Taking stock of the recruiting choices you can use to fulfill your recruiting needs will help ensure that your choice is the right one for your business.
If you have an open job position to fill, your first inclination is probably to choose a recruiting method that appeals to you and jump right in. However, planning out your approach to recruiting employees can make the process more effective. After you take into consideration such factors as time constraints and your budget, you can then evaluate the success of your recruiting methods for future reference.
How immediate is your need?
If you need someone immediately, certain media and methods will serve you much more quickly than others. If you need someone in a hurry, chances are you'll opt for the classified ads or use referrals from other business associates to get a quick turnaround, unless you are trying to recruit from far-away geographic locations (as may be the case if you're looking for applicants with highly specialized knowledge and skills).
If you have more time and expect to have a harder time finding just the right person, there are additional methods, including other forms of advertising, that will allow you to reach a wider number of people and possibly be choosier about whom you bring into your business.
If you plan to hire frequently, it may be in your best interest to develop a relationship with one or more outside employment agencies. Despite the dollar costs, the time you save in the long run in legwork searching for the right employee is worth it.
Which methods can you afford?
If you are on a shoestring budget, you'll find that certain media are less costly than others and may be just as effective as more expensive methods. The amount of money you're willing and able to spend on publicizing and advertising a job opening will largely dictate which methods and media you should use in your search.
No cost methods. If you use free advertising, you should have lower expectations than you would have if you were paying. Here are a few no-cost methods of advertising:
- If you have a store-front or office that people pass by, you can post a help-wanted sign in your window. Be warned that you may get people coming in all day, and at times when you're busy — be ready to deal with them.
- Call friends and business associates. They may know someone in need of a job.
- If you have a need for someone in a particular industry or occupation, send a letter or call the local chapter of that industry or trade group telling about your position and asking the chapter president to share the information with members.
- Some smaller newsletters and community newspapers will let you advertise job openings for free or at low rates.
- Take advantage of bulletin boards wherever you find them: libraries, community centers, local schools and universities, apartment complexes, and the Internet. Be sure that you get permission to post, if it's required.
Small budget. If you have a budget big enough to handle only one ad, in most cases your best bet will be the classified ad section of the Sunday newspaper. Despite the discussion that the best jobs are never advertised, many employers still place ads in the newspaper and most job seekers read them. Not only that, but major newspapers are putting their classifieds up on the Internet, so you may get more exposure than you bargained for. On that note, you may consider online job posting as well.
Bigger budget. If you've allowed for a bigger budget, chances are that you're placing a high level of importance on the job and the person you'll choose. If you have the time and money, consider a display ad in a newspaper or trade journal (to attract a person with specific skills or industry experience). Other alternatives to consider if you want to reach a huge audience and spend more are television and radio.
Measure your success
If you anticipate that you will need to hire more employees in the future, keep a record of all the ads or other recruiting methods you've tried, and make a notation as to the number of responses (and qualified applicants) you got through each recruiting channel. That way you'll be able to recruit more quickly and effectively next time.