Candidate Pools & Proactive Recruiting, College Recruiting, Employment Advertising

Recruiting on the Cheap

Talent acquisition tips often make the assumption that a company has something it may not have: a robust recruiting budget.

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What if you’re a small to midsize company with little or no money to spend on employee recruitment? Is it still possible to attract the job candidates you seek?

Recruiting on the cheap can yield results. Here are a few areas on which to focus.

Employee referrals. You’ve no doubt heard it before, but it’s worth repeating. Employee referrals are the No. 1 source of external hires, because they work. The process is straightforward: Ask your staff members if they know anyone who may be interested in working for the company.

Offering an incentive, such as a monetary bonus, encourages employees to participate. If your budget is limited, you may want to offer a nominal financial reward for an employee who refers a new hire, such as a gift card. Or, you can take an entirely different approach, and give an employee an extra day off for a successful referral. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you’re consistent when implementing referral rewards.

Help-wanted signs. Although they may seem totally old school, help-wanted signs get people’s attention. Depending on your type of business, this method of advertising may or may not work for you. A help-wanted sign in a doctor’s office, for example, probably isn’t a good idea, unless it’s specific (for example, part-time receptionist wanted). A help-wanted sign at a fitness center, on the other hand, may attract an ideal candidate.

Regional job fairs. Local chambers of commerce and economic development organizations often hold job fairs. These events provide a great opportunity to educate job seekers and others about your company and what it has to offer in terms of employment and career paths.

Community connections. While formal events, like job fairs, facilitate recruiting, other meetings, whether formal or informal, have potential as well. If you are a member of a local organization, for example, be sure to let your colleagues know you are searching for staff.

Similarly, let other people with whom you’re in regular contact know you’re hiring. Hairdressers and barbers, for example, generally get an earful from their clientele – about everything, including their employment situations and family members’ job searches.

Local colleges and trade schools. Don’t overlook local colleges and trade schools as sources of candidates. Companies sometimes turn to colleges for interns, but don’t think of schools when hiring full time.

Become familiar with the majors colleges in your area offer, and the skills local trade schools are developing. You may be surprised at how these meet your needs. In small communities especially, this is often by design. College of St. Joseph in Rutland, Vermont, for example, in January launched a traumatology program, the first of its kind in Vermont, in response to a growing need for trauma services and advanced practitioner training.

Job boards of membership organizations. If your company is a member of an industry or professional association, the organization may have a job board where you can post open positions. Often, associations allow members to post jobs for free.

Paula Paula Santonocito, Contributing Editor for Recruiting Daily Advisor, is a business journalist specializing in employment issues. She is the author of more than 1,000 articles on a wide range of human resource and career topics, with an emphasis on recruiting and hiring. Her articles have been featured in many global and domestic publications and information outlets, referenced in academic and legal publications as well as books, and translated into several languages.