Small Business Survival: 30 Hiring Tactics to Find Good Employees Now

Employee Sourcing Tips, Strategies and Tactics

Don’t become a small business failure statistic! Use these 30 tactics to find good employees today! Review the tips then click the button so we can work together to bring you some great additions to your staff!

Small Business Survival: 30 Hiring Tactics to Find Good Employees Now

I was heartbroken yesterday when I heard the news that a well-loved neighborhood cafe had to close suddenly due to not having enough employees to manage and run the business. It was a favorite spot of mine and many others and my brain and taste buds still haven’t realized the full impact of not experiencing the pleasure of their cinnamon rolls, ever again.

Many local businesses complain about how difficult it is to find good employees these days, so I created this list of tips, strategies and tactics in hopes that it will help your local business stay in business. 

Employee Sourcing Tips, Strategies and Tactics

Partner with Local Schools, Trade Organizations, Non-Profit Organizations, and Local & State Employment Services Agencies

Most schools have career centers. At the very least, send them your open job listings asap. They’ll help locate people in your community looking for work. Talk to teachers you know and send the openings to them too. Contact the local trade schools and organizations and send them the job description. Work with non-profits who help others find jobs. Partner with your local and state employment services agencies – they usually can post your job openings and refer potential candidates to you.

Offer Employee Referral Bonuses

Encourage your current employees to become talent scouts. Offer them bonuses for bringing in new team members and extra if they stay through 90 days.

Include Careers or Jobs Pages on Your Website

Create an inviting Careers or Jobs page on your website. Show off your company’s personality and the available openings. Make it really easy to apply from that page.

Post Openings on Group Job Boards Online in Your Community

Post your job openings on local online social group job & community boards like “Main Street Neighborhood Facebook Group.” You’re more likely to find candidates who already love your community.

Offer Referral Awards to Current Clients or Customers

If your clients or customers know someone who’d be a great fit for your team, give them a little something for the recommendation. A gift card, discount off your products, etc. Ask them to share your job opening posts on their social media pages to get the word out.

Contact Local Churches

Call the church office, tell them about the opening, and ask them if they can think of anyone who might be a good fit for the job. If not, see if they can post the job opening announcement in their church bulletin or on a community board in the church. They may also have resources or outreach personnel you can speak with.

Offer Paid Internships

Offer paid internships to potential employees who are interested in entering your business’ industry. If they’re a good fit, you can offer them a regular full-time position when the internship ends. Contact the college and trade schools in your area to find potential interns.

Offer Referral Awards to Current Clients or Customers

If your clients or customers know someone who’d be a great fit for your team, give them a little something for the recommendation. A gift card, discount off your products, etc. 

Offer Stepped-Up New Employee Incentives

Offer discounts from your business, monetary bonuses, career promotions, and a New Year’s bonus if they maintain consistent employment through the new year. You may want to offer certain bonuses at steps in their employment journey. For example, they get a hiring bonus after 2 weeks of showing up and doing the job as expected, then another bonus after 1 month, then another after 2, etc. Offer good incentives! If they’re into video games, dangle a new game controller if they do a good job. Personalize it.

Create Clear, Concise, and Engaging Job Descriptions

Tell your business story but write job descriptions that won’t put people to sleep. Be clear, concise, and make potential candidates excited about what you’re offering.

Provide a Quick Application Process

Invite potential candidates to simply upload a resume or write a paragraph on why they’re a good fit for the job and why they want to work at your business. Nobody likes a complicated application process. Keep it simple, and don’t make them jump through hoops. 

Note: “simply upload a resume” doesn’t mean upload a resume and then have to input 50 fields of data that are already on the resume! If you have a lengthy formal job application that needs to be completed and signed in blood, have them take it home after the interview and get it back to you.

Respond Quickly to Applications

Respond to applicants with a simple yes (next step: i.e. phone interview) or no within 24 hours. It shows them you’re on top of it, paying attention, and excited to talk with them. If you’re not, tell them they’re not a good fit so they can apply elsewhere. If you don’t respond quickly, some other small business may snatch them up.

Make a Good First Impression – Online & In Person

Make sure your business’ online presence shines (both your website and any social accounts), and when you meet candidates in person, be friendly, welcoming, and professional. 

Initiate a Mentorship Program

Make onboarding a new employee a breeze with a mentorship program. Buddy them up with an existing employee who is, or has been, in the same job before and was good at it. Pairing them up with a manager or supervisor will just make them nervous. Newbies will appreciate the peer-to-peer guidance from someone who’s actually done the job before.

Be Family-Friendly

If at all possible, help de-stress parents by partnering with local childcare, pet care, and eldercare providers. It’s a win-win for everyone. Even if you just have a list of people they can call in an emergency, that would be a big help.

Offer Flexible Hours

People have lives and may need flexible hours. Find out a candidate’s availability early in the process to see if the hours will work for both of you. Be flexible, but also clear about your expectations. If you need them to work a certain number of hours or on certain days, let them know.

Allow Candidates to Apply via SMS/Text

Texting is quick, easy, and many candidates prefer this method of communication over everything else. Meet them where they are with technology.

Schedule an Onsite Job Fair or Open House

Host a job fair or open house at your place of business or a fun local venue. Let candidates get a taste of your culture.

Check In with Former Employees

Stay in touch with former rock star employees – they might want to return, or they could have great friends to recommend.

Invite Current Employees or Mentors to the Interview

That way the candidate will get relevant insights from people who are doing the job, and will already know someone when they start.

Stay Organized

Keep track of your applicants. Use tools like spreadsheets, CRMs, or applicant tracking systems to keep all those resumes in check.

Reach Out to Your Own Network

Network with business professionals you know and other local businesses and tap into their talent pool. It’s like having an extended family of potential employees.

Automate the Boring Stuff

Use automation to expedite repetitive hiring tasks, like automated email or text responses after someone applies, and interview scheduling. You’ll have more time for the other 1000 things you have to do.

Get Expert Help

If you find yourself in a tough spot with the business, contact your local Small Business Development Center and see if there are any resources they can assist you with.


Always be recruiting! Don’t stop. Implement some of these strategies and you’ll have a regular pipeline of potential employees waiting to work for you.

Have a Backup Plan

In any industry, it’s good to have a backup plan if someone doesn’t show up for work. During the recruiting process you may identify people who just can’t work the days or hours you need right now. Ask them if they would be open to being an on-call employee, then get them onboarded and trained, and when someone calls out sick, they’re your first resource to fill in. 

The same goes for managers or supervisors. Cross-train some of your best employees to act in that capacity if one of the management team is unable to work.

Reputation Management

Make your business attractive to job-seekers by maintaining a good reputation, both online and in-person. Someone might think twice about working at a business that doesn’t have good reviews, or not many reviews.

Other Ways to Bring in Business Revenue

Does your business have an indoor or outdoor space that people can rent out for meetings, parties, classes, events or even storage space? Get creative or work with a marketing consultant to come up with ideas.

Start a Newsletter

Most businesses these days are collecting their customer’s email address. If you’re not, you should start. Having a newsletter list can be an excellent source for a quick revenue boost, if needed. You can create a quick blast to your subscribers about specials, coupons, events, etc. 

Next Steps – Let Me Help You

I hope you’ve found these small business tips, strategies and tactics helpful. Here are some things I can help you with right away to get your employee recruitment up and running quickly:

  • Write Job descriptions with SEO keyword optimization
  • Update web design
  • Create SEO content – short videos, blog posts, social media posts
  • Create a streamlined application process 
  • Set up automated scheduling for interviews
  • Increase website speed & mobile responsiveness
  • Set up SMS/text application process
  • Create a Career or Jobs page for your website
  • Job seeker contact forms for the website
  • Dedicated landing pages
  • Chatbot setup for automating quick responses
  • Reputation management and getting more Google reviews
  • Optimizing your Google business profile
  • Email marketing & automation
  • Newsletter content creation
  • Marketing ideas

Please contact me and let’s work together to find you some good employees now and in the future! Don’t be a small business failure statistic. Keep those cinnamon rolls coming!

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