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How to find employees

Attract top-quality talent to optimize your team.

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Finding the right employee isn’t as simple as posting the role and watching top applicants roll in. Save time and money on your hunt for new talent by thinking critically about the jobs you want to fill and promoting your company as a place people want to work. But, to benefit from a large applicant pool, you might need to pay to promote open positions.

How to find quality employees

Even if you’ve just got one position to fill, consider using this as an opportunity to establish a process for future hiring. Deciding on a best practice will save you time and energy next time you’re faced with finding quality employees. Three cheers for efficiency!

Cultivate a magnetic company culture

Finding quality employees begins even before a position opens up. Simply put, you need to offer benefits and a company culture that entices new hires to jump on board. Consider benefits that would set your company apart — pet insurance, a staff kitchen stocked with snacks and drinks, catered meals, work-from-home flexibility, even unlimited PTO.

And make sure your brand makes a strong impression online. Update the About section of your website to truly reflect who your company is and what it’s about. This attracts candidates that align with your mission.

Leverage HR software to manage employee satisfaction

Your best bet for new quality employees is current employees who respect you

says Jon Brodsky, CEO of Finder US. “Make that happen, and you’ll attract the people you want.” Basically, happy employees act as free marketing.

This may mean investing in the HR side of your biz. Get regular feedback from your employees, and adjust policies accordingly to create a place where people want to work. HR software like Officevibe, Kudos and Peakon can engage employees and elicit anonymous feedback on your behalf.

Write a compelling job description

A job description is your chance to make a great first impression on high-quality candidates. If the copy is superfluous, full of errors, or sounds too good to be true, top clients will look elsewhere. A good job description is:

  • Accurate
  • Straightforward
  • Honest
  • Personable
  • Succinct

List the responsibilities, the metrics on how you judge success, and note whether some responsibilities outweigh others in the role.

Also, more than 50% of job seekers use their phone to search for jobs, according to Glassdoor — another reason to ensure that every word in your job description is intentional and essential to delivering important information.

Decide on a budget

It costs money to attract the most qualified applicants. Figure out how much you can spend on promoting the position. Pay-per-click jobs on LinkedIn start at a budget of $5 daily, and monthly memberships with both Monster and ZipRecruiter start at $249.

Is paying to promote a job post worth it?

According to Adrienne Fuller, head of publishing at Finder US,

It’s worth it when you have a role that requires a specific kind of background and it’s hard to find qualified candidates.

Consider posting a job on your company website or Indeed to start, then move to a paid posting if you haven’t received quality candidates in the time you were expecting.

Consider applicant tracking software

Applicant tracking software (ATS) is a digital tool that streamlines the process of finding high-quality employees by:

  • Launching a branded career site
  • Automatically posting to job boards
  • Customizing job applications
  • Parsing through resumes based on predetermined criteria
  • Facilitating qualification assessments
  • Running background checks on potential candidates
  • Keeping and organizing post-interview feedback

Think of ATS as a digital HR administrator. It takes managing the minutiae of the hiring process off your shoulders, maximizing overall efficiency for getting the best candidates.

Popular ATS systems include:

  • Oracle Taleo — $29+ monthly
  • Bullhorn — $99+ monthly
  • Jobvite — $4,000+ annually
  • SmartRecruiters — free for up to 10 hires
  • iCIMS — $6,000+ annually
  • SAP SuccessFactors — $85+ annually
  • Workable — $50+ monthly per job

Promote the job

You’ve drafted the job posting, edited it for clarity and have a plan in place — now’s the time to post the listing. If you made room in your budget to pay for higher rankings and better visibility, enter your credit card information and make it happen.

Remember to brag about your company. Being vocal about the benefits you offer and your company’s overarching mission will help spread the word. Consider launching social media accounts to promote the internal culture of your company, or encourage employees to post their experience directly to social media with videos and photos. A hashtag can generate interest too. For example, Kohl’s uses #LifeAtKohls to aggregate posts about internal events, celebrations and day-to-day life within the nationwide team.

Have a glance at some more tips and options for promoting the job.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Prices start at Free trial? Resume search
LinkedIn
Varies (pay-per-click model)
No
Free
Monster
$249 for 1 job posting
7 days
$650 monthly a la carte, $999 with the Premium plan
Indeed
Unlimited free postings
No
From $100 monthly for 30 candidate contacts
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Where to find employees

Looking for quality employees can drain your time and money if you don’t know where to go. Weigh the pros and cons carefully before charging full-steam ahead, and make sure the routes you choose mesh well with your company’s strengths and weaknesses.

Company website or blog

Post jobs straight to your website, perhaps on the designated career page. Using ATS software will allow candidates to apply directly through your site.

  • Pro. No additional cost.
  • Con. Needs high website traffic to attract many candidates.

Social media

Sharing the post through social media might include LinkedIn, Facebook or even Twitter, depending on your target market. Ask team members and current employees to share the post, to help expand your reach.

  • Pro. Low investment of time and money.
  • Con. Reach is limited to your number of followers and shares.

Referrals

LinkedIn data shows that people mainly look for jobs through referrals, making it the number one source for hiring quality candidates. Give your employees incentive to refer candidates from their personal network and help generate leads.

  • Pro. Referred candidates come recommended by their peers, and are more likely to meet the requirements of the job.
  • Con. Smaller teams are limited, since people may have a short selection of qualified referrals.

Free and paid job boards

Job boards — the digital mashup of community bulletin boards and the classifieds section in old-school newspapers. You could choose a free job board like Indeed — which includes a paid plan for boosting your post — or opt for a paid service such as Monster, LinkedIn or ZipRecruiter.

  • Pro. Access a massive pool of job seekers, as 60% of candidates use job boards to look for new jobs.
  • Con. You’ll probably have to pay extra to make your post stand out.
Do newspapers still have classified sections with job listings?

Yes — newspapers still run print ads for local jobs. In fact, 36% of the world’s workforce still searches for jobs through paper media, according to a study from The Boston Consulting Group and Recruit Works Institute. A print ad may be a good option if you don’t plan on paying for relocation costs, and prefer to hire local talent.

That said, most newspapers also have digital job boards. Aggregate job boards like Indeed and CareerBuilder — not to mention Google — often pull job postings from the digital classifieds sections of local newspapers.

For example, when you post a job to the New York Times job page, it will be posted on 1,300 sites including “local, national and niche job sites, search engines, [the NYT] mobile app and Facebook,” purportedly reaching over 37 million job seekers each month. A Times Talent Reach job posting starts at $399.

Headhunters

Outsourcing your search for the right candidate to a headhunter can save you time and frustration. This might be a good choice if you need to fill a specialized position that requires a very specific skill set. Headhunters can tap into their own pool of talent and actively search for candidates.

  • Pro. It offers an expert touch and frees you up to focus on other tasks.
  • Con. You pay the headhunter after they fill the position — usually 20% to 30% of the candidate’s salary.

Job fairs

Set up a booth and meet dozens of potential employees face-to-face at a job fair or career expo. These can also be a good way to find fresh recruits like college graduates, and might expose you to candidates who wouldn’t otherwise apply online.

  • Pro tip: An industry-specific job fair, like the Engineering Employment EXPO at the University of Illinois, can help secure higher-quality leads.
  • Pro. You can get a sense for candidates in person, without committing to an interview — while promoting your brand.
  • Con. You’ll pay a fee to set up a table and print pamphlets and other paraphernalia.

Bottom line

To find high-quality candidates as a small-business owner, you should leverage your in-person and social media network. Also consider investing in promoting your job posting, so more high talent will see it. If you need help with the hiring process, follow our step-by-step guide to bringing a new employee on board.

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