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Looking for Employees

The thought of looking for employees can be daunting.

You have to go through several steps before you can even begin the search, and then there is the search itself.

Where do you begin to look?

Where do the perfect candidates go to look for jobs?

How much is it going to cost you to post an ad and keep paying to keep it up long enough to find someone who is a good fit?

Luckily there are tools out there that can make this process easier, but first let’s look at what you need to do when looking for employees, and the different ways you can go about finding top talent for your company.

Your First Steps When Looking for Employees

There are the standard procedures that you have to have in place before looking for new employees, such as identifying the need for more help, making sure you have workers’ comp insurance in place, setting up health insurance, writing out job descriptions, yada yada yada.

There are also several important things that you may not be thinking about as you are preparing for new hires.

We’ve written extensively on the subject of how to the steps you should be taking before hiring in another article that you can read here.

How to Be an Attractive Employer

There are many things that you can do as a company to be an attractive place for people to work.

If you get a good reputation, like Google, as being a top place to work that is innovating, listens to employees, and offers cool bonuses like a free in-house snack bar, then you will hold a lot of power over other companies that are more rank and file and less caring towards their employees.

Remember that company in the news that decided to offer a starting salary of $70,000 to all employees? So does all the top talent in Seattle vying to work there.

Make your workspace as friendly as possible. Give everyone standing desks and under desk cycles to make sure they stay healthy and keep moving. Just having the option to stand is an amazing bonus in any office.

Consider shorter workdays or shorter workweeks. There are plenty of studies out there backing up how this makes for happier employees and even increases productivity.

Just make sure you think outside the box and work on how to differentiate yourself from other employers.

Turnover is expensive, and investing a little more to keep your employees is well worth the cost.

If you want to learn more about being an attractive employer and finding employers that are a great fit for you company, check out this article.

What are the Different Methods of Looking for Employees?

There are a ton of different methods you can use when looking for employees. You will likely be using a combination of several of these to try and find your talent where they are at.

Recruiting internally

Make sure and give your current employees the chance at higher positions first. This is a major perk that you can advertise to new employees, that you promote from within.

You already know your current employees, their work ethic, and what they are capable of accomplishing.

Give them a crack at applying for open positions first and you will have an amazing work culture as people will work hard for promotion opportunities.

Web advertising and job boards

As mentioned above, you can hit up sites like ZipRecruiter, oftentimes getting started for free, and let technology do a lot of the work for you.

True that ZipRecruiter is sponsoring this article, but I wouldn’t be writing about it if it wasn’t a good solution to finding employees for your company.

They not only make things easier for you to pre-screen employees and only get candidates who are an excellent fit, but they make it easy to apply for positions too.

I know that I hate spending an hour on an application for a job I may not even get considered for, and ZipRecruiter offers 1-click apply options for job-seekers.

Social media

Make sure you are posting your open positions on your social media pages.

People who love your brand may be following you for other reasons, and may see that you have open positions and want to work for you.

If not, they may know someone who is the perfect fit and send them to you as a referral.

Don’t discount the power of a quick social post.

Recruitment companies

There are specific agencies whose job it is to find employees for companies. You may want to look into a recruitment agency if you have a lot of positions to fill and don’t have recruitment staff of your own to get the job done.

Hiring the job of looking for employees out to another company can take some weight off your shoulders, but the agency won’t know your company like you do, and you will be paying a hefty fee for them to get the job done.

Previous talent pool

You’ve likely looked for employees in the past, so odds are that you have a stack of resumes filed away in your filing cabinet with eligible candidates.

Don’t overlook this gold mine of opportunity.

These are candidates who were already looking to work for your company and you’ve already spent money and resources to find.

Odds are your interviews had a person who came in a close second or third place. Just because some time has passed doesn’t mean they still aren’t looking for good opportunities.

Employee referrals

Allow your employees the chance to earn a little extra cash by referring people they know to your job.

This will save you time and resources, and you will only pay if the referral is hired and works for a certain amount of time.

An employee referral program is a win-win all around.

Past employees

Not everyone (hopefully) has left your company on bad terms.

Many employees leave because they feel that they will have better opportunity elsewhere. Some realize after they’ve made the move that they were wrong.

If you’ve lost good employees in the past, it may be time to reconnect with some top talent you’ve lost and see if you can persuade them to come back and fill a position for you.


Similar to a recruitment agency, but still different, headhunters are out looking for people with a specific set of skills and qualifications.

Headhunters are more likely to be looking at people who aren’t actively seeking new employment, but may be willing to be persuaded to make a move if it helps them get further in their career.

This would be more for your top-level company positions where you need decorated employees who can complete highly-skilled tasks within your company.

Headhunters will be pricey, but they will also do all the work for you of reaching out and connecting with people that will be the perfect fit.


On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you are looking for more entry level positions, you shouldn’t discount seeking interns that need job experience.

Offering a paid internship will make you competitive, and can help to fill short-term needs for employees within your company.

The best part is, if you find someone who is a good fit with your company and is close to graduation, you already have them on staff and can make an offer for a full-time position.

Recruitment events and job fairs

You can always find local job fairs that are happening and pay to set up a booth there. You will likely come across hundreds of eager candidates looking for employment, and come home with a stack of resumes.

The problem here is that you will not be able to pre-screen people before they hand you their resume, other than the few quick questions you ask them before they move to the next booth.

The good news is you can get a sense of how they act and articulate during your conversation, and slap sticky notes on each resume as you add it to the stack, saving some vetting time later.

In the world of Covid it is likely that these job fairs will be on some sort of online software platform, so you may have to adjust your strategy accordingly.

Outdoor ads

If you are hiring a ton of people, you may want to look into getting a billboard or an ad on the side of a bus.

Outdoor advertising is a blast to the face for everyone passing by. This helps create brand awareness, since people will know of your company even if they aren’t interested in the job.

The bad thing about outdoor ads is that they are extremely expensive, and lack the ability to be tracked for effectiveness.

External talent pools

There are places besides your stack of past applicants that you can find talented people.

ZipRecruiter is an example of a platform where you can search job seekers by qualifications and reach out to those you think would be a good fit.

You can send direct messages, and invite people to apply to your open positions you have posted on the site.

Search LinkedIn

If you don’t want to pay a headhunter to find talent for you, you can seek people out on LinkedIn.

Here you will find a ton of professionals, even if they aren’t currently looking for employment, as most professionals will have a LinkedIn profile set up.

You will be able to see their qualifications, current and past employment, and more.

Doing the headhunting yourself can be very time consuming as you have to find and reach out to people who may have zero interest in leaving their current position.

Careers page on your website

Likely used as a landing spot while directing people in many of these other avenues, your website should have a page for each job you have an opening for.

All jobs should also be linked on one career landing page to act as your own personal job board.

This way you not only have a place to send people, but you may also catch Google searches or people browsing your website for career opportunities.

Show off your company culture

You can attract people to want to work for your company just by showing off how awesome it is to work for you.

This is usually what Instagram accounts are used for, but you can pick any different social media platform and showcase the cool things your employees get to do because they work for you.

Showcase volunteer opportunities, weekly meals, leadership events, holiday parties, and anything else you can think of that will make people want to click the link in your bio and see what jobs you have open.

Recruitment video

You can also showcase what a great place your company is to work in a video and upload it to YouTube, put it on your careers page, and link to it in your online job posts.

Again, show people why they should want to work for you, the culture and comradery you offer, the people you are able to help with your business, and the benefits package that you offer to employees.

If you are allowing 6 hour workdays or 4 day workweeks, or any other new-age benefits, that is something you will likely want to talk about in your video as well.

Email list job alerts

If you have a product and a customer base, then you likely have an email list.

Send out an email with frequent job alerts and let people know that you are hiring.

Again, showcase your company as a great place to work with excellent benefits.

You can even offer a reward for referrals in case someone on your email list knows someone who would be a good fit for your open position.

Partner with organizations

You can partner with specific organizations, such as Veteran’s Affairs, or second chance workshops to source employees.

Maybe your company mission is to help people who have a hard time finding employment.

Maybe personally you want to help give people a leg up.

Either way you can find organizations in your community that you can partner with that may be a good source of talent leads.

Partner with colleges to get fresh talent

If you are willing to partner and want to take a chance on some fresh talent, then you may want to consider partnering with colleges and universities.

Students fresh out of college are dying to get work experience, and if you show your company as someone willing to take a chance and train people, you can get your pick of the newbies on the scene.

It’s always good to have the first round draft pick.

Hit the forums

You may need to dig deep into the internet and hit up some forums to find people who are looking for employment.

This is a tedious way of finding candidates, but if you find specific niche forums that are related to your business, you will likely find people who are answering everyone’s questions and know what they are talking about.

Seeing how helpful these people are and the breadth of their knowledge will help you out when looking for employees who know what they’re doing, but may not be actively seeking employment.

Open interviews

If you have some advertising dollars to put the word out, and some time to hold an event, open interviews may be a good way to see a lot of candidates in one sitting.

This is great if you have a ton of positions to fill and want to hire quickly.

Advertise your event and give people a time range to show up, along with instructions on what they should bring and what they should prepare for.

Again, in the world of Covid you may need to find a way to host virtual open interviews where you can interview people in quick succession to get the job done.

PPC ads targeting competitors and job titles

Want to compete with your competitors for that top talent?

You may want to consider pay-per-click (PPC) Google ads.

Set up a campaign that targets your competitors’ business names as well as the job titles that you have open, and put your business front and center in the search engine.

Be aware that your competitors are also likely on ZipRecruiter looking for talent, so it may do well to spend some advertising dollars to get better placement than them there as well.

Is Video Interviewing Okay?

It may seem very weird and impersonal to hold video interviews.

Why, back in my day…. yada yada yada.

Times have changed. We are in the middle of a pandemic. Don’t be afraid to adapt your interview process to allow for video interviews.

For remote positions, this is a no-brainer. Even for local positions where your employees may be working from home right now or working in a hybrid situation, don’t think that you need to see everyone in person.

A video interview is plenty sufficient to be able to judge the personality of someone and get an idea of whether or not they actually know what they are talking about.

Don’t be afraid to adapt to new times.

What Tools Are There to Find Employees?

If you are looking for employees, especially at scale, then you definitely want to invest in an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

An ATS can help automate your hiring process by tracking recruits and marketing efforts, streamlining the hiring process, and organizing applications to make for a better and more efficient system.

Want to know the best part?

ZipRecruiter integrates with your ATS, allowing you to post jobs right from your system. They also allow you to optimize your apply flow by integrating ZipRecruiter straight with your application.

You also get access to ZipRecruiters more than 9 million resumes that you can browse and import straight from your ATS.

Interested in trying out ZipRecruiter to find your next employee?

Give their free trial a try and see why everyone is switching to ZipRecruiter whenever they are looking for employees.

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