If you’re struggling to meet deadlines—and putting off the business growing side of running a small business—it’s probably time for invest in people who can help you out. But where do you start? The days of classified ads are long gone. There are far more effective, interesting and often more inexpensive ways to find the right people for your team.
Here are a few things you can do:
Go beyond your (geographical) boundaries
If you can’t find the right fit locally, look for people in other states or regions who are willing to work remotely. There are plenty of sharp freelancers out there to choose from. Don’t discount those outside the US. Sometimes working with a disparate workforce allows you the flexibility to find some of the best people in your industry.
Scope out help on social networks. Look for experts in your industry on LinkedIn and check out those mutual connections. Use social networks to find people with certain required skill sets. Fire up Twitter, and reach out to a thought leader in your industry to see if they have advice on where to find resources. Lastly, look at blogs that showcase the talent, knowledge and expertise you are looking for. Even if those you find are not interested in taking on new work, they can point you in the direction of qualified candidates who are.
Set up an internship
Paid or unpaid, internships give a younger person valuable work experience while filling your need for an extra pair of hands. They will be eager work in order to get rid of all that white space on their brand new resume. Win-win.
Get the word out via your family and friends. Even if none are available to help you, they may know of someone else who can. Spread the word!
Outsource some of your more technical and/or professional work to highly experienced individuals. There are tons of great freelancers who can make your website, marketing, product or service more polished. Expert writers, photographers, designers and coders abound on sites like Upwork (formerly Elance), guru, and Fiverr.
Check out the alumni networks at nearby colleges, or better yet, your own (even if it is out of state). These contacts are not only educated but will be especially effective if graduates have degrees related to your field or industry.
Ask your advisory board
Many small businesses have an advisory board—these are the people that give your company sage advice. Well, you’re likely to find that the board can also recommend people to hire, especially those needed for more senior positions.
Look to vendors and clients
You already have relationships with both, and both are highly familiar with you and your company. With that much knowledge and trust in your business, it can’t hurt to put the word out to them.
Consult your professional organizations
Look at local chapters related to the position you are looking to fill and get involved in their events and meetings. Don’t discount your local Chamber of Commerce meetings and events. All of these present great opportunities to network.
Incent your current employees to find help
Already have an awesome team? Motivate them to find help. Provide a bonus (i.e. cash, movie tickets, a food basket, extra time off, etc.) for every prospect recommended and hired. Your team already knows what it takes to do the work required. On top of that, they’ll want to bring in people who will make the workload lighter, not heavier.
Hire old colleagues
In addition to already being aware of their experience, by bringing in someone you’ve worked well with in the past, you can skip the awkward first few months of getting to know and trust a brand new team member.
Perhaps better suited to non-profit organizations, however, there may be people who want to volunteer to help you. Volunteering can oftentimes help people get a foot in the door at a place they aspire to work.
Do you have creative ways of getting help that aren’t listed here? Tell us about it.