Finding a good employee isn’t always the easiest task, but it is definitely worth it when you consider how much a not-so-good employee can cost your business. According to DHI Group, Inc., if you hire a bad employee who earns roughly $100,000 per year, the cost to your business is two-and-a-half times that amount, or $250,000!
This makes finding stellar, top-of-the-line staff critical to keeping your profits up and unnecessary expenses down; not to mention that good people can help take your business to higher levels. But where can you find these types of employees?
As it turns out, the answer is sometimes in the most unexpected, outside the box places. So we reached out to a few of your fellow business owners and were kind of shocked at some of the ingenious places they’ve found their best employees. These are just a few that they were willing to share.
Julie Austin, inventor of swiggies, says “I found one of my best employees while we were both volunteering at a golf charity. I was able to see his work ethic and how hard he worked when he wasn’t even getting paid; also, the fact that he was volunteering his time for a good cause. He was semi-retired at the time, I kept in touch and ended up hiring him part-time as a sales manager. My instincts were right. He ended up being a fantastic employee!”
At a Drive Thru
Deborah Sweeney with My Corporation says, “I have found some of my best employees at drive thru restaurants! When I drive through with my boys, I find that some people can be fantastic at taking orders, taking money, and organizing the order. We are an online document filing service. So much of our business is over the phone and high-touch customer service. If someone is fantastic in the drive thru process, I give them my card and tell them to call me if they are looking to get into a different opportunity and continue to grow in a business. We’ve received great candidates from my drive thru experiences, but my kids are always embarrassed.”
At Your Front Door
Barry Maher, speaker, author, and consultant who’s appeared on the Today Show, NBC Nightly News, CBS, and CNBC, says, “As someone who’s consulted hundreds of hires, I have to say the most unlikely place I’ve ever found a great employee was at my front door. And that’s what I tell the small businesspeople I work with: the people you deal with in your business, those who are excellent at earning your business and keeping it, can also become great employees. If their current employer doesn’t appreciate them, doesn’t see their potential, you do. And that can benefit you and them.”
At the Bar
Matthew Mercuri, Director of Human Resources at DUPRAY Inc. reports that the bar is a good place to find great employees. How does he find potential employees in this rather unusual place? “You look for the people who stand out in a crowd, who can keep their cool, who can perform well under peer pressure and not make fools of themselves.”
At the Local Sandwich Shop
Marc Prosser, co-founder and managing partner of Fit Small Business, says “I once offered an interview for a sales position to a sandwich line worker who did an excellent job explaining their products and services. She was clear, friendly, and clearly possessed great communication skills and a winning attitude, even though she was working a fairly low wage job.”
Heather with Nothing Specific Inc. had a similar experience, but at a local coffee shop instead. What struck her was how the woman “was always courteous and helpful and seemed like a hard worker. We took a chance on her and she took a chance on us and she’s turned out to be an amazing employee – even better than I could have expected. Her sparkling personality that would shine through in her coffee shop job is evident every day with us.”
On Social Media
Lisa Chu, owner of Black N Bianco, found that “The most unique place to find an employee is using social media hashtags and keywords through various platforms. By searching through social media, you will come across a lot of potential employees who have a passion in your business industry. Not only that, you can get a real sense of their personality traits through their social content. It’s unedited and unfiltered and will help you determine if they are a good fit for your business.”
Jazmin Truesdale, CEO of Aza Entertainment agrees, as she reports, “I actually found my employee from Instagram. I’m a huge Janet Jackson fan and my illustrator did a comic illustration of her. Her features are so distinct and he did such a great job that I hired him after one sketch.”
Within Your Circle of Friends
Daylight Design owners Brett and Sven Newman “often joke that what started out as a small local design business has turned into a small global ‘friendchise.’ In other words, they found their best employees and partners by looking within their community of friends. Their most recent addition is Sven’s former college roommate.”
On the Military Base
Here’s my two cents as a business owner: I may be biased here, or maybe just “hometown proud,” but I think that the members of our military are some of the most top-notch people that exist. They’re hard workers, can think on their feet as well as under stress, and are team oriented, making them great candidates to consider for employment. (Military.com is a good place to start if this idea interests you.)
However, Kelly Edwards, CEO of Lawton Marketing Group, takes it one step further by hiring military spouses. “I love to recruit army wives! My company is in a small military town and people often overlook the military spouses because they are only here for a short time so they don’t want to invest in them. The result is that you have a lot of smart, hard-working, talented women who settle for jobs that they are way overqualified for. I have hired two army wives in the past couple of years and they both worked out very well. One moved out of state, but she is so good that we kept her as a remote employee. The other one’s husband took a position that will keep them here for several more years and when they have to move again, she will be offered a remote position too.”
On Your Own Website, But Not In Plain English
This one gets the award for being one of the most ingenious, yet very uncommon ways to find a good employee. Joe with Velvet Jobs says, “We were searching for a savvy developer for our resume builder, a software as a service tool. Our outside of the box method was to advertise the job opportunity in the source code of the homepage. We knew that if a developer was checking out the source code, they were already showing interest and initiative, two key traits we need in any great web developer.”
Any that you’d like to add? Feel free to comment below!
I’m always interested in learning other small business owners’ thoughts on relevant topics and issues, so if you have a comment or unique article idea, feel free to contact me at [email protected] (put “Businessing Magazine” in the subject line, please). If I use it, it’s a free link to your website!