One of the most daunting tasks any company has is to find employees and expand their team. But, as you probably know, a good employee is hard to find. So, where do you go to search for excellent employees?
We’ve written a guide on the top 5 places to find the perfect employee. In that guide, we talked about why we believe that Indeed.com is the best job board for finding qualified candidates. First-time users are eligible for a free $50 credit to get started promoting their open positions.
For this list, we’ll take a different approach to the employee search. We asked small to medium business owners, like you, where they turn after (or, sometimes, instead of) searching job boards. Read what they shared below.
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Barry Maher, Barry Maher & Associates
As someone who’s consulted on hundreds of hires, my favorite tip for finding great employees is simply to motivate your current employees to do it for you. A bonus of some kind or a cash award for every prospect recommended who is then hired and lasts a significant amount of time, say a year or six months, often works great. Your current employees know what it takes to do the job. They have a vested interest in bringing in people who will make the workload lighter, not heavier.
2. Use AngelList
Aleksandar Bibovski, Book A Boat
As I’m often researching AngelList and update our startup profile, I saw there are lot of good reviews and comments about finding talented employees. As we tested it for our startup, we found great advisors via AngelList and we had great, young and talented people who applied to work with us. AngelList is great if you are looking for young talented people, but if you are looking for seniors and experienced employees then you should focus on LinkedIn.
3. Online communities for remote positions.
Shane Park, Owner, Coinplay.io
In November 2014, I hired my first equity-based employee. She was an acquaintance that I interacted with on reddit. At first, she volunteered her time, helping me email game developers to add to Coinplay.io. Within the first month, she contacted ~400 game developers. I offered her equity to stay on board after her stellar performance. And since she started, we’ve acquired ~60 partners and we’re on track to have ~300 games in our product catalog.
4. Look for mutual connections on LinkedIn and Facebook.
Laura Gross, Scott Circle
I go to my personal network to find good employees. My friends, colleagues and former colleagues know me well and they know to recommend the right type of candidate who would be a good fit with my PR firm. I also use LinkedIn or Facebook if we are interviewing a candidate I don’t know to see if there are any mutual connections I can ask.
Tin Thinn, IT Talent Acquisition Specialist, Halogen Software
To reach and engage elite talent in today’s highly competitive landscape, we need to inhabit the same places that our target audiences spend time. For example, if you’re looking for developers, go onto Stack Overflow to see who has the best ratings because they are typically are the best out there. If you hang out where the talent you’re looking for hangs out, such as user groups, commenting on popular blogs and forums, it will help communicate with your target audience because you will use their language and provide them with authentic value.
Get a free $50 credit to promote your job on Indeed! To get the credit, you must be a first time job poster on Indeed. Sign Up Now!
6. Advertise your job on Facebook with targeted demographic advertisements.
Toni Schmidt, Marketing Coordinator, Purple Gator
We have found that by using Facebook demographics to target demographics and behaviors, business owners can find qualified candidates using advertisements. Many business owners don’t realize the true potential/impact of a Facebook campaign when it is done correctly. We take pride in the fact that we offer a unique blend of amazing creatives and targeted demographics. We walk through the process with business owners offering them unique targeting ideas.
7. Angellist vs. LinkedIn
Claude Burns, Founder/CEO, Noble Brewer
AngelList does a great job because candidates self select by choosing to create a profile on the site. For the most part, they are entrepreneurial in spirit and have pretty specific domain expertise. Since it’s primarily startups, you’re able to quickly browse people’s expertise, previous roles and if they are looking for a new role. Since interviewing candidates is so time consuming, this was a great way to filter fast as a small team.
LinkedIn was equally valuable as I could search for candidates that had the skills I needed to take the company to the next level. As a startup there are many holes to fill but LinkedIn gave a very quick way to screen candidates because I could see their entire skillset and determine if it would fit into what we needed as a company.
8. Hire people you’ve worked with in the past.
Skyler Slade, Co-founder & CTO, Tandem
By far the best way to find great employees is by hiring people you’ve worked with before. By hiring someone you’ve worked with before (and liked) you get to skip the first three months of getting to know someone: of learning their communication style, how they respond to feedback, etc. I try to keep in touch with my network. I check in every few months with people I’ve worked with before to see how they’re doing in their current job to see how they’re getting along and if they’re thinking of looking for something else.
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9. Check local chapters and organizations related to your needed position.
Chantal Bechervaise, Take It Personel-ly
There are associations and organizations related to every type of field out there. Look for local chapters in your area and get involved in their events and meetings. If an association has accreditations or a certification process then you know you can find potential employees with the skillset needed to perform a certain level of the job. Plus potential candidates tend to be current with the skills and aptitudes required for their field.
10. Use keywords to find employees through various social media platforms.
Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers
Search Facebook, Twitter, and especially LinkedIn using the keywords related to the position you’re trying to fill and you’ll be presented with a list of qualified candidates.
We’ve written a guide on the top 5 places to find the perfect employee. In that guide, we talked about why we believe that Indeed.com is the best job board for finding qualified candidates.
11. Hire internally.
Michael Ludlum, President & COO, QuickFlics
One of our coding hires came from the recommendation of one of our investors. Ironically, he was already working for us in fulfillment, we just didn’t realize he had a talent or interest in coding. We interviewed him the same day we were told about his coding talent, and now he is our lead app developer and performing brilliantly.
12. Go grassroots.
Liz D’Aloia, Founder, HR Virtuoso Company
Big job boards don’t work well for small businesses. Instead, try a grassroots recruiting campaign. It’s easy to do and best of all it’s free. Simply create recruiting flyers and post the in your community. You can even target your campaign. For example, if you’re hiring hotel housekeepers, try posting flyers at laundromats, day care centers, libraries, and community centers. The key to success for small business grassroots recruiting is to have an easy way for people to apply to the job on their mobile device.
13. Encourage employees to spread the message on social media.
Josh Lindenmuth, CIO, Payce, Inc.
At my company, we’ve found that one of the easiest ways to find great employees is through employee referral bonuses linked along with encouraging our employees to spread the news about open positions on Facebook and LinkedIn.
For difficult to hire positions, employees will often put quick messages on their Facebook accounts, such as, “We’re looking for a great web developer who wants a low-key family-friendly place to work. If you know of anyone, please share my contact info!” Informal messages like this can gain incredible reach, and will often bring in employees who were not actively looking.
14. Be on the look out for talent everywhere you go.
Karin Hurt, CEO, Let’s Grow Leaders
When I led a large retail sales team in MD, DC and VA, my radar was constantly up for great talent (waiters, hotel staff, other retail experiences). Many my call center clients do the same thing, you can teach specifics, but innate empathy and a strong service orientation is hard to fake. Plus, the best talent usually isn’t actively looking for a job.
15. Email is still one of the most effective ways to recruit candidates.
John Jersin, CEO/ Co-founder, Connectifier
People respond differently to e-mail than they do to a social site message. When people see an e-mail from a job recruiter – especially if the e-mail is compelling and relevant to their personal situation – it’s not a breezy, dashed-off form of communication. People are more likely to save the e-mail, think about it, and then respond at length – recruiting e-mails require more consideration and command more respect, in a way, than other forms of communication.
16. Target your competitor’s employees.
Kathleen Steffey, CEO, Naviga Recruiting & Executive Search
One of the ways we find top talent is by identifying competitor companies, and other companies within our industry. Once we have our targeted companies, we can then solicit top candidates with similar titles and roles, and reach out to them on LinkedIn or by phone. This strategy is great because the candidate will already have previous industry knowledge and experience, but since they’re passive candidates, the process takes a lot of time and deliberate effort.
17. Check with the alumni networks of local colleges for potential hires.
Lauren Fairbanks, Owner, My Digital Remedy
I own a chain of iPhone and laptop repair shops called Digital Remedy Repair, and we’re always hiring tech-savvy phone and computer techs. Because most of our tech jobs are entry-level, we reach out to the local community colleges and technical colleges that offer IT and hardware courses. These students tend to be already familiar with some of our more basic repairs, and have a good foundation for learning more complex repairs.
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18. Be sure to check out our list of the top 5 places to find a new hire here.
A big thank you to everyone who contributed!
And now is your turn: Do you have a favorite recommendation that we didn’t list above? Let us know now in the comments.
We’ve written a guide on the top 5 places to find the perfect employee before. In that guide, we talked about why we believe that Indeed.com is the best job board for finding qualified candidates.