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Where to Find the Best Job Candidates for Your Business

Finding the right employees and contractors for your small business can be tough. Sometimes it seems almost impossible to find quality people to fill the vacancies. Fortunately, qualified and hard-working employees are out there. The trick is knowing where to find them.

Want Ads

Local "help wanted" advertising is usually the first stop for small business owners in search of new employees and independent contractors. There is nothing mystical about these ads — you provide a short description of the job opening to be listed in your local paper for a minimal, but set fee.

However, small business owners can make want ads more effective by targeting other key publications in addition to local classifieds. Trade and industry publications are a great resource for locating new employees because they are read almost exclusively by people who are currently employed in your field.

Employment and Temp Agencies

Next to the want ads, employment agencies have been the traditional "go-to" source for finding new employees. Employment agencies provide employers with a pre-screened pool of prospective applicants. Temp agencies do the same thing, but with the assumption that the employer is interested in hiring someone for a very limited time period.

Depending on the type of position you need to fill, a temp agency might be just the ticket. Businesses frequently use temp agencies to hire clerical and other entry-level positions on a trial basis. If you aren't pleased with the person's performance, simply let them go at the term. Otherwise, pay a fee to the temp agency and bring the employee on full-time.


Headhunters can help take the work out of locating prospective employee candidates. For a fee (of course) they will initiate and carry out a search for qualified applicants, usually to fill high-end, executive-level openings.

Job Web Sites

The advent of the Internet has opened the door to new ways of locating and hiring employees. Several job Web sites (CareerBuilder, Monster, Yahoo, etc.) have sprung up in recent years to meet the increasing demand for Web-based employment services.

These Web sites have a number of advantages over their more traditional counterparts, including their ability to reach a larger applicant pool from a broader geographic area. While a broader applicant pool can also create some new challenges for employers, your odds of finding the best possible candidates go up as the size of the applicant pool rises.

Company Web Sites

Many employers overlook the fact that they already have a great tool for finding new employees and independent contractors — their own Web site. Even if you list your job openings on job Web sites or other more traditional listing venues, it's important to also post your openings on your own Web site. Why? Because a posting on your own Web site is not subject to the same space constraints as postings on job boards. That means you'll have the freedom to list everything potential candidates need to know about the position, including your company's history and a detailed job description. In the end, posting this information on your Web site will save you time because it will weed out unqualified candidates before your mailbox is flooded with resumes from people who aren't right for the position.