Where to Find New Employees

ChooseWhat’s Web Development Associate April Coburn has worn many hats for our company. Originally our Office Manager, she has been a part of the hiring process for several positions and has had the distinct pleasure of hunting down new employees.  Read below to get her advice on how to search for the perfect candidates for your business.

Check Out Craigslist

Craigslist is a great resource to find new employees if you use it properly and beware of Spammers. Coburn advises that some positions seem to elicit more Spam than others, so it’s best to come up with a way to weed out the Spammers.

“A method I’ve used to throw out all the Spammers is to ask applicants to answer a specific question in their email or put a particular subject line,” Coburn says. “This not only allows me to see who is clearly a Spambot easily, but if the applicants follow instructions, they are automatically moved to the next round.”

Other tips for looking for applicants on Craigslist include:

  • Post positions in several different categories, but don’t go overboard.
  • Never list your phone number.
  • Use an anonymous email address.
  • Repost your job posting weekly so that it doesn’t get buried by new listings.
  • Make your job posting clear about what you want.
  • Be aware of size issues if you’re requesting work samples. (Craigslist only allows a specific number of files to be received through their system.)
  • Take down the job posting once you’ve hit a specific number of applicants. (Coburn suggests 50.)

Look for Interns on University Sites

If you’re searching for interns, the absolute best resource to help you find them is your local university’s job posting site. Since we’re based in Austin, Texas, we take advantage of the University of Texas job board.

Although the school is so huge, Coburn says that she prefers not to narrow her search down to just one department or major.

“We know that they’re not that far along in their careers, so we tend to keep our options open,” she says.

Coburn also says that, since the job board is private, you can feel free to post your real email address because you won’t be getting spammed, but you should still never post your phone number.

ChooseWhat’s Strategies Officer Gaines Kilpatrick also suggests posting on local university job boards if you’re looking for an entry-level position because alumni will also be searching the board. That’s how he found Coburn!

Kilpatrick recommends making sure that your job posting sells the company as well, especially if the job you’re hiring for won’t be the most exciting one.

“If you describe a bunch of menial tasks, no one will apply, so you should advertise the benefits of working for your company and try to attract the right candidate,” he says.

Learn more about getting the most out of your interns.

Use a Headhunter for Senior Positions

While weeding through dozens of resumes might work for most positions you’re hiring for, Coburn suggests using a headhunter for senior-level employees.

“Headhunters usually charge20 to 30 percent of the yearly salary, so for a senior-level position, it’s worth it,” Kilpatrick says.

Tip:  Instead of using a general headhunter service, look for a specialized headhunter who places employees directly into positions you need to fill.

Try Freelance Sites for Contractors

If you’re looking for a contract laborer, check out freelancing sites, such as oDesk or eLance, which Coburn uses to find web development freelancers.

Coburn recommends working with contract laborers on a per project basis rather than an hourly wage. It should save you time and money in the long run.

She also says to be wary of low-cost agencies that make low bids on your postings. Typically the lower end agencies are based abroad, “so you might think that you’re getting a good deal, but communication could be tricky.”

Coburn advises to ask contractors for references and feel free to call them. They might even give you pointers on how to hire people through these sites.

A benefit of using these freelancing sites is that they have built-in communication tools, such as chat, email, and payment options, which are useful if you’re managing several freelancers.

Network, Network, Network

When searching for a new employee, you should also reach out to people within your industry to give you suggestions or advice.

But, according to Kilpatrick, you should beware of hiring friends. “I shy away from hiring friends because there are usually strings attached!” he advises.

When you’ve found a couple of potential candidates, learn more about conducting the perfect interview!

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