Updated: Jul 12, 2019
Once you know that you need to hire someone, and you've defined what they're going to do, you have to start getting the word out that you're hiring and get some applicants rolling in.
Here's a roundup of ten of the best, basic, and maybe even some more unique ways to find great people for your team.
1. Post the job on your website.
No question about it, you should have a Careers page on your website. Once you have done the work to set that up, hopefully it will be an easy task to put any new or ongoing jobs on the site and then be able to drive all your applicants back there to complete your application process.
If you don't yet have a Careers page on your website, or if you do not hire often enough to warrant doing so, another great way to publish information about a job on your own company website is to post about it on your blog.
Blogging will give you an opportunity to write about the job in a different way than the formality of the job posting. Tell more of your company's story, or about the process in deciding what this new employee will do, or what the ideal new employee will be like.
Even if you do have a Careers page, adding that blog post gives just a new, fresh perspective and can help give some background on the process of opening up this new job. Tell people about it!
2. Publish the link to social media.
Once you either have a posting or blog up and running, share, share share! Make sure you are linking the social media post to the web address where a candidate will find the job posting and a way to apply, and get it out to all your social media accounts.
You might even do a series of interesting social media posts or photos to accompany the original link. How about a photo of a current employee on Instagram? A quote from an employee or executive on your Twitter feed? A story about how you hired and promoted someone--and therefore need someone new--on Facebook? Or how about a funny meme that is specific to your profession or industry with a punchline like: "Don't you want to be part of this?"
There are tons of ways to promote a job opening on social media that go way beyond just posting a link and saying "Now Hiring!" or the bordering-on-desperate "Please Share!" Make the content innately shareable, and watch it work!
3. Post a video on social media.
Just like any social post, but on steroids. Video is absolutely where it's at right now on social media and you should be doing it.
As always, get into the mind of your ideal candidate. Based on their education, location, possible demographics, what social site makes the most sense? Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are the obvious channels, but also other social media sites offer video content sharing. Do what will give you the most bang for your "buck"--even if it's technically free you do take the time to produce the video and follow up on comments, so make sure it's worth your time.
So what should you post?
Walk around the office, shop, or warehouse and show a potential candidate what your place of business looks like from an employee's perspective. Make it fun and say hi to the employees who want to be part of the video.
Show something unique about your business--how fast you work, how you do your thing, interesting "behind the scenes" footage of your production area, or just a lot of smiling faces. It's a great opportunity, when done right, to set the tone for the type of person who would be an ideal candidate.
4. Ask your Employees for Referrals
Most business owners rely very heavily on recommendations from their employees for fresh talent for their open jobs, and for good reason. A current employee is probably your best emissary to take the message of how great it is to work for you!
You can approach this as a formal program, offering set bonuses for successful hires and providing a process for your employees to get “credit” for sending someone your way. If you do offer some type of referral bonus I highly recommend you put a policy and process in place around it so you don’t end up with hurt feelings.
Ultimately, the goal is to communicate to your employees that you VALUE their recommendations and referrals, and that you recognize that there’s a monetary value to skipping to the front of the line so to speak, in getting good quality candidates who know who you are and are interested in your jobs.
I recommend a minimum employee referral bonus of at least $100-$200 for a successful new hire. Also I highly recommend you pay out that bonus in cash instead of merchandise or a gift card. It’s extremely valuable!
5. Ask your customers.
Posting on social media is of course the first way to engage your customers and fans in the process of finding new employees, but there are other great ways as well:
Send a special email out to your subscriber/customer list, or just put a notice on the side or bottom of your usual customer newsletter.
Pop flyers in each customer's bag at the cashier, print information on their receipt, or put a note in their bill.
If you offer employee discounts or benefits related to your products and services, make sure your customers know. Maybe they love your shop and would jump at the chance to get a discount!
6. Call your suppliers.
Always network with every point of contact in your business or industry when you're hiring. I think suppliers are overlooked as a source of candidates. They are selling to you and they want to keep you happy. Reach out and tell them you're hiring and ask them who they know.
7. Put up a sign.
Signage might possibly be the oldest form of recruitment advertising--I'm not sure but that sounds about right! Some things never go out of style because they just work.
But why not take it beyond "HELP WANTED" and make a more compelling message?
"What could you do with an extra $900 this holiday season?" as a headline for seasonal worker recruitment.
"3rd Shift Hiring - $15.50/hr to start" to get people excited about a job with an unattractive schedule.
"Voted Top 10 Places to Work in Town"--hey if you've got it, flaunt it!
Other ideas when looking into signage for hiring:
Can you invest in a sign that can be put to use over and over again? Talk to your sign maker about options to make the investment more worthwhile.
Who is driving by or walking by your sign? Make sure it's your ideal candidate. Does your property have a busy street frontage that shoppers frequent? Students? Do you back up to the highway with hundreds or thousands of commuters driving by daily? Can you buy sign space in a location where your ideal candidate would see it? (think a billboard outside your competitor's factory...seriously, think about it!)
8. Reach out to local schools and colleges.
Recently I had a really proud mom moment combined with a nerd-out recruiting moment when I got the following email from my high-school son's Principal in his weekly announcements:
"We have had several businesses around town asking us to post job openings on our job board. These businesses have said they want [our] students specifically due to their dependability and work ethic. This says a lot about how you are raising your children and about their “learned work ethic”-Congratulations!"
These local businesses where I live have recognized that a certain caliber of part-time employee congregates at this particular high school. They focus their recruiting efforts there, and it pays off.
Is your business near a High School, Trade School, College, or University that has students you would like to hire? Get to know them, and learn how they like for employers to post jobs.
Obviously some schools you may target for part time employees and others you would go actively recruit for full-timers upon graduation. Either way, getting to know your local schools is a no-brainer for a pipeline of good candidates for your jobs.
9. Post your ad on an online job board.
Often this is our first thought, so I put it all the way toward the end. Why? Because I wanted you to think through some other ideas before we went straight to the most obvious, and potentially the most expensive.
Online job boards are great tools, but no matter what they tell you in their ads, they are not going to solve all your hiring problems! However, if you use job boards wisely, you can target, gather, and sort a bunch of strong applicants, and that is exactly what you need.
Online job ads are priced in a variety of ways: annual or monthly subscriptions, one-time ads, or pay-per-click. ZipRecruiter for example, is a subscription fee-based board. Indeed typically charges you by the click, giving you more visibility the more you pay. If Craigslist is not completely free in your market, it's pretty cheap to run a one-time ad; I think it's usually less than $50. Other big or small job boards as well as social media sites will probably cost in the range of $100-$500 per one-time ad.
I am totally fine with you spending money on ads, but please make sure you are defining your job well, so that the clicks and applications you get are worth your time and money. Also I like that many of the sites now (ZipRecruiter and Indeed being the big ones) offer you options like screening questions, automatic keyword matching, resume databases, and other great tools that are certainly worth a small investment of less than $500 to get the right people looking at and applying for your jobs.
10. Post your ad in a local newspaper or print publication.
If you don't already know this, you need to understand that newspapers are, or are becoming, a thing of the past. It personally pains me to say it because one of my greatest pleasures in life is a quiet weekend morning with a cup of coffee and the paper, but it's really true.
I do not want to steer you toward newspaper help wanted ads in general at all. In fact I debated on including this option in my post, but since many business owners still have "Run an Ad" as their very first thought when recruiting, I felt I needed to go over it.
If--and only if--you can make the case that your ideal candidate is reading the paper, and you want to pay for the ad space, then go for it. However, I caution you that you will most likely be wasting your money, or that the only benefit will be that the newspaper will also post your ad on its online job board partners, and that's where your real candidates will be coming from.
That being said, other print publications may have merit, depending upon your own local community, your ideal candidate, and your industry. For example, say your industry has a well-respected monthly magazine that absolutely EVERYONE reads, and they offer ad space for employment. That might be effective. Or, perhaps you are certain your target candidates read a "Penny Saver" type of classified publication, so it's worth an ad. But again, think like your ideal candidate--would they wait to peruse the print ads, or would they do a quick internet search by speaking into their phone? It's 2018, and we have to keep up.
I hope these ideas spark some inspiration for you, and that you find outstanding candidates for the jobs you're hiring for right now. Let me know what questions you have, or if any of these tips worked for you: firstname.lastname@example.org
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