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Business Observer Friday, Aug. 21, 2015 6 years ago

How To ... Recruit an all-star employee

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A LexJet employee went to hhgregg a few years ago to buy a washer and dryer.
by: Mark Gordon Managing Editor

A LexJet employee went to hhgregg a few years ago to buy a washer and dryer.

He left with something better: a future colleague.

Turns out the electronics store salesman impressed the potential customer with his cheery disposition and sharp knowledge. So the current LexJet employee referred the salesman to the graphics and digital printing company for a job. Now the onetime hhgregg salesman is another successful hire at LexJet, one of five subsidiaries at Sarasota-based S-One Holding Corp. S-One, with about 170 employees, had $144.7 million in sales last year.

That kind of referral, says the top recruiter and hiring manager at S-One, Kim Yochum, is a major reason why and how the company gets so many good employees. Yochum estimates at least half the S-One payroll has come from employee referrals.

For other positions, Yochum's method of recruiting an all-star is twofold. One, she makes sure people know about LexJet's strengths, from its top-place-to-work awards to the open, high-tech offices.

Yochum also says it's imperative to inform a job candidate about the company's culture. At S-One, that's making sure people know it's fast-paced and entrepreneurial, with an emphasis on teamwork. Transparency like that, says Yochum, sets up recruits to succeed and possibly become an all-star. Says Yochum: “It's a frank conversation that this how we do business.”

Yochum's advice for others who seek top employees is to start internally and create a company culture people crave. Then sell it, from employees in the community to social media. “I'm basically a salesperson here,” Yochum says. “But I sell this place, not a product or a service.”

— Mark Gordon

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