Your business needs good employees. It’s a simple truth. But as simple as it is to state, the reality of trying to find employees is so much more difficult.
Where should you go to look? What tools should you use to spread the word? What should you say and do to make the process easier?
This article will answer those questions and give you the 9 best ways to find employees.
The Best Ways To Find Employees
1. Give Your Business An Identity
Finding employees often starts, not with a job posting or a help-wanted ad, but with your business’s identity. Your identity is your culture. Your identity is your message. Your identity is the answer to the question, “Why would someone want to be part of my team?”
Maybe your business is “work hard, play hard”. Maybe it’s “refined with a dash of irreverence”. Maybe it’s “classy and upscale”. Maybe it’s all of those things. Only you can say for sure.
So before you hang that sign in the window, take a few minutes and craft your business identity. When you’ve done that, be sure to convey that identity in whatever method you choose to find employees for your business. That way, those prospective employees will know right away if you’re the kind of business they want to work for.
2. Target Potential Employees With Facebook
Facebook is still one of the best ways to find employees for your business. Facebook has powerful targeting features that let you advertise your job opening(s) to people based on their skills, their location, their age, and countless other variables.got
For example, you can specify the area you want your ad to cover. Let’s say it’s Boston. Then you can specify “waiter” or “waitress” as the job title. When you create your ad, it will be distributed to everyone in the Boston area who has “waiter” or “waitress” in their job title. And that’s just a very basic example. There are so many other variables you can include, it makes targeting and finding employees a breeze.
3. Ask Your Current Employees To Spread The Word
Asking your current employees to spread the word is a quick and easy way to find employees for your business. Yes, you can send out your own ads on Facebook (or anywhere else for that matter) but you can’t reach everyone. With the help of your current employees, you can widen your reach, not just on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn, but through other channels you may not even consider.
It’s as simple as something like, “I work at (insert business name here). We’re looking for a great (insert job here) who wants to work for a (insert some part of your business identity here). If you are that person, or if you know someone who is, please share my contact info.” You might even consider incentivizing the process by offering a reward to the current employee who brings in a new employee who lasts a set amount of time. It’s a win-win for all involved.
5. Try Signs And Flyers
Yes, in an age when pretty much everything is digital, this may seem like an extremely old-school method. And it is. But that’s why it can be an effective way to find employees.
For one thing, it’s pretty much free. All it takes is the cost of the paper, the printing, and the time to post them in your area. For another thing, it’s different than the flood of social media your prospective employees receive on a daily basis. A sign in a window or a flyer on a bulletin board can stand out amidst the mass of ads and data they’re bombarded with from minute to minute.
6. Partner With Non-Profits
Non-profits like the Wounded Warrior Project can be a great resource in your quest to find employees. These organizations serve veterans, immigrants, and other groups who just want to work. What’s more, these people are often willing to work hard for the chance to get back on their feet.
In addition to their willingness to work, they’ve also likely received some job training from the non-profit so you don’t have to start from scratch. Background checks are also common practice for non-profit organizations and the people they serve so you know a potential employee has been vetted, if only just at the basic level. That can be one less thing you have to worry about.
7. Recognize Great Talent When You See It
Karin Hurt, CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, explains:
“When I led a large retail sales team on the east coast, my radar was constantly up for great talent…you can teach specifics, but innate empathy and a strong service orientation are hard to fake.”
This method of finding employees for your business involves looking for specific skills or traits wherever you go. When you see what you like, consider giving them your card and asking if they’d be willing to talk about a job with your business.
So, for example, if you’re looking for a waitress with great customer rapport, remember that the latter skill is much more difficult to teach. If you find someone with such a skill—even if they’re working in an entirely different industry—offer to teach them to work in your business.
8. Look For “Great” Rather Than “Experienced”
Regardless of what channel you use to find employees, always be on the lookout for “great” rather than “experienced”. As a business owner, you may be operating with the belief that experience trumps everything. Unfortunately, this is false. The old adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” is, on the other hand, often true. So “experienced” may not be the best fit for your business.
Look, instead, for “great” people and give them the experience they need. In most cases, a “great” employee is simply excited, willing to work, and teachable. Hiring with an eye to those qualities rather than looking for the most experienced, can go a long way toward getting you the best employees for your business.
9. Use the Right Job Board Websites
Job board websites, like signs and flyers, may seem old-fashioned, but they are still the go-to sources for both workers and businesses involved in the food-and-beverage and other service-oriented industries. Some of the top job boards include Craigslist, JobsOnTheMenu, SnagAJob, and ShiftGig.
Keep in mind that posting an ad on one of these job boards can quickly bring in triple-digit responses in no time…all to your email inbox. You don’t want that traffic clogging things up so set up a separate email account just for this purpose. Oh, and be sure to leave your phone number out of the posting so your phone isn’t ringing off the hook during business hours.
10. Add A Careers Page To Your Website
Having a ‘Careers’ page on your business website is a great way to reach motivated job seekers. David Batchelor, president and co-founder of DialMyCalls.com, elaborates on FitSmallBusiness.com:
“Create a ‘Hiring’ (or ‘Careers’) page on your company’s website in case talented people ever come check you out. Even if you currently don’t need someone in a specific role, it’s a good idea to keep job postings on your site. If someone is that interested to look up your company and find the job posting, you know they are already one step ahead of the game when it comes to being a A-Player.”
Aside from just being a great stand-alone resource on your website, a ‘Careers’ page can be included in all the other ways you choose to find employees. Plus, it can turn up in the search results if someone is actively looking for jobs online.
A ‘Careers’ page on your website is also a great place to elaborate on your business identity in more detail. You can’t (or shouldn’t) include paragraphs upon paragraphs of information in places like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Craigslist. But one your own website? Write as much as you like. Your ‘Careers’ page is a great place to really tell everyone what you’re about as a business and what you’re looking for in potential employees.
You Don’t Have To Choose Just One
The best thing about these methods of finding employees is that you don’t have to restrict yourself to just one. Try two, three, or all to find out what works best for your business. Maybe posting flyers didn’t bring in what you wanted but Craigslist gave you three or four great employees. Next time you’re looking, focus on what works and discard what doesn’t. That really is the best way to find employees for your business.