it also comes from trying to create an atmosphere where they want their friends to work for a company where there’s opportunity and they’re treated well.”

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Tip 3: Be Thoughtful in Your Interviews, Make a Good First Impression

Once a potential employee is found, great care is taken by Kory and his team in the interview stage. Kory says it’s essential that companies think of how they make their impression on those they seek to hire. This includes making sure the office that will be used for interviews is clean and professional, that the right person is conducting the interviews on behalf of the company, and that the interviewer takes an interest in learning more about the employee and their goals.

“After we do an interview, I want them to leave, whether we hire them or not, with a positive message. I want them to say, you know what, I had a great interview today. They guy was respectful, the place was clean, he asked me great questions. He asked me about me, and he told me about the company.”

Kory also focuses on inspiring new employees to see growth within the company.

“During the interviews we spend a lot of time talking about our company, our passion, our mission, who we want to be, and we also tell some really cool stories about guys that have started for eight bucks an hour that now maybe lead a team of 30. So, we try to inspire them a little bit.”

Tip 4: Only Hire the Right People, Think Long-Term Fit

If a company is short-staffed, they may be tempted to hire anyone that applies, just to fill the gap that exists. However, Kory says this approach has been time-consuming and costly for his company in the past.

He is much more particular with his hiring process now and will reject applicants that he doesn’t see as a long-term fit. Having constant recruitment has also helped Kory be more precise about who he hires (see tip #1).

“I’d rather interview ten guys and hire none of them than hire the wrong guy. You hire the wrong guy, you put them through the motion, you get him uniforms, you do all that stuff and it doesn’t work out, and you are right back where you started and you’ve spent all that time and energy. So, think about how you hire your people.”

Watch our Facebook Live video to hear the whole conversation here.

After hiring good employees, the next challenge is retaining them. Stay tuned for our second article in this series with Kory Ballard on how to make sure good employees stay.

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This is part one of a four part series with Kory Ballard, founder and owner of Perficut Site Management and  Ballard Inc. Perficut Site Management is a full-service site management company with over 200 employees, based out of Des Moines, Iowa in the United States. Ballard Inc is a landscape equipment and supplies company that stocks over 100 top quality products for site management professionals.  

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