Recruit Staff

The job market is constantly changing, but the heart of any business large or small will always be its staff. Regardless of the state of the job market or economy in your industry, recruiting knowledgeable and competent staff is the best way to keep your business successful and to get ahead. It’s important to know how to recruit staff in a time-efficient and economical way that will ensure that you find the right employees to work with. Different industries can employ different methods to recruit staff based on needs and requirements, but there are some surefire tips to recruit staff that will work for any business.


Assessing Your Company Before You Recruit

  1. Consider hiring internally. Instead of bringing someone in from outside the company, you may have the ideal candidate already in your employ. This method has both its advantages and disadvantage.
    • The advantage of recruiting in-house is that the employees are already familiar with the corporate culture of your business. Corporate culture "describes and governs the ways a company's owners and employees think, feel and act." [1] This kind of employee will have a valuable knowledge of the company and you will have the resources of their past work achievements to help you determine if they’re right for the job.
    • The disadvantages of hiring in-house include being limited in your pool of applicants and exposing yourself to the possibility of resentment from other employees who went out for the job but were not chosen.
    • Being very clear about the requirements of the job as well as the hiring process can alleviate any disadvantages and ensure a quality applicant.[2]
  2. Establish an intern program. Work with local colleges or schools to employ interns or students seeking work-study credits and experience. Working with interns will give you the inside edge to recruit the best and brightest as soon as they graduate.
    • Network with local colleges and job placement centers to increase the presence of your business. Student advisers will be more likely to send recruits your way.
  3. Write a Job Description. Before you write a job description, look at your company's current needs for employment. Decide what features you believe are most important to the job and the criteria that an applicant should meet.
    • You should include position titles, salary, time requirements, job duties, required education or credentials, and any other requirements or requests that an ideal candidate should have. This will help you present a clear vision to potential candidates.
    • You can also list criteria that would be a plus but that is not required. This will help outline your dream candidate but will not limit the applicant pool too much.[3]
    • Make sure to talk to those that will be working with the new recruit and ask them what they require. This will ensure a better placement for the new staff and keep your current staff happier.

Attracting the Best Applicants

  1. Reach the right audience. Think about where you believe your ideal candidate would spend time, both in person and online, and advertise your company and job vacancy in those places.
    • Advertise the job opening with professional organizations and online communities that pertain to your business. This will increase the number of qualified candidates that see your listing.
    • Think of businesses that an applicant with your intended skill set might frequent and put up a billboard nearby. You can also use skill-based language on the sign that will attract the necessary applicants.[4]
    • Purchase ad space that will appear when certain keywords are searched in online search engines. This will ensure that people that have the skill set you need will see your ads.[4]
  2. Post job offers on job boards. Use job search sites to recruit staff by posting the job description and checking it often. You should also post on a regular basis. Many job seekers only search new postings that are less than a week old to save time. Posting more than once will make sure your posting gets read.
  3. Advertise in new places. The new employee that you're looking for may not frequent the traditional places that job advertisements are posted. You may also be able to attract candidates that are currently employed but that might want a promotion or are looking to change up their current employment.
    • Post in the sports or local news section of the newspaper. A job advertisement is more likely to be seen if it isn't lost among the crowd of other help wanted ads.[5]
    • Place flyers in places that are frequented by the most residents in the areas you are looking for possible employees. Gyms, recreation clubs, and libraries are visited by large groups of people on a regular basis and usually have posting boards for advertisements. Posting in these type areas will expand the reach of your job advertisements.[5]
  4. Use social media. In the modern technology age, social media platforms are more popular than ever and are visited by thousands of people on a daily basis. This option is both far reaching and cost effective for both applicants and employers. You can also add company information, link to the company website, upload business logos, and link to the application for no extra charge.[6]
    • Possible online venues are Facebook, Twitter, LinkIn, and MyCareer.
  5. Ask for recommendations from colleagues and past employees. Others in your industry will likely have recommendations for potential recruits. Ask around to colleagues whose opinions you trust for any recommendations of people that might fit the job requirements. You may also want to contact former employees that might know qualified candidates since they would be familiar with your company.[5]
  6. Offer a finder's fee. Offer your current employees as well as third parties such as suppliers, customers, or the general public a small fee if you end up hiring someone they referred. There will be even more people searching for qualified candidates aside from those charged with hiring the new applicant.[5]
    • For current employees, you may can offer non-monetary rewards and instead give them company perks. These can be anything from a better parking space for a year to additional days off.[4]
  7. Use referral cards. Send your current employees out with recruitment cards that have the company's website and information on it. If they see someone that they believe will fit the job opening, they can hand them the card to let them know about your company and the job opening. This method will bring you applicants from places that normal job advertisements may not reach and give you a larger and more diverse pool of applicants.[7]
  8. Highlight the benefits. Enhance any perks or benefits to the job when recruiting, including health insurance, vacation options, investment and stock opportunities, employee discounts, performance bonuses, and pay raise options. Making the job look as good as possible will increase the enthusiasm of candidates.
  9. Offer more than anyone else. New hires that are fielding offers from more than one company will go where the money is, so offer slightly above the average pay for the position. You can also state that you are willing to negotiate. Not every company is, so this will add to your appeal.
  10. Recruit diversely. Improving diversity when you recruit staff will enhance your business and give you more opportunities to find great new staff. You should open the job to a wide variety of candidates, making sure to not distinguish who you hire based on age, race, sexual orientation, religion, gender, or marital status.[3]
    • Avoid putting any modifiers such as "young" or using gendered pronouns in your job description that might deter certain groups of people from applying.[8]

Interviewing and Hiring the New Employee

  1. Make a shortlist of candidates. Once you have received all applications, eliminate those who do not fit the basic qualifications you laid out in your job description. If you have too many applicants at this point, consider the qualifications you listed for the ideal candidate that were not mandatory. This will give you those candidates that stand out above all the others based on their extra skill set.
    • Make sure you think about how much time you have to interview. You want to make sure the number of applicants you call in for interviews is low enough that you can give adequate attention to them all.
    • Have multiple people create a shortlist. This will ensure there is no personal bias.[3]
  2. Have a multiple step interview process. Perform phone interviews, in person interviews, and if necessary, followup interviews. This gives you more time with each candidate and will help you to fully understand how they would work within your business.[9]
    • If you are interviewing someone who lives far away or out of state, consider online video interviews. This helps to make sure your applicant reach is as far as possible.
  3. Ask the right questions. During each type of interview, make sure you ask pointed and relevant questions to the job you are filling. Ask the same set of core questions, but also tailor some of your questions to each applicant's particular qualifications and experiences.[9]
    • Take this time to ask about possible holes in their experience or qualifications. You can also ask applicants about particular skills that might be above and beyond what you were expecting.
  4. Hire based on skill. You want to make sure that your final decision is based off of the applicant's overall qualifications and skill set, not just their personality. While having a person that will fit in with your company's corporate culture is important, if the possible hire cannot adequately perform their new job, then you will soon be back in the same position again.[10]
  5. Check references. By checking reference, you can find out about the applicants work ethic from past employers. Take the time to call some of the references provided in their resume and ask about work performance, strengths and weaknesses, and reliability. This will give you a better idea of whether the recruit is right for your company.
  6. Give yourself as much time as possible. It’s important to take your time when making staffing decisions to ensure that you choose the best candidate for the job. Leave a window of opportunity to reflect on potential candidates instead of rushing to make a hasty decision.


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Sources and Citations