14 Places to Find and Hire Fresh Employees for Your Small Business

If you are a small business owner or manager, it seems harder than ever to find young employees who have a solid work ethic and know how to deal with customers.

I hear from many of my clients that the biggest part of the challenge is knowing where to look for good employees. It seems their past attempts to find top-notch young employees left them feeling disappointed and disillusioned. The employees they hire are not motivated or capable. Business owners have told me on several occasions that it appears there are no young people worth hiring or have stated, “Most teens don’t want to work.” Or even worse, if they want to work they want to start in management. Someone could probably write a song about it and they would title it “Lookin’ for Good Employees in all the Wrong Places.”

1. Start with your own employees. Ask your employees to refer their friends to apply for new jobs that are posted. Provide a cash reward to them for any of their referrals who are hired and stay with the company 90 days or more.

2. Train and retain. Work harder at retaining your present employees. Provide the kind of training that will make them more valuable to your company and themselves.

3. Make sure your organizational values and mission statement support an environment that demonstrates how valuable your employees are to your company. You and your management team need to cultivate an environment that demonstrates that you sincerely care about your employees.

Make it a point to remember the birthdays of your employees. Have mini celebrations on a regular basis. Remember, the workplace for most people is a second family. Create an environment where they want to be.

4. Do not expect candidates to come tailor made. Business expert Tom Searcy, www.huntbigsales.com/, suggests “Stop hiring for the business you were. To start hiring for the business you are becoming, you need to find adaptability, a work ethic, and critical-thinking skills more than you need to find candidates with 10 years of experience in your industry and the completely over-rated database of contacts.”

5. Look to social networking sites. Rieva Lesonsky of Grow Biz Media, www.growbizmedia.com/, suggests that this could be one place to look. Networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook are places you can get the word out to many people instantly, although as the survey below points out, it is a relatively small percentage.

6. Look in different places. According to Mark Mehler at Career Crossroads Source of Hire, www.careerxroads.com/index.asp, there are many places you can look for a new employee. In their annual survey, they show the percentages are again mainly through networking.

7. Focus on quality not quantity. Design your job ads to eliminate weak candidates. Word them in such a way that it discourages potential applicants to apply. List all the qualifications you are seeking. You will get fewer applicants, but they will be of a higher quality.

8. Post your jobs on job websites, such as: Craigslist.com, Monster.com, Beyond.com, eBay classifieds and others.

9. Explore local high schools, community colleges or universities. These three sources can be excellent places to look for new hires. Students are going to school and are looking for work to pay for their tuition and expenses. Depending on their work ethic, it is not uncommon for many students to work two or more jobs to support themselves. The key here is to make a solid contact with an administrator within the organization who can be a point of two-way contact to communicate your job hiring needs.

10. Contact local churches. Your church or others in the area are a great place to find new employees. Again make contact with a person of influence that works at the church.

11. Post a sign in your lobby, such as: “We are always looking for bright and enthusiastic people to join our team.”

12. Ask the employees you encounter in the course of your transactions with other businesses. This should be done discreetly and in an open ended sort of way. For example you might say something like this: “You look like a sharp person. If you are ever looking to change jobs, please give us a call or visit our website.”

13. Make it easy for potential employees to apply. In other words do not make it hard for people to find where to apply for present or future job postings. A section of your website titled “Careers” should be located on the menu bar of your homepage.

Business hiring expert, Mel Kleiman, founder of Humertrics, humetrics.com/, says, “
To hire the best, you’ve got to make it easy for the best people to apply. If you accept phone calls, résumés, and applications only during regular business hours, you discourage the very people you should be trying to recruit — all the good people who are busy working. This means you have to modify or extend your hours for accepting applications and conducting interviews to synch with applicant availability.

Install a 24-hour job hotline and include it in your job postings. It can be as simple as an answering machine or as sophisticated as a fully automated interviewing system. With a 24/7 system, you’ll see an increase the high-quality applicants by 30-50 percent or more.

14. Hire boomer employees. Instead of focusing only on young applicants, look at hiring older workers. Many people in this age group have an excellent work ethic and are much more dependable than some younger employees.

So there you have it, fourteen ways to find the best employees. Pick the top three you will try and make it a priority to use them.