For small businesses, personally recruiting prospective job candidates can be an especially appropriate method of filling hiring needs. Referrals from friends and business associates as well as recruiting at schools can be valuable sources of help.
You'd like to hire someone for your business and like the idea of using the more personal route of recruiting on your own. Maybe you've tried other routes such as advertising in the classifieds or online and haven't meet with much success. Or perhaps the nature of your business requires you and your employees to work closely together and you want to narrow down the pool to a common factor that would be a good fit for you and your business. Personal recruiting allows you to personally look for, meet with, or contact people whom you would like to hire.
So where do you start? Well, just about everybody knows someone who needs a job. Referrals can come from colleagues, present employees, and friends. You can also call people you know and ask them if they are aware of anyone meeting your qualifications. Hiring referrals from friends or acquaintances has several benefits. Referrals can bring in quality recruits and can create a pleasant work environment where employees support one another and work harder.
Hiring too many people that were referred by other employees has its downside, too. If you get too many employees who are personal friends in the office, it can result in a group that resists supervision, covers up for its members, socializes too much, snubs those not in the group, and causes problems in the working relationship if personal differences or conflicts arise.
Maybe personal or employee referrals are too personal as far as recruiting goes. If this is the case, recruiting at job fairs and schools can be a happy medium when it comes to personal recruiting,
Recruiting at schools and job fairs
A popular way that small businesses can get involved in personal recruiting efforts is at local job fairs. Watch the Sunday classified ads for announcements about upcoming events or get information from your local chamber of commerce or industry or trade group. Job fairs vary in size but even smaller ones will allow you to meet personally with numerous candidates that you can consider for positions.
Another option is recruiting at schools. Whether it makes sense for a small business to engage in high school, trade school, or college recruiting depends upon several factors, including:
- how many employees you need to hire
- which type of employees you need to hire
One advantage to school recruiting is that you can often get an ad placed on a school bulletin board or online for free. Also, colleges and high schools are great places to find workers for the summer. If you need temporary summer help, ask the school's office/guidance office for permission to post an announcement at the end of the school year on the school's bulletin board or website. Summer workers are great temporary help. They are short-term, generally accept lower pay than other part-time help, and don't require benefits.
Most schools have a bulletin board area near the career placement or guidance office that lists part-time, temporary, and full-time job listings for students. Some schools have online job listings for students. Once you get permission from the school, you may be able to post jobs on the bulletin board or online.
Keep in mind that job postings must be written in the same way as a job ad. You cannot use discriminatory language nor can you have job qualifications that would tend to discriminate against one protected group of individuals. As is true for job ads, the only exception is the bona fide occupational qualification exemption.
Most large colleges and universities have a placement office or career counseling function that interacts with employers to place graduates. You might consider contacting that office at a local university and checking into when you might be able to recruit students. Often the office will put up a posting of your job and even set up an interview schedule for you.
Another resource you might check with at the local university is the financial aid office. Many students need at least part-time work to pay for college expenses. The financial aid office may be able to help put you in touch with students in search of work.
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