Anyone who tells you that finding good employees is a piece of cake, either isn’t telling you the truth or has never tried to find employees. (You can tell them I said that friend.) Recruiting is hard. Even large businesses with large budgets and teams of recruiters have a difficult time finding qualified candidates. So it can be even more challenging for a small business with limited budget, time and resources. Not to mention, you’re probably not a recruiter by trade, unless you are, which means you may not have all the insider savvy that a professional recruiter or human resources professional would have. And I don’t have to mention the fact that you have, oh just a few hundred other things to do other than figure out the best places to advertise your job openings.
All of these challenges may lead you to what seems the easiest and perhaps even the most familiar source of finding employees- online job boards. There is nothing wrong with online job boards. Jacksonville Works is an online job board, so I’m definitely not discouraging promoting your jobs online. Please do, especially on Jacksonville Works. Online job boards certainly have a place in your recruiting strategy.
But the competition can be fierce on the big online job boards. Monster alone boasts on its homepage that it has over 5 million jobs posted. That’s 5 million other positions your job posting will be competing against to get the eyeballs and attention of the best job seekers. Indeed claims to have over 50 million active job postings each year. Even more competition, like 10 times more.
Unless you have a really strong and effective strategy to make your job ad and position stand out online, it’s a smart move to incorporate some offline activity into your recruiting efforts.
Offline recruitment and local niche job advertisement makes sense for small businesses for a few reasons. Offline recruiting is:
Cheaper: Online job postings aren’t cheap. Job postings on Jacksonville Works are very affordable; however, if you’re posting those huge sites, expect to pay a few hundred bucks on that job posting.
More personal: You can find great candidates by building a relationship or leveraging a shared relationship. You’ve automatically built trust if someone they trust refers them to a job with your company.
Easier to gain attention of job seekers: On the big job sites, there are millions of other job ads to distract the job seeker. Offline you’re more likely to have their undivided attention at least for a few seconds.
Targeted: Instead of casting a wind net hoping that your ideal candidate will jump into it, you go where they are likely to be. Have a job that’s perfect for a college student? Go to where college students hang out.
Limitless: Incorporating more offline recruiting activities automatically adds more options to help you reach great candidates. You’re only limited by your creativity.
But Where Offline Should I Look for Jobseekers???????
If you’re still reading this, you may be wondering: Where can I post a job offline? That's an excellent question. Everything is so geared to online that we often forget about real life opportunities. There are plenty of offline places to look for talent, but these nine have proven to be effective.
1. Your kid’s (or any kid’s) school: Leave a flier or postcard about your job in the main office. This is especially a good source if your job is family friendly and works well for people with small children. The staff at the school can easily share this information with parents they know who are seeking employment. Parents may see it during pick-ups or drop-offs or school employees may be interested as a way to make some extra cash.
2. Local Churches: Local churches are a hub for the community and those in need. Reach out to your own church or churches nearby your business to find out how you can share your job opportunities with their membership. Churches often become aware of people looking for jobs and welcome resources to provide to those who come to them for assistance. Some churches even publish job opportunities on bulletin boards, programs or their websites.
3. Community Bulletin Boards: These are great resources to use to post jobs. I see these most in restaurants and coffee shops. The local Panera Bread and Starbucks have them and I always see people checking out the things that are posted. The next time you’re picking up lunch or grabbing that morning coffee, take a look to see if there is a bulletin board. If so, post your job there too!
4. Apartment communities: Thousands of people live in apartment communities so why not advertise your jobs there? Typically common areas like the pool and mailbox have a place for information to be shared with the community. Tack up a flier about your employment opportunities. You never know who is looking for a job.
5. Local trade schools, colleges and universities: Speak with the career services office about sharing your job with students. Don’t worry about whether the job is a professional position or related to a particular field of study. Students need cash while they are in school, so part-time jobs are great for them. And don’t stop there. Take a trip out to the school campus and post fliers where students gather or on bulletin boards that you find.
6. Non-Profit agencies: Focus on organizations that help people find employment. A few of my go-to agencies are:
The Salvation Army
Depending on the job, agencies that assist those with mental disabilities find employment can be an awesome resource. These employees are typically dedicated, committed and very proficient once they learn the job. The job placement coordinators at these agencies will love to hear from you.
7. Networking events: Most networking events give you the opportunity to make a brief introduction. Use those few seconds to share your job opening. Take it up a notch by attaching a small flier or postcard about your job opening to your business cards. That way as you’re working the room passing out business cards, you’ll also be getting the word out that you’re hiring. You never know who knows someone who would be perfect for your job.
8. Your barber shop, beauty salon, nail salon etc: Your hair stylist knows who just got laid off or had to start doing her hair at home because money is tight. The same thing goes for nail techs and barbers. Let them know that you’re hiring and leave them something small, like the mini-flyers or postcards that you’re going to hand out at networking events. They can easily slip to a customer’s hand that may be interested in your job.
9. Your employees: If you don’t have an employee referral program you’re missing out on a huge recruitment resource. For a small, but meaningful incentive, your employees may be willing to refer their friends and family to work for your business.
These ideas should get the ball going and more ideas flowing of how you can get the word out about your job opening in real life. Taking your recruiting efforts offline can give an added boost to your hiring and get you closer to finding the amazing employees your small business needs to grow.
If you're like me, you read all kinds of awesome things online that you want to try in your business (or at home) but never actually get around to it. That's why I created this simple planning worksheet to make it easier to put some action behind the ideas you've just read. Download your free copy here.
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