How to find employees is one of the most common questions business owners of all sizes struggle with.
Hiring someone is an important decision and a long-term investment you make into growing and running your business. You must put in the time and effort now so that you can reap the benefits from hiring the right person.
Many people don’t realize that the process of finding employees requires considerable planning before beginning your talent search. Coming up with the proper steps on how to find employees is more productive than recruiting randomly.
Finding and hiring employees is difficult, time-consuming, and often leads to hiring the wrong person.
Using an online job bank like ZipRecruiter can make the hiring process more manageable. The site will help you develop an effective job ad, share it on over 100 other job sites, and even screen candidate applications for you.
Although attracting the top talent in your industry can be difficult, there are ways to overcome this hurdle by using a practical and systematic recruitment process.
Here are five steps you can take to ensure you are hiring great employees who will help your business grow.
1: Be Clear About Your Needs and What Your Company Can Offer
Decide on the knowledge, skills, and experience you need for your open positions.
The job skills and level of experience required in an employee are different based on what kind of job they are doing. While some can be trained, you also need someone with prior experience.
For instance, if you are hiring seeking someone to run your customer service for a medium or large company, you will need someone with writing and marketing skills who understands the importance of customer service and the value of communication skills. They should also have experience with handling diverse personalities.
On the other hand, if you’re planning on launching a new digital agency, you probably need people with a broader range of skills. You might need employees with more soft skills (like people skills) rather than hard skills (like coding skills) because, as a start-up, your digital agency needs help with everything from creating content, planning projects, managing clients’ expectations, and so on.
Some skills like creative thinking, empathy, and working in a team are essential, while some others like planning, writing, and editing can be taught.
So, before you try to figure out how to find employees, you need to get clear about what your company needs and what you can offer people who fit your criteria.
Create a clear job description for the position you have available.
A clear job description defines the job role and function in an organization that a person (e.g., an employee, manager, or director) fills or performs.
If you want to find qualified candidates, you need to have a well-written and compelling job description that is clear about the skills and qualifications required for the position.
You also should use a clear but specific job title.
For instance, if you need an account manager, you need someone who can find out their client’s needs and make sure they get exactly what they want. However, this does not mean that they are only tasked with selling — many account executives also provide valuable insights into the client’s business and industry.
In that case, your job description might look like this:
“A key function of account managers is to make sure that clients get the best possible results from their marketing efforts. While it may be your responsibility to sell our company’s products and services, you need to manage other responsibilities as well — such as handling internal marketing campaigns for other departments and setting up direct mailings for prospective clients.”
Or, let’s suppose you need someone with considerable creativity and technical skills, like a copywriter. You will need someone who creates, edits, and publishes engaging written materials. Copywriters are responsible for accurately communicating a company’s strategy or message through their writing. They often work in marketing roles, either in-house or as freelance copywriters.
Your job description, in this case, might look like this:
“Our copywriters are responsible for creating copy for advertisements, websites, brochures, press releases, speeches, videos, and other communications material. Your copywriting tasks will include writing headlines and captions for print advertisements; determining the length of articles; designing magazine layouts; designing websites or digital media; crafting emails that resonate with readers; and editing articles before publishing them.”
2: Advertise Your Open Position
Use your job description in your advertising and during your interviews.
Writing a solid and effective job ad or job posting takes time and effort. It is easier if you use your job description as an outline for creating your job advertisements.
You can also publish a copy of the full job description on your website and include a link to it in your job ad. Or, when people show up for interviews, you can provide a more in-depth description in person.
In your advertising and interviews, describe your company’s salary, opportunities, work perks, and benefits to improve your chances of success in finding the best applicants for your open positions.
You should also include a time frame for when you will be holding interviews and the anticipated start date.
Advertise on popular job websites.
There are many popular websites and social media platforms to use when recruiting candidates for a job position.
ZipRecruiter is a great option to help you find employees because it’s more than just a job board. It will actively identify qualified candidates who use the platform and invite them to apply for your vacancy, meaning you are getting better matches. As an employer or business owner, you can also search through their resume database and invite anyone who sounds promising to apply.
And as already mentioned, ZipRecruiter will also walk you through creating and optimizing a customized job ad and will cross-post it on 100+ other job boards (including LiveCareer, Job Hero, Flexjobs, and Neuvoo).
Then there is Indeed, another one of the top job boards where businesses post jobs that are open to new talent—including freelance work. Like ZipRecruiter, they also provide insight into salaries in different cities and industries so you can get a better idea about what salary candidates expect to earn.
Other job posting sites to consider when looking for new team members are Careerbuilder, Monster, and Glassdoor, three popular websites used among job seekers.
Post the job on your own website and your own social media channels.
People expect to find a careers page on your website or information about your current job openings.
When posting a job online, it should be well-written, informative, and engaging to readers.
Ensure that you have all the details needed for an interested candidate to apply for the position. This includes offering salary ranges, descriptions of management style or company culture, and expectations for the job. If there are questions that applicants might have about the role or company, make sure you address them in this section of your site.
And don’t forget to include details on how to apply!
You can also use social media to find employees online. It’s a quick, easy way to reach a large audience of potential applicants. So post your job on your Facebook business page and share the link to your job ad on Twitter.
LinkedIn is also a valuable source of information, networking, and learning for professionals. It is one of the best ways to offer jobs without expending a lot of time and effort.
Use a targeted job board for advertising.
You may have better luck if you use multiple job boards, including smaller, targeted ones to attract the right person, in addition to posting on the major ones. This is particularly true for niche industries or when a specific skill set is needed.
There are hundreds of different job sites that you can use to find good employees. Here is a list of some of the top targeted ones:
3: Find Someone Within Your Company
Companies are increasingly turning to internal promotion opportunities rather than external ones, especially if there is insufficient external interest for advertised positions.
It is not uncommon for companies to hire from within before looking outside their company walls. So don’t overlook the high-quality talent already working for you.
Promoting or encouraging current employees to apply usually results in higher retention rates because they already have a personal stake in your company’s success. They are also already trained and understand how your company operates.
Knowing there are opportunities to advance within the company is also good for improving staff morale.
Sometimes, however, companies have trouble filling positions internally because of the lack of available talent and skillsets in certain areas. Since you don’t know who else is looking for employment opportunities and what new expertise they have, it can be a risk that may not pay off.
4: Ask for Referrals
Tap into your network connections and ask them for referrals.
To find the right fit for your company, you should ask your staff for recommendations. Employee referral programs are common recruiting strategies because they tend to attract qualified and loyal employees.
You can also ask some of your past clients, your colleagues, friends, and other professional network connections who they would recommend as potential candidates.
If you don’t have access to these people or if they are not available, reach out to others in your industry through email and social media platforms to see if they can suggest anyone.
Get referrals from employment and non-profit agencies.
Employment centers, staffing agencies, headhunters, and recruitment agencies are responsible for maximizing the value of their network of candidates and may be able to recommend someone to hire.
Referrals from non-profit organizations working with groups like veterans and immigrants are also valuable sources for finding promising candidates.
Depending on the agency, they may have funding available to help you pay for training new staff or offset any costs associated with hiring (such as equipment or background checks). They are particularly great resources for small business owners seeking talent.
5: Outreach for Talent
If these options for how to find employees aren’t working out for you, you may need to do some outreach and recruiting on your own.
Here are some places where you might find qualified employees for your business:
Recruit people from career fairs.
The career fair is a time-tested and effective way for companies and organizations to find new employees. Career fairs enable companies and organizations to present themselves, showcase their products or services, and attract the attention of potential new hires they’re primarily targeting.
People who attend career or job fairs are usually highly motivated with their job search and want to start work as soon as possible.
Recruit people from colleges and universities.
Another way to find qualified people is to go into colleges and universities and hire people who will be graduating soon.
To get started, visit the institution’s website and speak with the appropriate department head or program coordinator. They may invite you to come in and talk directly to their classes about the opportunities available in your business. Or, they may have a student or two in mind to recommend.
Another way is to use college and university job centers for advertising your open positions with their students.
Recruit people from co-ops, internships, and work placements in schools.
On a similar note, internships, co-ops, and work placements are an important part of the education system, providing students with practical work experience. They are a great way to find employees for your workforce because they offer students the opportunity to gain experience in their chosen field while working with companies that provide the chance for a future career.
Follow up with past job candidates.
A great way to build a strong and long-term relationship with people is by following up.
You know when you’re a job seeker applying for work and a company tells you they will keep your resume on file? They aren’t always lying to you or trying to appease you. Sometimes they really mean it.
So if someone applied to your company six months ago and they were a strong candidate but weren’t hired for whatever reason, it’s worth it to send them an email to see if they’re interested in applying for this role.
Finding employees for your company may be challenging. But if you use these steps to develop a solid strategy before you go out and try to find candidates, it can be easier to find employees who will be strong assets to your team.
Amanda Kay, an Employment Specialist and founder of My Life, I Guess, strives to keep the "person" in personal finance by writing about money, mistakes, and making a living. She focuses on what it’s like being in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and surviving unemployment while also offering advice and support for others in similar situations - including a FREE library of career & job search resources.