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How to Find (and Hire) Employees for Your Small Business

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credit: John Moore/Getty Images

Finding the right employees for your small business can be a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are some go-to resources for locating (and hiring) the right person for the job.

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) has some excellent guidelines on their website. Surepayroll, a subsidiary of Paychex, is a national payroll services provider. Their website, Surepayroll.com, suggests the use of headhunters, temp agencies and even your own company website to find good employees.

Michelle St. John is President of IBS, Inc., an Auburn, WA small, family owned business that is celebrating its 35th year. IBS provides tools and industrial hardware to clients like Tulalip Casino, Port of Seattle and Malcom Drilling. Over the years, she has hired many employees, has has found what has worked for her company of less than 50 employees.

“We find our employees through websites like Monster.com, and state employment websites,” says St. John. For example, Washington’s state department of Labor and Industries has a job search feature on their website.

“Interestingly, some churches have added job postings to their websites in this down economy. We have found employees by looking at or posting on those websites,” says St. John. “We also find employees by networking at rotary and chamber of commerce events. Chances are good that one business owner knows other business owners, and potential employees, so getting involved in the community is a great resource.”

Shelly Tolo, an award-winning event planner and owner of Tolo Events in Seattle, says, “I have found employees through a client or within the event planning business.” Tolo wants potential employees who are creative, willing to work hard and have potential. “During the interview, I ask a potential employee what his or her goals are within the industry,” she says. “Ultimately, you want someone who will represent your company the way you want to be represented [as a business]. For Tolo Events, that is being honest, loyal and very, very professional.”

St. John says that it is important to look for creativity and motivation in potential employees. “We can train someone to know the industry,” she says, “But we can’t train motivation and drive. That comes from within.”

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