Good Help Hard to Find?

Take your search into the 21st century.

By Lana Straub

Ask any groundwater professional the biggest hurdle they face in the industry and most will say—Finding good, competent help.

Most drilling companies aren’t raising their employees anymore. This is because people aren’t having as many children and some children don’t want to work in the family business.

When it’s time to find that next employee or two, many of us still use newspaper wanted sections and post Help Wanted signs to scour the area for workers. But what if the local employee well has run dry? What methods are you going to use to find employees here in the 21st century?

There are many online services out there to help find employees. You’ve probably seen several of them advertise on television: Monster.com, ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder, Dice.com, Indeed, Glassdoor, Google for Jobs, Idealist, and LinkedIn.com, just to name a few.

We were recently trying to fill some openings in our company, so I tried some to see if they would fit our needs. One service stood out among the rest for affordability, ease of use, and overall results—Indeed.

Indeed has also topped the list in an article on the Top Ten Best Job Websites. It has several features making it easy for firms to find quality employees. You can sponsor your ad if you want to get the maximum number of applicants, but the best part is we got quite a few applicants for free.

Keep reading and I’ll walk you through some of Indeed’s best features.

Indeed Dashboard

When you first log in to Indeed, you are greeted by your employer dashboard. In the Overview tab of the dashboard you find candidates waiting for your review. You will also find any activity between you and potential candidates within the past few weeks. Any upcoming scheduled interviews will be here too.

You will also find a sidebar listing your current open jobs and all of your candidates, showing where they are in the hiring process, everything from awaiting review to interview to rejected or hired.

The dashboard also includes top tabs that take you straight to your job listings and candidates. There you can filter through your candidates by job, applicant status in the hiring process, and by location. You can also sort by interest level—be it a yes, maybe, or unread.

Posting a Job

On the Jobs tab of the dashboard you will find a link to any active jobs you currently have with Indeed. You can see when the job was posted, how many active candidates you have, what you have spent on the listing (if you choose to sponsor the job, otherwise it’s free), and if the job is still open.

Creating a job is simple. You click “Post a Job” and go to a page asking you the job title, company name, and location. You also add basic job details, whether it is full-time or part-time, the salary, and the number of people you want to hire for the position.

NGWA Career Center Works to Connect Those in Groundwater Industry
Another source for groundwater professionals is the NGWA Career Center at http://careers.ngwa.org, where job seekers can post their resume, view jobs, create a personal job alert, and set up a job seeker account and access it.  The NGWA Career Center has been enhanced with new features to help connect members with new employment opportunities.

Employers and recruiters now have access to your specialized niche. Among other things, employers and recruiters can view resumes, post jobs, and create an employer account and access it.

Next you are asked whether you would like to receive applications via email or in person and whether the applicant needs a resume. You then provide a more detailed job description.

The section that follows is a series of questions you can customize for your specific job. These questions can be “required” and the program will automatically weed out those applicants who don’t meet the basics of such questions. Samples are candidates unwilling to submit to a background check or those without a driver’s license.

You can also ask additional questions under the headings of Experience, License, and Language that might be more specific to the type of candidate you need. These questions can also be made required or preferred, allowing the program to list only those meeting your job requirements.

Curious what it looks like? Go to our job posting for a drilling technician here. From this simple posting, we received more than 90 applicants in one month.

Reviewing Candidates

Once you’ve had potential employees apply for your job, Indeed gives you the option of rating each one as a Yes, Maybe, or Reject. If you mark a candidate as a Yes or a Maybe, you can do several things. You can send them a message where you ask additional screening questions, you can forward the candidate to someone else in your office for review, or you can schedule the candidate for an interview.

Indeed also offers you the option of sending the applicant a screening test that takes about 10 minutes to complete. The site has two options that could fit a possible drilling hand, a commercial driver assessment, and one for a maintenance technician. I chose the maintenance technician test because I think it’s often important to know how skilled an employee is at simple maintenance tasks.

Setting Up an Interview

When you are ready for an interview, Indeed makes contacting potential employees extremely easy. As you review each candidate, you are given the option to schedule an interview. When you use this option, you can courtesy copy anyone else in your office who might be an interviewer.

You can also give the candidate the option of suggesting times that are convenient for them. This method was successful for us. It also automatically syncs with your Outlook calendar and tells you immediately if you have a conflict.

Setting Up Your Career Page

If you have multiple jobs you’d like to advertise, or if you would just like to give your listings a little more refined look, Indeed has a Career Page you can use for free.

“Once you publish your Career Page,” states the Indeed setup instructions, “all jobs posted on Indeed will be automatically listed. Then you can share the link directly with social networks or email.”

The Career portal gives you a professional page to share. Look at Straub Corporation’s Career page right here.

There is one thing you need to remember, though. If you list more than one job at a time, Indeed requires the second and subsequent jobs be “sponsored”—meaning potential employees see your job posting over others, but it also means your job search is no longer free. You’ll be asked to set a budget on your job search by either agreeing to spend a certain dollar amount per day or a certain dollar amount per click with a maximum budget.

Expanding Your Job Pool

The Internet has made finding employees easier than ever. Websites like Indeed make it easy to step out of your comfort zone and try new and innovative hiring practices. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box.

Programs like Indeed allow you to hire employees outside your neighborhood—and even outside your state. Coupled with online video chat programs like Skype, Google Hangouts, and WhatsApp, your business can expand its applicant search across the country with a few easy clicks of a button . . . hopefully opening doors to talent never before available to you.

Happy hunting!


Lana Straub, with a background in the legal and financial aspects of small business, is the office manager of Straub Corp., Stanton, Texas, an environmental and water well drilling firm owned and operated by her family for 60 years. She can be reached at Lana@StraubCorporation.com.

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