In the first half of 2018, SME entrepreneurs in North Karelia, Finland, had the chance to participate in six recruitment trainings organized by the SMErec project. The topics of the training sessions included applicant attraction and selection, employee orientation and engagement as well as internal recruitment. In addition, the participants gained some practical advice on how to take advantage of 360 videos and LinkedIn when recruiting.
The trainers were Principal Lecturer Arja-Irene Tiainen and Lecturer Anssi Gröhn from the Karelia University of Applied Sciences, Leena Friman from Tamora Ltd, as well as social media recruitment expert Tom Laine. Local SME representatives were invited to each training session to share their own recruitment practices and experiences.
In this blog post, you can find a brief overview of the trainings. Which topics were the most interesting for the trainers and participants?
The role of employer image in getting good applicants
The employer image is crucial to successful recruiting. For example, recruiting methods, how the employer treats the employees, communication, and corporate values have an effect on the employer image.
An excellent example of a company which has been able to create a good employer image is Puhdas Ilo Ltd. The company operates in the field of cleaning in North Karelia. Managing Director Suvi Toivola and her partner have consistently utilized creative ideas in marketing and recruiting. A good employer image has contributed to the fact that there are enough good applicants to any open position in their company.
According to Toivola, a company has to pay attention to the company culture in order to get good applicants. Puhdas Ilo Ltd values the work-life balance of their employees: well-being is important and the employment must be a win-win situation for both.
Proactive recruiting accelerates the process
When it is time to select a new employee from a number of applicants, you can use, for example, video interviews, pre-employment tests, and personality tests. In the interview phase, the best way to compare applicants is to use structured interviews. That way you can plan the most important questions in advance and ask the same questions from all applicants.
SMEs often look for alternatives to a slow and expensive recruitment process. It is always a good idea to make use of networks and not to forget about good trainees and summer workers.
One way to accelerate the recruitment process is proactive recruitment, which is used for example at Lemonsoft Ltd. According to Mari Erkkilä, Vice President, Finance and Human Resources, the goal is to receive so many open applications that people can be interviewed in advance.
Interactive employee orientation benefits both employee and employer
The employee orientation and engagement affect the well-being and effectiveness at work. At its best, orientation is interacting. The employer should encourage the new employee to tell of his/her observations at the beginning of the employment. Old employees can learn a lot from a newcomer. Miia Surakka appreciates the fresh eyes of new employees. She is responsible for the marketing and partnerships of atFlow in Joensuu. The company has doubled its number of employees over the last couple of years and currently employs 25 people. The orientation process has been greatly refined since the beginning.
According to Surakka, the employee orientation process has been carefully planned. Particularly in the early stages of employment, new and old employees work a lot together. Everybody encourages the new employees to ask questions if they are uncertain. On the other hand, the newcomers also get responsibility from the very beginning.
Internal recruitment saves money
Recruiting is expensive. It costs time, effort and money. Before starting an external recruitment process, you should take a minute and think about the best solution. For example, does the right person for the open vacancy already work for the company?
Internal recruitments save money and they are also a good way to increase employee commitment. If your employees have growth opportunities, they are not likely to seek new jobs as easily.
The guest speaker of the training session was Veli-Pekka Leppänen, Managing Director of Nanocomp, which operates in the field of micro and nanophotonics. According to Leppänen, one of the biggest challenges of the company is to find specialists who are willing to move to North Karelia, which is a sparsely populated area in eastern Finland. In a job interview, Leppänen pays special attention to the values of the applicant.
Stand out using new technology
In a down-to-earth video workshop, participants learned about 360 videos and virtual reality. They tested how to film 360 videos, how to edit them, and how to publish the videos in social media. The equipment for 360 videos is inexpensive, and new technology makes it possible to stand out from the crowd.
When recruiting and introducing your own organization, you can use 360 videos to attract attention and interest. Information overload is a big challenge for people. By using new technology, you might leave a more permanent memory trace. 360 videos work particularly well in group interviews.
With the help of 360 videos you can virtually introduce different places to applicants. It is also possible to take advantage of virtual pre-employment tests. Virtual travel is cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
LinkedIn in recruitment
The topic of the last training was social media service LinkedIn. Trainer Tom Laine introduced several possibilities to utilize LinkedIn in recruitment for free. You can, for example, make use of keywords, free status updates and LinkedIn groups.
You should not underestimate the power of internal referrals. It is always better, if the employees share the recruitment updates in their own social network. That way the updates spread wider and the message is more credible.
In LinkedIn you can also pay to advertise a job. One good possibility is to use the Jobs section. The average price for recruiting advertisements is less than EUR 300. It is possible to determine yourself, how much money you want to invest in the advertisement. LinkedIn will tell you how much visibility you will get.