Hire Great People with Limited or No Budget – Part 2: How to Find Future Employees

This is part 2 of a three part series on how to build great teams with little to no budget. Read part 1 here.

College recruiting is not dead

Remember when college recruiting was a thing? When you went on campus and met hundreds of graduating students and hoped you met the right one? Well that’s not dead, but there are other ways to set students up for professional success (and hopefully with your company):

  1. Align with the professors. They know the best students and they want to help them get their careers started. But that isn’t all. Many of the students have projects to do, especially in the business schools – so be available for the students to use your business as a case study. Let them interview your CEO or the head of your Engineering department. Engage them earlier.

  2. Give away your stuff. If you sell a tool or product that the students can use to do their coursework – give it away. You will build brand awareness and have graduating classes of students who know how to do the thing but with your software. Employer branding for the win!

  3. Offer paid internships and not just in the summer. Many students need work all year round – getting them in early means you have graduating employees already ramped up and ready to go. And you know what you are getting.

  4. Resume writing – VOLUNTEER to teach it and even review resumes for students. Career Services are run by people who haven’t looked for a job in 20 years – students need to know the right way to write a resume today – be that resource.

Help community groups (and grow employer brand)

Do you have an open space or a big conference room? You have desired commodity for people in your community – a place to gather. If it’s Girls who Code or the Austin CPA monthly meetup – be a resource. Provide the free parking, tables, chairs, heat or AC and a place. This is a great way to get your brand out to new people who align with the skills or interests that could make them great future employees.

Do you have employees that want to be part of similar groups? Work within your business to give them ‘time’ to participate in these events. Not only are they growing their own careers, they are ambassadors for yours.

Free tools for recruiters

It’s kind of obvious but Indeed, LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, and Angel.co all offer organic listings.

Organic = Free

Make sure you are reaching new and diverse audiences by connecting with people you aren’t able to find through your networks.

Get your people to review you on Glassdoor. Non-recruiter voices are important when it comes to candidates evaluating your business. Most of the time, it’s as simple as asking.

Evaluate the future of potential employees

“Start with a strong interview process and keep it consistent. This is where retention begins – in the interview. You’re not just looking for, “Can you DO the job?” You’re looking for, “Will you ENJOY the job and the people you are working with?” – Carrie Darney

The interview process isn’t just you evaluating the person’s skills or ‘culture fit’. It’s evaluating the sustainability of this candidate in your organization. Do you want them for a year, for 5 years, for 10 years? Can you offer a growth path they want and do they have the fortitude to stick with you? Is there opportunity for this person to lead?

Behavioral & Technical Interviews

How will you handle X or Y? How do they respond? What information do they seek?

Attitude is everything.

Is this person a teacher or a coach? How do they handle feedback? Can they operate within a process? Can they operate within chaos? What elements of your business dictate what kind of person you want to bring on board?

For leadership, how do they lead? How do they inspire their employees? How do they move the business forward? How do they handle stress? What about failing employees? What about failing departments (that aren’t theirs)?

Interviewing isn’t always about how someone acts – it’s about how they react.

Find candidates that are a good fit

Look for employees who thrive in your type of organization. Do you have a well established process, product, and methods? Find people who like that. Are you growing rapidly and everything you had that worked, doesn’t anymore? Find people who thrive in chaos. Do you have entry level positions where people can start their careers and jump departments or do you need folks who are established in their expertise? Think about the qualities you need and then help candidates figure out if this is a good fit for them. Candidates that opt out are great ambassadors. Candidates who are ‘rejected’ are not.

A beer test for future candidates

Do you have your own ‘beer test’? Relationships are like bank accounts, you need to make deposits to make withdrawals, and for most people that currency starts in their ability to connect with their co-workers? Do people want to work with them? Making sure they want to be part of the business – not just there to do a ‘job’.