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How to Add Homegrown Talent to Your Workforce Strategy

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Human Resources

/// Guest post by contributor Maryellen Adams, CareerCo 

There’s no doubt that going outside of your travel plaza to attract new hires with great skills and fresh ideas is essential for growth. But isn’t it time you began cultivating and “home-growing” your own talent? When you focus on attracting entry-level hires that are eager to learn the ropes and ambitious about possible advancement opportunities, you’re leveraging a tactic that will set you apart from your competitors and significantly grow your company’s talent pool.

Take a look at some reasons why cultivating homegrown talent is an important HR initiative, along with some tips on how to do it effectively so that you can successfully develop a winning team.

Benefit: Home-growing talent decreases your hiring costs overall.

Think about it: If you don’t have to continually post jobs, offer sign-on bonuses, or let positions remain vacant to the point where it’s negatively affecting productivity and customer service, you can maximize your budget. It’s far less expensive to promote from within your company, even with the offer of a substantial raise, assuming you make that decision wisely.

What to do: Having a company culture that allows for leadership development and rewards top performers is the perfect recipe for homegrown talent.

Benefit: Less employee turnover.

From an employee point of view, it’s easy to become disenchanted if your job appears to have no real opportunity for advancement. If the position is just a job and not a path to a career, eventually employees will look to move on and possibly leave you blindsided.

What to do: Keeping the lines of communications open with regular employee reviews and check-ins with supervisors is the best way to identify if someone becomes unhappy with their job. This gives you the opportunity to work out a solution before employees start jumping ship.

Benefit: Unearth hidden gems.

By devising a strategy that expands your personnel base to include those with experience outside the hospitality industry but in complementary fields, you can begin to grow a strong team. Candidates such as Medical Assistants, Customer Service Representatives and Retail Sales Associates possess traits that transition well into hospitality roles.  They will thrive upon opportunities to flourish as they grow with your hotel and within the industry.

What to do:Invite unlikely candidates such as medical assistants, retail sales and customer service reps to apply for your open positions. More often than not, these workers are ambitious, adept at working with the public, and accustomed to working various shifts that include evenings and weekends.

Benefit: A more passionate workforce.

Knowing that advancement is possible can be just the nudge your staff needs to be more productive, volunteer for more responsibility, and embrace opportunities that come along. From the HR side, promoting from within is usually less risky than bringing in outsiders, since those who have been with your company are already a good fit. Plus, it’s likely that he or she will have the support of their co-workers from the get-go, whereas someone hired from elsewhere might have more of a transition period.

What to do: Keep ALL employees in the loop regarding the big-picture goals. Get them invested in the success of the business. Recognize and celebrate achievements – large and small – so people feel like what they do matters.

Developing homegrown talent by actively recruiting entry-level employees who can grow with you will have a positive effect on your travel plaza. 

{Guest Post} Guest post provided by Maryellen Adams, CareerCo. A NATSO endorsed service provider, CareerCo is a network of pay-for-performance job sites that reaches more than 5 million job seekers monthly. Employers can save time and money in their recruitment by setting the job requirements and only paying for candidates that meet them. All NATSO members receive a 10% discount. Discount will be applied to your monthly invoice. To qualify, be sure to identify your company as a NATSO member. Learn more about CareerCo.

The opinions and advice given by guest post contributors are not necessarily those of NATSO Inc. The posts should not be considered legal advice. Qualified professionals should be sought regarding advice and questions specific to your circumstances.

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About the Author

Maryellen Adams

Maryellen Adams

As Director of Association Partnerships at Career Co, Maryellen develops and manages the company's relationships with trade and industry association partners on both the state and national levels.

As a trusted association partner, Maryellen offers her expertise in employee recruitment strategy to associations in all industries; providing their members, both small and enterprise level businesses, an array of staffing and recruitment solutions.  

Maryellen is a frequent guest speaker at industry association trade shows and conventions. She has presented educational workshops and webinars on topics including; Performance-Based Recruitment,  Best Practices in Attracting, Hiring and Retaining Talent, Recruiting Next Generation Talent To Drive Future Success, Motivating and Managing “Millennials” in the Multi-Generational Workplace ;Adjusting Your Culture to Improve Job Satisfaction and Employee Retention.

Maryellen holds a Bachelors Degree in Finance from Fairfield University in Connecticut.  She is based in New York and can be reached at