Hiring for the Times – Golf Course Industry

With candidates holding more leverage and options than ever, it might be time to adjust your approach to job searches. Tyler Bloom offers 10 tips to help navigate the evolving process.

The employer-employee dynamic has flipped, and maybe for good. Good candidates are scarce, whether because they left jobs during the Great Resignation in no hurry to return, or simply because they know the leverage they possess. Your interview process needs to stand out. You need to be efficient and impressive – for the sake of both the interviewers and the in-demand interviewees.

This tip sheet will help you improve on a few of the critical skills needed.

1. Self-evaluation

There are so many factors which determine the volume of candidates a position will receive, including salary, location, and an organization’s ability to grow and develop. By taking an honest look at your organization’s reputation and culture, you can better determine what kind of candidate you’re looking for and the profile of a person who would excel in the organization.

2. Open-mindedness

Whether you are actively in a search process or will be filling a position in the near future, open-mindedness with your candidate pool is paramount. While you may be looking for a certain amount of experience or education, the traditional pool of industry trained and educated workers isn’t what it was five to 10 years ago.

3. Know your ideal hire

Set a job target that includes behavioral and cognitive requirements by having key stakeholders within your organization identify the key motivators and drives of a specific position. Ensure that everyone is aligned with the expectations of the role. Key contributors to define the role could be top performers in the job or those who frequently work with this individual. Utilize assessments like those from DISC, Meyers-Briggs and Predictive Index to help you determine those requirements.

4. Make sure position responsibilities are clearly defined

The arbitrary title and responsibilities of any one specific role varies by organization. Getting clear on the precise responsibilities of the position, knowledge, skills and aptitude will be much easier to determine the type of candidate that would be a fit and to achieve your desired results. In addition, ensure salary commensurates with the skillsets you’re seeking by studying regional compensation reports of comparable organizations.

5. Create a compelling job advertisement

Check to see if there are any conflicting qualities. Consider the length of job description. Highlight your culture, upcoming or previous projects, advancement of team members, and be transparent about compensation and benefits.

6. Target traditional and consider non-traditional candidates

The best employees are gainfully employed, and they often speak and network with other top candidates. Beyond internal networking, target audiences of similar backgrounds. The traditional avenues include industry specific job boards, industry networks and peers, universities and local associations. Consider alternative sources such as social media, trade associations and apprenticeship programs to reach various audiences.

7. Evaluate beyond the briefcase

To determine if a candidate is a good fit, you need to look beyond the résumé or the interview. Our instincts can tell us important information. But when we rely on nothing but our gut, we open ourselves to headaches. A strong interview process doesn’t always mean a strong candidate and résumé are often fluffed.
Read between the lines of someone’s resume and find the transferrable skills which could make a candidate a diamond in the rough. Real-world experience doing the work you are looking to have done should count for something even if the education doesn’t fit your criteria.

  1. Conduct a consistent process

To ensure objectivity, questions should be consistent, objective and measurable. Use similar interview questions versus random conversations. Don’t forget to do your due diligence in using background and reference checks to find any information on the candidate.

9. Communicate regularly

The depth of quality candidates you get for a job means absolutely nothing if you can’t act in a timely manner to keep the candidates interested and abreast of their place in the search process. Going multiple weeks without any form of communication with a candidate is a good way to have the candidate lose interest or question the quality of the leadership of a club, and potentially have them drop out of the search process.

10. Commit time to the process

If the role you’re hiring for is an important asset to your organization, you must dedicate time to sourcing, screening candidates, updating them on the process of the search, scheduling phone and in-person interviews, and the final onboarding process.

About The Author

Tyler Bloom is the founder of Tyler Bloom Consulting. A former golf course superintendent and turf professional, Tyler’s love of all things golf began at the age of six when he stepped onto the course for the first time. 

Tyler has an Executive Certificate in Talent Acquisition from Cornell University and a degree in Turfgrass Science from Penn State University. With 20 years of experience in the golf and turfgrass industry, Tyler has worked directly with reputable club leaders at some of the most prestigious clubs to place over 100 professionals in executive and management level positions throughout the United States.

Are you ready to build a top-performing team that drives results? Our proven framework, methodologies, and implementation is based on our personal track record of developing world-class teams. In addition to talent acquisition, we provide leadership development and ongoing consultative services for the golf course and club industry. Our team has personally coached and mentored dozens of future golf course superintendents across the United States.