Published November 6, 2006

How to Find Employees & Where to Find Employees

Help wanted signs are everywhere in a good economy and employees seem to be impossible to find and keep. With other companies seemingly offering higher pay, bigger benefits, and brighter futures, it can be hard to keep your business properly staffed.

So how do you find employees when no one is responding to the help wanted sign in the window? Here are some steps that other companies are doing to staff their businesses:

  • One company doesn't bother with help wanted signs or ads at all. Even though they're desperate for staff, the HR manager claims that they only want to hire people who AREN'T looking for work. Instead, the HR manager and a newly created position, recruiting manager, visit trade shows and successful businesses and hand out their cards to the employees. On their card is a website where the employee can go to get more information. Chances are good that people will check it out, even if they are happy with their job, because no one wants to miss out on an opportunity.
  • Generous referral programs are becoming commonplace where companies pay their employees thousands of dollars or offer other perks like all expense paid cruises just for referring someone who gets hired. In some cases, employees can nearly double their pay just by referring 2 people who get hired.
  • Some recruiters are going to great lengths to find other people, including going to other countries where opportunities are scarce and helping people obtain the necessary documents visas so they can move to the country of the hiring company. This method is sometimes met with criticism that the company is diluting the employee pool by hiring outsiders; however, if no locals are applying then "outsiders" are the next option.
  • One success tip that gets overlooked often is to review the hiring, training, and compensation timeline. Some companies put their potential staff through rigorous hiring and training processes and perhaps offer generous compensation after some kind of probationary period. However, in employee-scarce economies, this strict method can drive people away...especially if they can earn more money by jumping through fewer hoops. Of course, you should have as many procedures and "hoops" as necessary but make it as painless as possible for the new hire.
  • If you decide to go the "head hunter" route and hire a company to find employees for you, consider hiring a head hunter who specializes in the specific type of employee you're looking for rather than someone who generally places many kinds of employees. Chances are you'll get a better employee. Alternatively, go to a "temp" agency and hire a temporary employee. If they work out, you can usually hire them away from the agency for a fee.

When the economy is strong it can be tough to find good quality workers. Don't settle for second best. Instead, pay your employees generously and make your business a fun place to work. Once you have those two factors in place, use some of the above tips to help you find good employees without using a help wanted sign.