What’s the number one problem for contractors? Some might struggle with lead generation, others might struggle with profitability, but nearly every contractor at some point in their business struggles with recruiting and hiring a great team.
Let’s face it — good people are hard to find. And, if you have a large, well-known competitor in your market, it might feel like they’re stealing all the best people.
How do you build a team of great employees who work together well? Use this popular, effective marketing strategy in your recruiting to help you build a strong team.
The marketing avatar
Perhaps you’ve heard of an avatar before when you created marketing pieces for your company. In marketing, an avatar is single person who represents your ideal customers. They’re the average of your best customer’s demographics — their age, gender, ethnic background, education, income and more.
So, when creating marketing pieces for your company, you look at your avatar and use that information to help you create the best marketing that will connect with them. For example, if your marketing avatar is male, 45-years-old, and earns six figures a year as a busy executive, you’ll market to them very differently than you would if your avatar is a female, 65-years-old, retired and living on a pension.
It’s a powerful marketing strategy, but it’s also useful in recruiting.
Here’s why it works in recruiting
The most effective marketing for new customers is marketing that is focused on the avatar and speaks to their problems and needs. Yet, when contractors are recruiting (which, in reality, is just “marketing” for a new hire!) they fail to apply this same principle. Your recruiting will become more effective when you speak to the problems and needs of a specific “employee avatar.”
Rather than a generic recruiting message, like every other contractor might be using to hire the same old people, you can create an employee avatar that speaks directly to that person and connects with them to show them why your business is the best fit for them.
Put yourself in the shoes of a contractor looking for work. You want to work hard and you also love hunting and fishing on the weekends. Would you be more responsive to an ad that says, “We’re hiring — apply today” or “We’re hard-working contractors who love to hunt and fish. Apply today and we’ll make sure you get hunting season off”? Of course you’ll respond to the second one because it catches your attention, speaks to something you’re interested in, and aligns with your life.
How to create a recruiting avatar
Creating a recruiting avatar is the same as creating a marketing avatar. So, if you already have a marketing avatar, follow the same process. (And if you don’t have a marketing avatar — use this process to create a marketing avatar and take your marketing to the next level too!)
Start by figuring out who your ideal employee is. You might think of your best employees right now, or perhaps the combined best qualities of several employees. List out the following information:
- Demographic information, such as age, gender, etc. Please note to be sure to follow all hiring laws in terms of being inclusive.
- Work qualities, such as hard worker, ethical, etc.
- Experience — do you want someone with years of experience who can hit the ground running? Or, do you want someone who is brand new, who might accept a lower-paying job to start if they get a chance to learn from the ground up? You’ll create two very different recruiting ads to speak to each of these people.
- Hobbies and interests.
- Other factors that are important to you. For example, perhaps you prefer to hire veterans.
- Also: think about who will be a good fit with your existing team. Don’t just start hiring hunters if no one else on your team but you loves to hunt!
Apply your avatar to your recruiting
Once you have the information above, take a look at your recruiting ads and look at how you can dial some of that information into each ad. Adjust your headlines, the content of the ad, and even revisit the benefits and perks of the job to make sure it’s aligned to your avatar.
Last, post or publish these ads in a place where your avatar will see them. A local hunting magazine might be the perfect place to post your recruiting ad if you’re hiring people who love hunting.
Recruiting can be challenging work and sometimes you’ll wonder if the perfect employee is out there. But they are, you just need to find a better way to speak to them. Steal this marketing strategy of creating an avatar and do the same for your recruiting and it can change how you recruit and hire A-players.
Mike Agugliaro is the “Business Warrior” and founder of CEO Warrior, a business consulting and mentoring firm, providing tested and proven methods to defeat the roadblocks that prevent small to mid-sized businesses from achieving their ultimate success. He has played a key role in building Gold Medal Services’ success, as co-owner of the company. For more information about CEO Warrior, visit www.CEOWARRIOR.com.