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As a small business owner, you know that you can’t run a successful company without a team of outstanding employees. Whether you’re hiring your first employee to help with day to day tasks or you’re looking for someone with specialized skills to round out your team, you’ll want to recruit quality employees.

In this post, we’re sharing five strategies to help you recruit the best possible employees in the new year.

1) Use Social Networks

Today, nearly everyone is using social media, whether personally or professionally. When you’re recruiting new employees, that means you can be instantly connected to a large pool of candidates with a simple post across multiple social media platforms. Start by creating a post and sharing it on your personal social media accounts, as well as your business page. Encourage your networks to share the post with anyone who might be job searching.

When developing social media posts to attract job candidates, there are a few things you can do to make your business and the specific job you’re hiring for stand out.

  • Add images – Social media users are 40% more likely to respond to posts with images. Include a graphic, photo from your business, or a stock photo to draw attention.
  • Make it mobile friendly – Job seekers, especially millennials and recent college grads, do their job searching on mobile devices. Keeping posts short and to the point will make them easier to read on the go and to share with others.
  • Use your hashtags. Using hashtags for recruiting including #jobs #jobposting and #nowhiring will attract attention from job seekers who are using social media to find their new career.

2) Tap into Professional Networks

While social media can help you connect with complete strangers when hiring for a new job, don’t forget about the connections you’ve already made in the industry. Chances are, the people you’ve met while networking, attending industry events, and doing professional development will know people who are looking for their next career move.

Social networking can come into play again when you’re reaching out to your network. LinkedIn is a great tool for connecting with people you’ve met in a business setting, and the social network also makes it easy to send a quick message about your job opening if you don’t have their email address.

When reaching out with your job opportunity, be clear and concise. Give them the job title and a summary of the responsibilities of the role. Ask your contact person to put you in touch with qualified candidates, or to pass along the information to those who might be interested in your position.

3) Develop an Employee Referral Program

If you’ve already been working hard to build your team of solid employees, you might also have a built-in recruitment team at your disposal. Your current employees know about your company culture, your expectations, and the benefits of working for you better than anyone. That can make them the most effective recruiters, as well as the most cost-effective.

They key to working with current employees to hire future employees is to create a solid referral program so that your team benefits as well. Create a form that makes it easy to share the contact information of their qualified connections. In return, if their referral is moved on to the interview round, that employee would receive an incentive. Cash, gift cards, and paid time off are typically well-received.

4) Post on General and Industry Specific Job Boards

When you aren’t finding the right candidates through your connections and networks, it’s time to reach out to a larger audience. Job boards are the modern day classified ads. If you post your open position on one or more, there’s a good chance of your post reaching a large audience.

General job boards will allow you to reach the widest audience and give your job listing the most exposure. Some of the most used general job boards include:

If you’re looking for new employees that have a certain skill set or who are dedicated to the industry you’re working in, you’ll also want to post on industry specific boards. A quick internet search will give you the top websites for your industry. Some examples of those boards include:

5) Attend Job Fairs

If you prefer to meet potential candidates in person, look into local job fairs. These events are ideal for meeting potential employees because nearly everyone will be there for the same reason – to find their next job.

Your booth will be the first impression that potential employees will have of your company, so be sure it’s a good one. Here are some tips for designing your booth to catch the attention of job fair attendees and use those introductions as a way to find your next great employee.

  • Be approachable – Choose a friendly face to man your booth so that candidates will feel comfortable starting a conversation and getting to know your business.
  • Create a visually appealing display – Use color and images to draw attention. Use a video screen, like a laptop or tablet, to show video from your business or projects you’ve worked on.
  • Make your information available – Bring flyers, brochures, and business cards for attendees to take with them.
  • Get information –Don’t forget to collect contact information from prospective employees. A simple contact sheet with space for names, phone numbers, and emails will work.
Jess Barnes

Jess has a passion for helping small business owners build their brands and connect with their customers. She writes about money, tech, and marketing for blogs and businesses.