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How to find the best employees for your business

4-minute read

When you’re hiring it’s important to cast a wide net to attract applications from the best candidates. Fortunately, it’s never been easier to get your job posting in front of prospective employees thanks to the many tools and resources designed to connect you to job seekers.

Here is an overview of the main strategies you can use to hire top performing employees.

1. Word of mouth

Despite the advances of the digital age, conventional word of mouth referrals remains the top way of finding job candidates for small businesses, according to a February 2016 survey by online payroll service provider SurePayroll.

Word of mouth recruiting works because employees found through this method have more information about your company and how they are expected to perform. Your best employees can likely refer other good performers since they understand what it takes to do well in your company.

You can increase the amount of word of mouth referrals you get by giving your existing employees financial or other incentives to recommend candidates. Making sure all employees are aware of vacant positions will also help you get more referrals.

Job fairs and on-campus recruitment is a way to create personal connections with potential applicants. Organizing events where employees can invite their friends and families can also help you create relationships with potential recruits.

2. Online job boards

Online job boards are available at websites such as Workopolis, Craigslist, Indeed, Monster.ca, Careerbuilder and SimplyHired. These sites usually charge companies to post a job opening. Some sites allow you to search through resumes that job seekers have posted. You can also create a company page to attract more attention from job seekers.

Make sure to also post your vacancies on federal and provincial government job banks to get a maximum of visibility for your opening.

3. Social media

You can use social media in creative ways to find employees. For example, you can announce openings on your company’s LinkedIn, Facebook and X pages and encourage employees to post about openings on their personal pages. In addition, you can post about openings on discussion forums and other social media pages connected to your industry.

Another avenue is to follow social media discussions to spot people who make insightful comments and could be promising job candidates, then contact them about job opportunities. You can also search LinkedIn for people matching your criteria and contact them directly to see if they’d like to work for you.

Finally, job ads on social media allow you to target very specific demographic groups, including by location and interests. You can monitor the response and tweak the ad to optimize your results.

4. Your own website

Make sure to post employment opportunities on your company website.

5. Print ads

Also consider conventional advertising in magazines, newspapers and trade publications to reach a maximum number of potential applicants.

6. Customers

It can be useful to mention job openings in discussions with customers as well as in newsletters and other material you send to them. They already like your products, so they may know of good candidates or be interested themselves.

7. Outreach organizations

Consider partnering with organizations that specialize in helping underemployed groups such as immigrant or Indigenous workers. Such agencies can help you correct any hiring barriers, expand your pool of job candidates and educate existing employees about the importance of workforce diversity.

Some agencies also offer mentorship services that match companies with new workers and volunteering opportunities, such as participation in advisory committees or guest speaker programs. agencies can also help you address post-hiring issues.

8. Professional associations

Professional associations can be another good source of candidates. Many associations host job boards where you can post openings for free and member directories where you can search for potential employees.

9. Other options

Other resources for recruiting employees include schools, colleges, training programs, university co-op programs, job fairs and staffing or placement firms.

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