Recruiting talent in a competitive era

TDS Telecom is one of the fastest growing telecommunication companies in the United States, hiring about 1,000 employees from inside and outside of the company every year. Have you ever wondered what the company does to both recruit and retain this talent? Below are some the key techniques the company uses to attract quality candidates, as told by the manager of Talent Acquisition and Retention, Lauren Lins.

According to Lauren, leveraging job sites is extremely important. TDS’ number one source of hires are external job boards, and the company partners with around five of these companies—including Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn. While these relationships help contribute to an influx of great talent, Lauren explained that a lot more goes into hiring quality candidates than simply posting a job on a job site and waiting for a response.

“In September, the unemployment rate hit a national average of 3.5 percent,” Lauren said. “This is a 50-year low and means that we’re dealing with a full employment economy right now.”

Lauren acknowledged that while this is fantastic news for the U.S. workforce as a whole, it makes the job of talent acquisition specialists a bit more complicated. Today, candidates have more options to choose from, and, while past recruiters may have been able to post an opening on a job site and wait for a response, the “post and pray” method simply doesn’t work anymore. The talent recruiting process has a huge marketing emphasis now, and the team proactively goes out and engages with people that might not otherwise be looking for employment. This proactive approach is especially important for growing companies expanding to new markets.

“Beyond the relationships we have with those job site companies, the position and market are important things to consider,” Lauren said. “When we recently expanded to Stevens Point, Wisconsin, and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, the communities didn’t necessarily have TDS brand recognition. So, in conjunction with what our marketing team was doing, we tried some different advertising techniques to get our name out. What we found was that print advertising was really effective in one of the communities, while digital marketing allowed us to attract candidates in the other.”

While online jobs sites and proactive sourcing are important tools for attracting new employees, word of mouth is still very effective. According to Lauren, employee referrals account for the second most TDS hires. This is in large part due to the company’s Clicky Cash Program, which provides employees with the opportunity to earn bonuses for referring employees to eligible jobs.

As important as attracting quality candidates is, the process is quite useless if a company can’t retain employees. One of the most common questions Lauren and other hiring managers get from interviewees is “what’s the culture like?” Candidates want to know if the culture of the company jives with them and what they’re looking for. They often value a sense of trust between co-workers and leadership—more than money.

Luckily, Lauren believes TDS has an incredibly inclusive culture. The company’s Employee Resource Groups, created and run by employees, foster an inclusive and accepting workforce. The company was also recently named to Forbes’ list of the best employers for diversity in 2019. These are just two of the many ways TDS Telecom strives to “plant the seeds of inclusion.”

To become a part of the TDS family, check out job openings on the company’s careers page.

Guest Blogger: Garrett Seymour

About Guest Blogger

Guest bloggers for the TDS Business Blog.
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