Where to Find Qualified Employees for your Small Business

With the unemployment rate now dipping below 5%, finding qualified employees has become even tougher. Many businesses got into the habit of waiting for the “perfect” candidate – one who needed no training and already had years of experience in their particular industry. But what many employers have found in this job market is that finding the right employee is less about strict years of experience or existing industry knowledge and more about finding someone smart, flexible and engaged who can pick up new skills quickly. Training someone to perform a task is easy, but a team mentality and the ability to persevere when engaged in a tough task is much harder to teach.

While traditional job ads will get a lot of resumes sent your way, a list of prior job duties on a piece of paper won’t tell you much about a candidate’s ability to follow-through. Instead, here are some ways to find qualified talent:


Our personal connections remain the most effective way to find qualified new talent. Even shallow connections like those we may have through social sites like LinkedIn and Facebook have the advantage of enabling your job query to reach a wider circle of candidates. The best part about reaching out to people you already know is that if you trust these connections, you should also be able to trust their recommendations. Getting resumes from four candidates through these connections often results in a far higher percentage of qualified candidates that getting five hundred resumes you must sift through after posting a job ad on a regular jobs site.


The bigger your personal network, the larger reach you have when seeking to fill a position. Attend industry seminars, luncheons, workshops, and other networking events to expand your circle. Not only will these be great resources as far as recommending talent, but they may also themselves be looking for a new position. Get to know the people in your community and your industry, especially other small business owners.


If you are still having trouble finding the right talent, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Many companies, like Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries, have experienced staff on hand to assist with many services, including product assembly, kitting, packaging, and fulfillment. These on-call staff will have already been vetted by their employer, saving you the weary task of sorting through resumes and scheduling interviews. Ask for a free tour of the outsourcing company’s facilities where you can meet the staff and managers to ensure it’s the right fit.