You thought starting your business was going to be the hardest part. That was until you scaled your business and now you need to hire employees. The thought of figuring out where to find employees, how to recruit employees, and what job postings are seems overwhelming. It defiantly can be, but in this article I walk you through the process. Now, this is only one step.
Once you find where your future employees are, then it is time to figure out how to evaluate them and pick the best one for your company. That will be for another article.
For now, we will focus on where these future employees are. To begin I want you to keep your smart business women (or man) hat on. The skills that led you to needing to grow your business are also the skills that will help you hire your team. Remember all that time and energy you used creating your customer avatar and figuring out where she (or he) hangs out? Do that! Use those same skills to think about who your ideal employee is and where she (or he) hangs out. If you have a few positions then your ideal employees might have different avatars and hang out in different places. That is perfect.
Now we can get into the details of where you can find these awesome, future employees. First we are going to review the 4 types fo candidates you might want, then we will look at 4 places to find these candidates, and lastly we will review the best online job sites.
4 Types of Candidates
If you already have a team of either employees or contractors then these might be the people you want for advancement in your company. When thinking about internal candidates you want to think about people that would be great to move up in your company, but you should also think about people that might want to move sideways. Maybe that great administrative assistance took this job because she dreams of being a CPA and is going to school at night. She might be perfect to move into the financial side of the business.
When you already have a team of employees, then it is critical to think about internal candidates when you have job openings. One key driver in employee engagement (that thing that makes employees perform and the stay with you) is how much career advancement employees see with their current company. Of course sometimes the best candidate is outside the company, and that is fine. Just take the time to figure out if an internal candidate is worth consideration.
Quasi External Candidates
This is the external candidate that is not too external. Often times our perfect candidate is know by someone close to use. This is the candidate that has never worked for your company, but is connected to your network. Since you know someone that knows this candidate it is often easier to evaluate the candidate. After all, the reference check is happening first. You do need to be careful, and not fully rely on referrals. You want to remember two key points with these candidates: 1) continue to follow any recruitment policies you have (this is especially true if you are also considering internal candidates) and 2) do not skip the interview and reference check process (and you want a reference from someone other than the connecter or person that gave the referral).
Truly External Candidates
You have the external candidates that you find through your networks, and then you have the true external candidates. Often times these candidates give you the most benefits in terms of adding innovation and diversity to your team. After all, if you keep on looking for candidates in the same place and from the same networks then you are going to get the same type of employees who all think the same way. These candidates are going to be harder to find and evaluate.
Interns might be my favorite candidates. I love teaching and helping others reach their potentiation or interns have always been highly fulfilling for me. I have also had some great projects completed by interns. These employees can be great and depending on how you structure your internship the intern can get paid in other ways including school credit. There is one big cautionary note: If you plan to not pay your interns or only give them a stipend then you need to consult a human resources advisor to make sure you are not breaking any rules or laws.
Where to Find Employees
Referrals are great, and as we have discussed, they allow you to reach quasi external candidates. A common way to do referrals is to use employee referrals. This is where you ask your employees to refer people to you. Some companies even have formal programs where current employees get something like a bonus if someone they referred is hired and stays employed for a set period of time. You can also get referrals from others within your network. You can let those you trust know that you are hiring and see if they know anyone. This can be completely done by word of mouth or it can be combined with a job posting that we are going to discuss a little later.
There are entire companies - cough, cough, me, cough, cough - that help find employees for companies. This is a great option if you feel too overwhelmed or that your time is better spent doing something else. You are still evolved in the selection when using an employment agency, but instead of having to find and evaluate the candidates, you get a small group of highly qualified candidate to consider. There are different styles of employment agencies. There are big companies and small ones. There are even companies that focus on recruiting one type of employee. As you grow you might even hire an in house recruiter to take on this function full or part time.
The last place to find employees is through job postings. These can be postings you place on your internal website where only your current employees can apply or you can post a job to a jobs boards to attract truly external candidates. Below are 4 of my favorite job sites for posting job postings.
Best Online Job Sites
I go back to my love of interns with my first recommendation. Handshake is an online job posting site that many US universities use. This is a great place to post internships and entry level positions. Handshake shares your job posting with current students and alumni. You can even target graduate school students and alumni for more advanced positions. My favorite part about Handshake is the ability to create one job posting and post it to multiple schools at the same time.
Of course, we all know Indeed. It is the leader in general online job postings. This is the top place where candidates go to look for open positions. This should be your go to site for a wide range of positions. Indeed also offers other services that you otherwise could only get with an employment agency or in house recruitment staff. This includes the ability to test applicants and have a prescreening phone interview.
This is the spot where professionals hang out and it is the go to for posting white collar jobs. In addition to posting jobs, this is a great place to establish and nurture your network. Once you have an established network then LinkedIn is a great place to find the quasi external candidates. You can also leverage your employees’ connections by having them talk about job openings and what it is like working at your company.
Werk is a niche job site. I love any niche site because it helps you target exactly the candidate that you are looking for. Werk is just one of these types of sites. You are only allowed to post jobs on Werk that have guaranteed flexibility such as being remote or part time. Flexibility is king in terms of benefits candidates are looking for and it could be what lands you the high performing employee.
This is just one step in the process to hire your first employee. Check out this workbook and training, so you can have peace of mind and feel confident you are making the best decision and hiring the right employee.