Successfully Recruiting on a Zero Recruiting Budget

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TSheets has been growing steadily at a rate of 100 percent, year over year. As a result of that, we’ve had to (scratch that, had the opportunity to) hire a ton of new employees–last I checked, about five every month.

“Woah,” you might be thinking, “You must have a huge recruiting budget.” But the truth is, we don’t. In fact, we don’t have one at all. That’s right, TSheets went from 1 to 100 (extremely talented) employees without spending much on recruiting.

How did we do it?

Our employees are referral machines.

We rely heavily on employee referrals when it comes time to fill a position–nearly every single person we currently have on staff was introduced to TSheets via referral. It’s always been my stance that birds of a feather flock together–and because we only hire the best (as indicated by our core value, “attract and develop the best”), it stands to reason that our employees would only ever refer the best to work alongside them.

That being said, we don’t offer any referral incentives, and we don’t have a referral program. Rather than a cash prize, the incentive here is to continue growing our awesome team with the highest quality people who have proven they have what it takes to propel our company forward.

And guess what? Our employees totally dig it!

In fact, they’ve become bonafide brand ambassadors.

Our staff is so incredibly passionate about TSheets that they’ve essentially transformed themselves into walking billboards that scream, “Come work for my company!” So when it comes time to advertise a job opening, we let our employees do it for us. We never use headhunters and we rarely post on career sites–we simply tell the staff we have an opening and watch their social channels explode with the information. They’re not required to post on the company’s behalf, they’re authentically excited to do it on their own.

And it’s thanks to our winning company culture.

A compelling corporate culture is a magnet for exceptional talent. Rather than pouring money into a recruiting budget, we’ve directed our focus to developing an irresistible culture that not only attracts top contenders, but holds on to them. And when you’ve got a group of individuals who are truly excited about their company and passionate about the work they’re doing, word travels. People see our enthusiasm and instantly know that they want to be a part of it.

But we don’t hire just anybody.

We have very strict and very high standards when it comes to selecting our next TSheets employee. No matter how desperate we are to fill an open seat, we’ll hold out until we find the person who is nothing short of perfect for the job and perfect for our company. The TSheets reputation is one of excellence (another core value of ours)–and we’ve seen an influx of high quality applications because of it.

It all (as everything does) comes back to our core values–which are a huge portion of our hiring process. At TSheets, we hire as much for culture as we do for skills and experience, and we believe in complete transparency. We want our new hires to know exactly what they’re getting themselves into, but we also don’t want to encounter any unexpected surprises later on down the road. As a result, our hiring process requires applicants to jump leap confidently through a lot of hoops–which can require patience on both ends. But the outcome is more than worth the effort.

Finally, we never stop recruiting.

In fact, we have a saying around here: “Always be recruiting.” That doesn’t necessarily mean that we pitch job openings to every qualified person we meet, it’s simply a reminder to our team that we need to sell our company (our mission, our culture and our brand) to prospective employees just as seriously as we sell our product to our customers. That means spreading our influence, promoting our culture, and conveying that sense of passion at every opportunity.

If you build it, they will come. And you won’t have to spend a single cent to find them.

And, yes, we’re hiring!

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1 Comment

  1. […] In his book, “Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big,” journalist and Inc. editor-at-large, Bo Burlingame, discovered growth and profit should not be a business’ only measures of success or recruiting appeal. Instead, a thriving, value-driven culture creates happy employees who, in turn, become the business’ most powerful recruiters. […]

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