Summer Sizzle: Keeping the Momentum

During the summer things tend to “slack off” a bit in recruiting. When the days are longer, children are out of school, and the weather is hot, we all lose our motivation to deliver 110%. We work fewer hours, take more vacations, and typically adopt that childlike, summer vacation attitude. This is not bad. We all need and should take time to relax and slow up the pace. Likewise, candidates are less motivated to dedicate the time to job search. They too take more vacations, are out more often in the evenings, are harder to reach, and are generally more hesitant to make a job switch until mid-September. Unfortunately, with today’s staffing needs we can’t afford to be less productive in the summer. Here are a few tips to keeping the recruiting momentum going during the summer, while still enjoying the best that the summer has to offer. Keep Recruiters Motivated Recruiters can still deliver 110% and take advantage of the summer. One way is by offering a more flexible work schedule. As long as there is coverage during the key business hours, offer the recruiters more scheduling flexibility than normal. Allow some to come in at 6 A.M. and work until 2 in the afternoon. Allow others to work from 3-10. Recruiting is a morning, afternoon and evening type of job, particularly when recruiting candidates across three time zones. Offering more flexibility allows the recruiters to get the job done and enjoy the aspects of summer that are most important to them. Energize Candidate Development It is always critical to keep the pipeline filled with great candidates. In the summer, we are most apt to let this part of the job slide. With a small pipeline, fall hiring will take a nosedive. Here are a few ways to build the pipeline while still having some fun.

  • Special Events: Evening open houses with cubed cheese, chips, salsa, beer, and wine will not draw a big crowd during the summer months. However, there are other fun events that will draw a crowd. Consider sponsoring a summer event for a local user group or several user groups. It could be a boat cruise, margarita night on the patio of a local Mexican restaurant, or a BBQ/softball game. This will attract a crowd, encourage mingling and socializing between current employees and potential candidates, and add goodwill to your support of local user groups. Technical employees are treated with a fun night out, recruiters have the opportunity to build candidate relationships, and a local non-profit technical group can offer its constituents a free social event. It’s a win, win, win situation.
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  • Referral Program Summer Blitz: Create an “August Heat Special” for your employee referral program. Offer additional non-monetary incentives for employees to refer candidates. There are lots of great gifts you can offer employees for making referrals. Make the hurdle low enough such that there can be more than one winner and one grand prize winner. Maybe the grand prize is a free week or long weekend at a resort. Supplement that with smaller prizes of online gift certificates, theater tickets, or a lobster bake for 10 people. Offer additional incentives if the candidate is hired before the Labor Day.

The summer offers many great opportunities for casual, social interaction?a perfect time make friends in a non-business environment and sell them on careers with your company. People participate in lots of summer leagues: softball, beach volleyball, golf, tennis… Encourage employees to recruit their “league” teammates or at least poll them for referrals. Recruit neighbors at the local block party. Encourage employees to recruit the parents of children’s little league teammates. Keeping the recruiting momentum going in the summer is a challenge for many companies. If you offer flexible work schedules, fun recruiting events, and a boost to your employee referral program, your employees will enjoy their summer and you will meet your recruiting objectives.

Karen Osofsky (karen.o@tiburongroup.com) is a co-founder of TiburonGroup.com, an e-recruiting consulting firm that provides outsourced recruiting solutions to rapidly growing companies and new ventures. The firm provides a broad range of recruiting consulting, sourcing, screening, and strategy development services to help companies manage the front-end recruiting process. Tiburon Group is a Certified AIRS Solutions Partner.

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