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Recruiting made easy Featured

6:09am EDT July 19, 2002

Building a strong work force isn't easy. But if you make it part of your overall business plan, you'll have a better chance of success.

"Recruiting well means a higher likelihood of retention," says Daniel Serbin, vice president of human resources at Parker Hannifin Corp. in Cleveland. And as successful businesses understand, employee retention affects the bottom line and competitive strength.

To bring in the best of the best graduates, Parker invests in universities such as Purdue and Cleveland State. It provides corporate donations for labs, which enhances name recognition at the collegiate level and sparks students' interest in working for the company after graduation. But Parker takes it one step further.

It has developed a formal training program, and Serbin says presenting that to prospects enforces the notion that Parker is serious about the careers of college recruits.

Parker takes other steps to make college recruiting successful for students and for the company, such as conducting annual salary surveys. Packages offered to incoming recruits are comparable to those from other major corporations, so money is not a deterrent for top candidates. Also, bringing upper level management into recruiting sessions conveys that the company places value on the process.

Serbin offers several other ideas that business owners can implement:

  • Include hiring needs in the annual plan and stick to commitments made.

  • Maintain a file of current, accurate job descriptions and update it periodically.

  • Take steps to keep your company visible in your sphere of influence.

  • Give your company recruiters the authority to make offers quickly and negotiate signing bonuses. Be prepared to make same-day decisions.

  • Post openings on the Internet and link them to corporate Web pages.

  • Train your company's staff in mentoring and assign staff members to new hires.

  • Communicate that hiring the best people is the responsibility of everyone in the company.

  • Benchmark and monitor your company's competitiveness against the best companies in the area.

  • Offer referral incentives to employees.


By developing a close relationship with several schools, bonding with students and faculty and donating time and money, a company can improve its recruiting process and long-term retention. As Serbin says, being highly visible will help your company become the company of choice for people with the right fit. How to reach: Parker Hannifin Corp. (216) 896-3000

Deborah Garofalo (dgarofalo@sbnnet.com) is associate editor at SBN Magazine.