Small Business Guide: How To Find Employees

greeneAs the economy continues to improve, attracting qualified talent has become a challenge most employers face. When your company has a reputation as a good place to work, this process becomes much easier; people want to work for a company that is financially solid, treats employees fairly and takes actions to let employees know they are valued. Beyond that, here are a few strategies we have found work well for our clients.


  1. Know what you are looking for and set the tone with your print advertising. Be specific. If there are requirements for the position, list them. For example, “Second shift, two years of experience in manufacturing and a driver’s license is required.” This saves you time by eliminating non-qualified candidates. Second, the ad is a chance to communicate the culture of your business. Is your organization more casual or formal? What type of employee will be successful here? Include language that will help communicate your culture in the advertising process such as, “We are looking for individuals that enjoy a working in a collaborative, team environment.” Lastly, if your wage or benefits lead the market, listing this can attract talent. The Ticker and Record-Eagle (with Monster) and industry-specific magazines (online or in print) are great bets for local exposure.
  2. Referrals. Employee referrals can yield long-lasting results. Communicating to your employee base what you’re looking for and how to apply is key. Let your employees know if it’s OK to post on their personal Facebook pages. Some organizations will offer incentives to employees who make good referrals. Look also to your own personal networks to help get the word out. Recruitment needs to be a team effort with the entire organization helping to spread the word.
  3. Low cost or free postings. If possible, post on your own organization’s website. In addition, the Ticker, Craig’s List, Michigan Talent Connect and are some of my favorite places that are typically quite cost-effective. Look to post on LinkedIn groups, nationally affiliated local chapters and listservs or newsletters. Again be specific about what you want to reduce non-qualified candidates.
  4. Personal recruiting. You know that person who impresses you at a place you do business with? How about giving them a compliment then giving them your card if they’re interested in a career change?
  5. Onsite interviews. Some employers will choose to promote an open house where on-the-spot interviews and hiring decisions are made. If you have several openings that pay more than minimum wage, get in touch with Michigan Works! They may be able to help you utilize their their “Employer of the Day” program where you can set up and do on-the-spot interviews.

Kate Greene, SPHR, GPHR, is the president of Human Resource Partners and works with employers to improve employee communication and performance.