Welcome to our five-part series in strategies for finding technicians. Today’s solution involves buying into the continuous nature of true recruiting.

In the residential home services industry, people tend to think of recruiting in a narrow way, as in single advertisements or campaigns or a post on a jobs website when the need is there, said Ed Cerier, the marketing strategist for Nexstar members. But recruiting is so much more involved than that.

“It’s also about retention and employee motivation, which generates word of mouth—something that is hugely powerful,” Cerier said. “We need to blow up the way people think about recruiting. It starts with making your organization the company of choice. People want to work for companies that are well run, that are growing, and that treat their people like they’re enormously valued.”

Nexstar board member Elaine Damschen, owner of Mainstream Electric, Heating and Cooling in Post Falls, Idaho, has recently branched out in her recruiting efforts for Mainstream. Part of her method has been to utilize different sites on the internet: She’s hired people off of ZipRecruiter, Craigslist, and Facebook, and is looking into using Symplicity, a company devoted to connecting students and employers.

Not all of her methods have necessarily shown positive results yet, but she is trying as many avenues as possible. Mainstream has hosted booths at rural high schools to talk to younger people about the trades, as well as build relationships with administrators and instructors of local trade schools and throughout the state of Idaho whom now advocate for employment at Mainstream. In addition, Damschen personally went through all of the resumes Mainstream has received dating back to 2008, called all of the people who looked like good candidates, and continues to execute a direct mail campaign to these potential candidates.

Additionally, Nexstar strategic partner Swick Media put together a recruitment video for Mainstream, which Damschen plans to send out to all people in what she calls the “tickler file,” a group of candidates who said they were not interested or took other jobs instead of joining the Mainstream team. The goal is seven to nine touch points after the candidate says thanks, but no thanks.

Recruitment is a full-time job, and Damschen is keeping up the pace with her recruiting strategies.

“We are not messing around—I have so many leads to call for both electrical and HVAC now that I’m actually behind on my calling!” she said.

Check back next week for the final part of this series.

Read part one of this series, “Get Out in Your Community.”

Read part two of this series, “Train Your Own People.”

Read part three of this series, “Make Your Company a Great Place to Work.”