Dealers’ Domain

Question: What is the most unique way that you have gone about hiring an employee?

Well, it was “quarter beer” night at a favorite after-work spot, and there was a new face at the table. After some conversation and several follow-up interviews over the next several months, I married her. That was 25 years ago; she still has the job.
— Roger Zerkle, owner
Flat Rock, Ill.
In this “economy,” you would think posting a job would draw a lot of responses. I posted a job looking for a parts manager on Over 1,500 people looked at the ad; three mortgage brokers sent resumes. With over 24,000 people per month applying for unemployment, I posted the job online with the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training. They even put my ad on the morning news. I received three calls. Next, I tried and received about 30 resumes. Out of that, I set up 10 interviews, and only seven applicants showed up. I did end up finding someone, but all that seems to have happened is the unemployable have worked long enough to get more benefits. I think if everybody would turn off the news and stop reading the newspapers, the “recession” would fade at the working man’s level. As far as the stock market goes, I feel it’s time the hogs get slaughtered so we can have a recovery that will benefit the working man.
— Matt Borden, vice president
Ed & Matt Equipment
Greenville, R.I.

I had two guys apply, could only hire one, and liked them both. So, I had them go head to head on different areas of repair, and whoever won out, got the job. Wish I could have hired them both. The other one went on to another shop and did a good job for them.
— Tony Nation
Nation’s Small Engine’s Inc.
Hot Springs, Ark.

I have listened to all the experts at all the seminars, and most of those ideas don’t work in our industry. My local newspaper is expensive and covers a large area, so I try to advertise locally. I use the local shopper papers, grocery store bulletin boards and word of mouth. When my local technical school had a small-engine program, I hired a few students who eventually worked into full time after graduation. The method to get the most bodies in the door was a sign outside of my business. The people who filled out applications were local and knew what type of business we operated. Few ideas for ads are to list the type of business, business name, address and benefits, but not the phone number. Listing a phone number will just get phone calls on how much do you pay. That all said, in my area, the quality of applicants is very poor. High-school and even college graduates have very little work ethic. It is one of the most discouraging aspects of doing business.  
— Rob Leiser
Leiser’s Sales & Rental
Easton, Pa.  

The only “unique” method I’ve developed is: When you run an ad in the help wanted section, you ask them to mail you a resume [and don’t put your phone # in the ad]. That way, you don’t tie up the phone and waste time talking to unqualified people.
— Dean Davis
Dogwood Inc.
Carbondale, Ill.

After having paid for advertisements in every kind of newspaper available and putting our name with the state employment department without much success, we finally put a computer-generated  sign on our front window that said mechanic/driver needed and we got a few bites…one of which has been with us now for five years.
— Joanne Klee, secretary/treasurer
Jim’s Lawn Equipment, Inc.
Cheektowaga, N.Y.

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