3 min read

Growing Your Pipeline of Entry-Level Workers

Growing Your Pipeline of Entry-Level Workers

As an organizational leader, you may wish that you could figure out your recruitment challenges once-and-for-all, and then move on to other future-focused leadership issues.

If your organization relies on human beings, the reality is that you will always be attending to the employee lifecycle. There isn’t a once-and-done solution to staffing; it’s an ongoing effort to develop a continuous flow of potential employees. Successful companies that employ a large proportion of entry-level employees recognize that there will be continual churn, so they focus on increasing the level of engagement by valuing their employees before, during, and after their employment. These organizations train and equip their entry-level employees for future success (even knowing they may transition within a year). Engaged workers, past and present, generate in-person and online energy that will increase visibility and referrals.

This article focuses on issues particular to finding and hiring entry-level employees. In a previous article, we looked at attracting and retaining top talent.

In recruiting entry-level employees, you need to understand the pool of potential workers in your footprint. Work on building visibility and connections in your local community, so you will be a top-of-mind organization for potential employees. Then be proactive in building your potential workforce by addressing barriers they face.

Be Visible

Does your community know where your organization is located? Does your community know you have viable jobs for hire? People who drive by your workspace may have heard of your organization, but they may not know how to connect with you personally or professionally. Visibility is important for many facets of your organization, including recruiting and fundraising. Become known in your community for your positive impact, even for people who may never access your services or products.

Here are a few ideas to boost your local visibility:

  • Leverage your social media feeds to regularly highlight local activities—tagging relevant locations, affinity groups, or services you provide.
  • Host periodic open houses to invite people in so they can see what your organization does. Highlight current staff and feature their contributions. The purpose of an open house goes beyond staff recruiting, but be sure to include a recruiting component anytime you are inviting people to see your ministry in action.
  • When you are honoring staff for accomplishments or longevity, let the local media know. Often this kind of human-interest story will get space in smaller media outlets, particularly if the press release is well-crafted and easy for them to plug into their online portal.

Build Your Workforce

Since you will always need a flow of potential entry-level workers, consider ways to build your current and future workforce to keep a ready pool of candidates.

Start with a fresh analysis of the actual skills someone needs to do the job. Job descriptions become stale after several years. Be sure to analyze your needs and the job requirements carefully for an accurate portrayal of the job requirements.

Be creative in reducing barriers to employment that might exist in your community. Consider partnering with a community organization, school, or local government agency that offers job-readiness training. Work together with several partners to provide resume-writing workshops or basic skills training. As you identify the skills you need, offer short workshops that address the most-needed entry-level skills. The essential skills for entry-level workers can include hard skills such as the use of particular computer software, or soft skills such as time management and customer focus.

Highlight your commitment to training and developing entry-level workers. An organization that offers a healthy workplace culture and growth paths for entry-level workers will be attractive to potential employees. Help people who want to enter or re-enter the workforce feel valued for their contribution and future possibilities. Feature areas from your Employee Engagement Survey where you excel in providing a great environment for entry-level workers, such as high scores on growth opportunities or caring supervisors.

Think through logistics that might be impeding people from applying for your open positions. Does your work start time complement local school drop-off times? Is your location convenient for public transportation routes? If transit service is infrequent, can you flex your start times for those dependent on a bus schedule? Are you more likely to be able to fill part-time jobs or full-time jobs? Be open to different ways of getting the essential work done, as you understand the particular demographics of your local pool of workers.

Consider the most effective places to post your entry-level openings. The worker you are trying to hire might not be on LinkedIn but might be active online. Snagajob is an online portal used for entry-level jobs. Use electronic job boards and job fairs at local schools, community colleges, and community centers. Reach out to older workers who might be interested in flexible part-time work that aligns with their desire for vision and purpose in their lives.

Maintain relationships with past employees. Stay connected with top-notch employees who have moved on from your organization. Check back with them after a year to see if they have any interest in returning because they miss the mission, values, or workplace culture in your organization.

Be Persistent

A thriving organization that is able to hire and retain entry-level employees will still need more staff in the future. Current staff may move into more skilled roles as they grow and develop, and there is natural turnover in any employee segment. So even organizations with flourishing workplace cultures will need to keep on attracting and developing entry-level workers. Organizational growth also creates the need for more staff.

Keep on creating visibility in your community and building your future workforce. This continued focus can fuel future growth and help you find the next generation of entry-level workers for your ministry.



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