3 tips for recruiting when employees are hard to find


John Nieuwenburg

John Nieuwenburg has been a professional business coach since 2004. Prior to becoming a coach, he held executive positions with Tip Top Tailors and BC Liquor Stores. In 2019, MacKay CEO Forums awarded him with Canada’s CEO Trusted Advisor Award in the Small Business category. Since becoming a coach, John has worked with over 350 clients, taking them through a systematic process that helps them feel organized, confident and in control of their businesses.

Right now in many cities, people who are looking for $18/hour work can get 4 or 5 job offers in a day.

If you find yourself in need of employees, here’s what you can do to attract potential hires (even in an employee’s job market like we’re in right now.)

The first thing to realize is that your business is a balancing act. You can think about it like a tightrope walker carrying a balance bar.

On the one side of the bar, you have sales – bringing new business in the door. On the other, you have staff – the people you need to deliver services.

Business owners tend to put most of their effort and resources on the sales side of the bar – and to let the recruiting side slip. As you might imagine, this creates an imbalance.

Because business is good right now, most businesses don’t have to work that hard at bringing in more sales. Many of my clients could easily take on more business if they had the crew.

If you’re in this position, you’d be well served to take 20-30% of the effort you currently put into generating sales and direct it towards hiring people instead.

Here’s how to do it.

The W5 4-step recruiting system

One of the tools I use with my clients is a 4-step recruiting system based on a fishing metaphor:

  1. Prepare the bait: create your ad
  2. Cast the net: generate leads
  3. Fill the deck: conduct virtual interviews
  4. Reel them in: do a test drive

(If you’d like a PDF file with full instructions on how to implement this, send me an email and I’ll send it to you!)

Tip 1: Make sure you attract enough people

Most businesses don’t do enough to attract people.

In a market like this when potential employees can have their pick of multiple job offers – you need to do even more.

I have a list of 15 things that employers can do to attract people, yet most people only do one or two of them – typically posting on Craigslist or Indeed.

Have you tried recruiting at networking events? Or incentivizing your current team to help?

Tip 2: Make the job appealing (quit being boring!)

There are about 200 vacant jobs for physio therapists.

If you needed to hire a physio and you posted an ad like everyone else does “physiotherapist wanted” – you’d be competing with 200 other postings just like it.

One of my clients has a thriving physio practice in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island.

Their job posting sells potential employees on the benefits of moving to the Cowichan Valley – giving 7 reasons for them to consider relocating – including things like the weather, housing affordability and outdoor activities.

You can see their post here: https://thrivenowphysio.com/looking-for-a-new-job/

Another client of mine wanted to hire a VA, so he wrote a personal letter to his future VA. He got over 400 applicants!

Boring doesn’t work for marketing – and it doesn’t work for hiring, either.

You need a USP not just for your marketing, but for your recruiting as well.

Tip 3: Always be recruiting

The client that I mentioned earlier recruits year-round.

They have a permanent page on their website.

They’re always thinking ahead. They even recruit students before they graduate.

You need a system for recruiting and hiring – and someone in your business needs to be responsible to oversee it.

Don’t have anybody? Hire someone!

Feeling stuck in a world where you can’t seem to get your business to the next level?

If you’re like many of my clients, you could easily add 30, 40 or 50 percent more sales if you had the people to deliver.

Implementing a recruiting program should be a priority for any business that wants to grow.

If you’d like some help with that, business coaching can speed up the process. You can learn more about my services here: business coaching or book a 15-minute call on my calendar here: Book 15 minutes with John

The Ultimate Guide to Scaling Your Business

w5 what does it mean to scale your business

How to grow your business without sacrificing time freedom

This post is part of my Ultimate Guide to Scaling Your Business. Visit the guide homepage to get my best advice and coaching exercises to help you:

  • Develop systems and processes to free up your time
  • Hire and manage a great team to run your business (mostly) without you
  • Make the mindset changes that enable you to grow your business bigger - faster than you dreamed possible