How to Find "Hard to Find" Employees

I recently met with the CEO of a small trucking company who was lamenting the fact that he couldn’t find applicants to fill driver vacancies he needed to fill. The week before, I met with the owner of a small tech company who can’t find programmers who are willing to stay more than six months and help grow the company. Last month I heard much the same story from the owner of a startup. He needed sales people who weren’t demanding $125K.

So, where do these businesses find the employees they need? I know the RIGHT employee is out there and needs to be matched with the RIGHT company. What’s missing is the “HOW”….here are the “HOW’s” that are working for other small businesses that I work with:

1. Remember - You are always in hiring mode…particularly if you’re the owner. Don’t delegate the hiring process to someone else. You know the best people for your company.
2. Find dedicated employees through your network….which means you need a very strong network to begin with. Start looking before you need to hire.
3. If can you can’t find people who are willing to stay….maybe you need to look at older workers…for example the owner of the tech company is willing to train people to learn coding and programming. Trust me, there are lots of people in the job market today who are willing and eager to learn new skills and they’ll take less $$$.
4. Work with your local trade schools to find good candidates.
5. Ask your current employees for help in recruiting.
6. Share your passion for your company and industry with everyone you know and let them know there are great opportunities available.
7. Work with your industry associations. Get involved in the hiring process.

The days of putting a help wanted ad in the local paper are long gone. Online sites are ok and sometimes you’ll get lucky and the ideal candidate will emerge from the thousands of resumes you receive. Better yet, the perfect candidate could magically walk into your office tomorrow…..please don’t hold your breath.

The BEST way to find “hard to find” candidates is to get involved with the hiring process and MAKE it happen.

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