Drink Like a Lady Podcast

Non-Traditional Ways of Finding and Keeping Employees in This Job Market with Amanda Bedell

February 22, 2022 Joya Dass/Amanda Bedell
Drink Like a Lady Podcast
Non-Traditional Ways of Finding and Keeping Employees in This Job Market with Amanda Bedell
Show Notes Transcript

Are you having a hard time finding talent? Keeping talent? In this workshop, Amanda Bedell shares non traditional places you aren't looking.

In response to your queries on hiring challenges, we bring in a strategist on the NON-TRADITIONAL places and ways to find and keep employees in this job market. Business Growth Strategist Amanda Bedell of BCC Business Consulting will share resources such as

  • Local Worksource
  • Success stories from clients who have used untraditional hiring methods.
  • How and where to start to employ from these employment pools.
Joya Dass:

All right. Week after week, I listened to all of you. Talk about your challenges with hiring. So in that spirit, I had the fortune of meeting Amanda Bedel, a couple of weeks ago, and she has a couple of resources for you today on nontraditional places that you may not be looking at to find some quality hires. Amanda, by title is the owner of BCC business consulting. She's also the lead business. And this is actually a talk that she's given a couple of times and had a couple of different business groups. And so we're happy to have her here today. Amanda. Welcome. Thank you.

Amanda Bedel:

Thank you for having me all.

Joya Dass:

Amanda, just really quickly, as people are still joining, give us a broad sense of what the hiring environment is right now. I have a sneaking suspicion. Everybody here knows, but I would love to hear your perspective.

Amanda Bedel:

Yeah, I did look over the roster of the people that were joining today. And I can imagine that you all are facing hiring shortages. I see it as something that was fairly similar to what I dealt with in 2017. Bakery setting. And so this is a micro example of what happened then, and that's where in 2017, Seattle had its minimum wage increased from $9 an hour to $15. And even though they had built in and the law, a runway for small businesses to get up to that. And we were as a bakery employing people at the starting wage of $17 an hour, we had our employment pool completely dry up. So that's why I start, why I do this talk for people is because I've kind of a little bit been there even though it's a little different and it's way bigger. The way that we have gone about finding employees might be a little outdated now, and it's very organizational centric versus relationship driven.

Joya Dass:

I'm going to share the screen of the six tips that you've shared with me and we're off to the races.

Amanda Bedel:

Right on. Do you want me to just go ahead and get started at the top? All right. So I'm going to go ahead. I'll start with asking for referrals. So this works in some companies and in others, I get the, oh, I don't want to do that. Maybe that's stepping on people's toes or what have you, but let me tell you what I really mean by it. It's a workplace environment question and how you're creating ambassadors among the people that already work for you. I call it succeeding from the inside out. So in that it's a where and how. Let me start with a baseline. So the baseline is that, is this as long as your employees have their basic needs met. And that means that they have food on the table. They can provide for their families. They've got a roof over their head and clothing. There are two major things that people are looking for in their workplaces, and that is a place where they can be respected and an opportunity to learn. And let me provide an example of that. At the bakery business, I took the elephant out of the room in my onboarding session. I told them that I know you're not going to be with me forever, but what I wanted to know is the human part of them. And what are some, what I was looking for is what are some ways that we can ensure that their work with me was a success for them. So I wanted to know their professional goals, but I also wanted to know about the person, the human goal of why they're doing this work. And so I like to share an example of a financial, I hired a financial coach for a number of my employees that came in. So I had this 18 year old. She was homeless. She was living out of her car with her under one year old baby and their partner. What she said to me, when I asked what do, what are your goals from this employment? It was to get an apartment before her baby turned one. And that spurred an idea. Wow. I think a lot of my employees struggle with financial management. And then you think from the company's side, how much does it cost for me to bring in a financial coach and help people manage their money? I share this example because I think it does transcend the bakery. It can be for a bigger company. We all, even in my career, I felt like I was living paycheck to paycheck, even though I made a lot more. So knowing the cashflow and where people are going and then creating kind of those KPIs behind a program like this, does it help your turnover make sure that it helps the turnover make sure that it is creating that ambassadorship within. Within your workplace environment.

Joya Dass:

So the next point when I'm a big fan of scripts. So if people were asking a colleague or someone that you respect for a referral of somebody that you would like to hire, what are some scripts around how you make that ask?

Amanda Bedel:

Oh scripts. Okay. The scripts on how to ask people within your own network on who they would. Okay. So I was getting all, gorilla on you with thinking about your stay interviews, how you're staying connected with people, but then also the exit strategy is, and monitoring your glass door. And the sourcing through social media would be the next example. But when you're looking at your network and asking people what they want to see or who you need, I think it's really important to talk about what your superstar Custer, what your superstar employee looks like. So transitioning your words from, I need this and this to I'm looking for a veteran in this industry or someone who has this kind of experience.

Joya Dass:

So should I language, why is that slight determination in link linguistics, so important looking for versus I need?

Amanda Bedel:

I think it's all about starting that relationship and showing that you're an employee first place to work that you're going to be taking care of the referral. That's the people we'll be offending your way. I think that's really important to think about.

Joya Dass:

Sorry, you were moving on to social media.

Amanda Bedel:

Yeah. So I'll move to the next point and unless anyone has an eight question. We'll take questions at the end. Okay. Great. Social media. So sourcing through social media is just like in marketing, where we're needing to go niche and our outreach to finding our superstar customers or clients. Think about that in terms of finding employees too. So going beyond LinkedIn there's grit hub for developers or crop for creatives, and then in the restaurant industry, I had poached, there are many, many others that you can Google search, but then also within traditional Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, I think this is a really great opportunity for businesses that are looking for scale employees. You're looking for a specific talent set that you start really building a relationship. And an example I'd like to share here is an extreme example of when Zuckerberg was courting Sheryl Sandberg, but I listened to an interview on masters of scale podcast by Reid Hoffman. And the two of them were talking about Cheryl's experience through that process. And Zuckerberg was essentially taking her away from her Google job. So this kind of same thing can happen and it leads into the next one, which is creating your own pipeline. And in creating your own pipeline, I'm talking about maybe there's holding a competition or you think of hackathons or startup weekend competitions. Maybe if you're not creating these, you're attending them and looking for talent, just know that those kinds of resources are out there. And it's a great place to start a relationship for people who have those kinds of skills that you want. The other point in the creating your own pipeline is I worked with a HVAC company a couple of years ago. I mean in the trades, they've been experiencing this decline in employment pool much longer than the majority of us. Right? So what we created for them was a recruitment strategy within the high school system and the community college job fairs and created a robust apprenticeship program. Apprenticeship program also connects to that beginning point where we create ambassadors within the workplace environment that we have people a part of to make sure people feel good.

Joya Dass:

Can you talk a little bit more about that system that you put in place? Because I think for someone like Sonali, who's got a team that's already reporting into her, Shreya who's already got a team reporting into her. How do they very quickly fashion a similar system without taking away from their day to day responsibilities?

Amanda Bedel:

System in like an apprenticeship or pipeline?

Joya Dass:

Like the one that you just referred to.

Amanda Bedel:

Yeah. So I think what I would find out is where do people start finding out about the careers that you need filled? Is it at a higher college level or is it in high school? Determine that part first and then figure out, how will we want to build up the recruiting.

Joya Dass:

But then how do you like someone the other day we were like, why don't you go to Rutgers, which is local to your area and how, why don't you start poaching talent from there? She's like, how do I even approach who do I approach at Rutgers? So when you're entering a school system, who's the point of contact that you should go to first?

Amanda Bedel:

The jobs fair people and then the career development, or if you have, if you're in a specific industry, like you're in tech, ask to be a guest speaker in one of the classes and talk about the real day-to-day job opportunities that are involved in your work. So I would go to the university of Washington and be a guest speaker in publicity and told the students about what publicity was like in the real world. And then from there I would get internship requests and cultivate those relationships with people exiting their college career and into the workplace.

Joya Dass:

One followup question. How do you vet somebody? Now that you've got this candidate who is very eager to want to work with you. Shreya just went through this where she had someone, she had mentored them, cultivated them. They spent one hot minute in New York city decided in New York was not for them, even though she paid for money for this person to move west here and was like, "I'm out." So, how do you vet that person better to make sure that you're not absorbing that kind of opportunity costs on the back end?

Amanda Bedel:

Yeah, the way that I would go about it is to ask a few more deeper questions about the specific job, but in a general form, moving someone from one location to another is also is already innately risky. And especially a place like New York city. There's a certain type of people that handle that kind of move. I wonder if there is a, in this might've already happened that there was like a trial period where you can try it on and be there for like a week, try it out. But yeah, I would back that into your employment costs and from a tracking perspective, just thinking about them when you're bringing on a new person, that's a part of your costs in doing that. And you have loss there as well. So you accommodate for loss. And then it also means that when you do get someone there, how do we keep them happy? So that kind of leads into how do we keep turnover low? That will be even more important for someone like you that takes so much energy time and money to move someone across the country and put them in a new place. So, happiness afterwards.

Joya Dass:

I think your next suggestion is really interesting, fair chance and second chance employment. I'm pretty sure that not everyone here has probably considered that, but what does that mean and how do you even initiate that process?

Amanda Bedel:

Yeah, the first chance, second chance employment opportunities is a passion point of mine because in the bakery example that I shared with you earlier, we ran out of applicants. We didn't have any, but I had a lens of in my career, I worked with Goodwill for a short period of time. So I understood re-entry a little bit. So, it's not like I pulled this out of nowhere. I did have a little bit of a tie. So I talked to a case manager that I knew back then that worked with doc, the department of corrections and learned so much about in the lives of people inside the correctional facilities and that they have access to a lot of employment opportunities or skills to learn while they're in side. So for me, I learned that there was a bread making class and that people ended up creating bread for the entire facility. And so when they exited, they needed jobs in that area. It does, transfer just when we're going to start talking about fair chance, second chance and disability people. And I want you to open up your lens of traditional applicants. Just like traditional applicants, people with disabilities or re-entry span and their talents in many ways. And when you're thinking about bringing in a fair chance or second chance employment person into your workplace, think about what are the barriers to the employment opportunity? Do you have screenings and such, and do you need screenings for this employment pool? Is it necessary? So if you have a daycare center or you're working with teens and kids or something like that would not be something that we would, but that would be an avenue that we wouldn't go down. But we might look at disability related or the next point is I'm working with local resource.

Joya Dass:

And so before we get to that though, how does one, like how would Sonali or how would somebody here engage their local case manager to be able to say, what is your pool of applicants and what can I, how can I take a look at it?

Amanda Bedel:

Yeah. Every doc department of corrections has an employment specialist and they are going to be the eyes and ears of the people that are going to be up for re-entry and the skills that are available within that. I do know as well that the doc connects with WorkSource, which has the next point, and they too might be the one-stop shop for you. But the point of the whole thing that I'm hoping that the point that I'm hoping that you'll take away from the first chance, second chance opportunity is that determine whether or not there is a need for a barrier in the work that you do. And if there isn't, can you strip it away? And I know we're running short on time but, I did get traditional employees that I had in the bakery setting, where there was some pushback. When I initiated this firsthand second chance employment opportunities, they were worried, they were scared. And. I have to tell you that once we broke through that and got the first person in, that was stripped away, no one was worried when there was a human being in the mix. It's the stories we tell ourselves and the cool thing, and this ties into work source and the FA, fair chance second chance employment is that all these people come with case managers. So when you do traditional employment, you're taking a big risk in bringing someone on, but when you bring them on through these means they come with someone that's working on both sides, making it a win-win for the employee and the employer there. They're holding their hands through the process of getting to work. Sometimes they even drive them to work. They ask questions and are a buffer between the boss and the person. So it's a really interesting thing to think about. Partnering with work source to work source is for adults that are dislocated. So they might be dislocated workers there. They have employment gaps, they're veterans, they're homeless and they're at re-entry people. So it's not all people who are just reentry homeless, or they have various reasons for needing just an extra hand in getting into the right. And then the last thing is how do you find opportunities near you? And that's where I'd also like you to think about Googling partner with disability or disability related advocacy program. So partner with those kinds of organizations that also have a tie directly into people with disabilities and disabilities varies in many ways. So it might be that someone has a hearing or sight or that they might have a brain injury, and accommodations can be met. So that on the business owner's side, take a look at the requirements of your job and what kind of accommodations can be made. And would you have the opportunity to hire someone with a disability? The other quick little point on the disability side is too, that these people prefer to work in a place where it's a part-time opportunity. There might be. Some of them are very smart. Some of them are front facing. Some of them are not, so that varies, but they want to not lose their benefits. There's a window there where you can have less hours and maybe we don't want to pay less based on, having a disability related person.

Joya Dass:

Amanda, in closing, what would you like to share with this group?

Amanda Bedel:

You all have been really great. Thank you for all of the questions and engagement throughout this. I am available to help in any way possible. So I do have a free breakthrough session. It's a 90 minute profit breakthrough session that helps first through any kind of. Problems that you face in your business. So we dive into the five areas of business, which include lead generations, conversions, transactions, pricing, and profits. And profits is where we focused in on today. Then that's all the employee section of your work.

Joya Dass:

Thank you so much for sharing all of the great counsel that you share today. I'll be sure to share your email and resources that you want to pass on to this group today. Thank you. Thank you. Bye everyone. Bye.