Small businesses normally focus on marketing the products and services they sell. But these days marketing products and services is the least of their worries. Finding people to work is the biggest problem most businesses, big or small are trying to solve today. In this blog we offer 12 low cost ideas for help wanted advertising that you may not have thought of.

1. Identify You Company As A Great Place To Work

Pay and benefits are obviously an important factor that potential employees look for. However, many workers are looking for a job that they can be proud of. They want to work at a place that is respected and be proud of what they do there, and for some this can be as important as compensation. So, why would someone want to be part of your team? Maybe your business does fun promotions, maybe it serves the best food, maybe it has the most fun people to work with. Almost any business can project an image of a place where people would like to work without focusing on pay and benefits.

So, before you start your recruitment program, try to project an image of your business that makes people want to work there.

2. Target Potential Employees With Facebook

Facebook is still one of the best ways to find employees for your business. They have powerful targeting features that let you advertise your job opening(s) to people based on their skills, their location, their age, and countless other variables. Sometimes it is a little awkward or confusing because the forms Facebook gives you to set up a campaign may not let you show the information you want to show. But targeting is important and they do that well.

For example, you can specify the area you want your ad to cover. Let’s say a radius of Milton, PA. Then you can specify a job title like waitress or carpenter. (Facebook has specific job names to choose from) Then, when you create your ad, it will be distributed to everyone in the Milton area who has waitress or carpenter in their job title.

Another big advantage of Facebook is you can reach many people who are currently employed. This can be an advantage because people who are currently employed are often better prospects than unemployed people.

3. Ask Your Current Employees To Tell All Of Their Friends

Asking your current employees to spread the word is another possible way to find employees for your business. Your employees may be able to expand your reach on Facebook or other social media or just talking with friends and family.

Give them a simple talking point they can use like “I work at (insert business name here). We’re looking for a great (insert job here) who wants to work for a (insert some part of your business identity here). If you are that person, please contact (name of person hiring)

You may want to “incentivize” the process by offering a reward to the employee who brings in a new one. You may want to make the reward contingent on the new employees staying on the job for a certain period of time. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on want ads or online recruiting sites, pay it to one of your employees.

4. Post On Bulletin Boards

This may not be an exciting option and may not bring a lot of prospects. But it is easy to do and could cost little or nothing. But based on the ease and cost it’s worth considering.

All it takes is the cost of the paper, the printing, and the time to post them in your area. Aside form the low cost and effort, your job advertisement could stand out from the clutter of other media and the flood of social media your prospective employees receive on a daily basis. A sign in a window or a flyer on a bulletin board can stand out a midst the mass of ads and data they’re bombarded with from minute to minute. Look for bulletin boards in supermarkets, churches, recreation areas and many other public places.

5. Contact Non-Profits

Non-profits like the Wounded Warrior Project can be a great resource in your quest to find employees. These organizations serve veterans, immigrants, and other groups who just want to work. These people are often willing to work hard for the chance to get back on their feet. In addition to their willingness to work, they’ve also likely received some job training from the non-profit so you don’t have to start from scratch.

Other non-profits like Suncom in Sunbury or The Pennsylvania Employment Service For People With Disabilities are places you can contact. Background checks are also common practice for non-profit organizations and the people they serve so you know a potential employee has been vetted, if only just at the basic level. That can be one less thing you have to worry about.

A great thing about hiring people with Disabilities is they are usually glad to have the opportunity. Because they appreciate the job, they work hard and are dependable.

6. Look For Talent Everywhere

This method of finding employees for your business involves looking for specific skills or traits wherever you go. If you are in the construction business and meet someone who has the skills you need, consider giving them your card and asking if they’d be willing to talk about a job with your business. If you are in the restaurant business and meet a waitress with great customer rapport, give him or her your card. Remember that the latter skill is much more difficult to teach.

If you find someone with such a skill—even if they’re working in an entirely different industry—offer to teach them to work in your business.

7. Consider Looking For “Great” Rather Than “Experienced”

Regardless of what channel you use to find employees, always be on the lookout for “great” rather than “experienced”. Experienced people sometimes are set in their ways. Instead, look for “great” people and train them the way you want. Very often, someone with a great work ethic will trump someone with experience. If they are smart, excited about the job and willing to work, these are things you can’t teach.

Hiring with an eye to those qualities rather than looking for the most experienced, can go a long way toward getting you the best employees for your business.

8. Use the Right Job Board Websites

There are more job boards out there than I can count. Many of them are free. A lot of these job boards reach large segments of job seekers. Simply Hired is a great free job board used heavily all over the US. If you search for “free job boards” you’ll find many places to post a job for free. Below are just some of the many free job boards available. Some of these boards, like Indeed have both paid and free job postings.

  1. Indeed – Highest traffic job board in the U.S. Allows totally free job postings, with the option to boost visibility with pay-per-click ads. It is often the first place businesses go to post a job ad for free.
  2. Google For Jobs – Jobs posted online can be included in Google search results if they are formatted correctly.
  3. Jora – Jora is a relatively new job posting site that is looking to compete with Indeed. The global job board offers employers up to ten free job posts per month.
  4. Handshake – Connect with students and young alumni from over 500 colleges across the U.S.
  5. Ladders – Another great place to list jobs for free online. Offers a free tier, as well as paid postings to boost applications, much like Indeed.
  6. AngelList – Offers free job postings that reach people in the tech/start-up world.
  7. Linkedin – LinkedIn has free and paid posting options. Employers can also conduct a manual search for potential candidates and get in touch with them for free if their network is big enough. LinkedIn is an effective way to hire employees.
  8. Chegg Internships – A U.S.-based, free job posting site with a focus on hiring paid interns and interns paid with academic credit.
  9. Learn4Good – This free job posting site lets employers post up to 20 jobs for free over six months. Employers can post all 20 in one go.
  10. PostJobFree – As implied by the name, PostJobFree allows employers to advertise their vacancies without charge. As one of the first free job posting sites, it ranks well on Google for many job searches.
  11. Simply Hired – An Indeed publishing partner, SimplyHired aggregates job listings from thousands of websites and then distributes them. Employers can also post directly on the site.
  12. Hubstaff Talent – Hubstaff Talent is a job board focused on remote hiring. It offers totally free job posting.
  13. Jobvertise – This site won’t let employers post free job ads, but it will let them browse up to 3 resumes per day, free of charge. The tiered pricing plans allow employers to post jobs and view more resumes.
  14. Startupers – startupers is a Craigslist-style posting site for tech companies. Posting is free, and every post is reviewed by a startupers employee to prevent spam.
  15. Jobxoom – Users can post jobs in any industry across the U.S. There are free and paid posting options.
  16. Jobspider – JobSpider is a small job board inspired by Craigslist. Traffic to this site decreased in 2017 and it is now more of a niche job board.
  17. ReliefWeb – ReliefWeb, a website maintained by the UN, offers free humanitarian job postings.
  18. Find Jobs Near – Find jobs near you is a general job site that offers free 7-day postings. Find jobs near you is part of the global network.
  19. Jobisite – General job site offering free postings that receive a limited number of views. This site does not require recruiters to register. It offers free access to a resume database.
  20. – is a totally free general job posting site. Posts don’t expire and can be removed once the position is filled.

Many of the paid job boards are relatively inexpensive. Craigs list is actually a good inexpensive one too.

9. Add A Careers Page To Your Website

Having a ‘Careers’ page on your business website is a great way to reach motivated job seekers. Aside from just being a great stand-alone resource on your website, a ‘Careers’ page can be included in all the other ways you choose to find employees. Plus, it can turn up in the search results if someone is actively looking for jobs online. Plus it is always there, even when you are not looking. It is good to have a place where job seekers can apply even when you are not looking. That way you may already have prospects when you do need to look.

A ‘Careers’ page on your website is also a great place to elaborate on your business identity in more detail. Your ‘Careers’ page is a great place to really tell everyone what you’re about as a business and what you’re looking for in potential employees.

10. Don’t Forget Local Colleges And Trade Schools

Another great way to find employees is to connect with local colleges and trade schools. Most of these institutions have career centers with dedicated staff to help their students find jobs after (and sometimes before) graduation. In many instances, the career center will even have its own job board and email distribution list for promoting employment opportunities that might apply to its alumni. Getting your job included in this resource is a powerful way to reach a large number of individuals quickly and, often, without cost.

To get started identify the schools that may have students with the skills you need. That could be a college or a tech school like Penn Tech in Williamsport or SUN Votech. There are many other schools that specialize in certain disciplines like Triangle Tech or McCann School of Business. While you’re contacting schools, find out whether they host a career fair and what it takes to attend. Career fairs are the perfect opportunity to meet high-potential employees and conduct impromptu interviews for your business.

11. Ask Your Customers For Referrals

Does your business have an email subscriber list? If so, why not send an eblast about your job opportunity to your customers. Your customers already like your company or they wouldn’t subscribe to your email list. So they will be motivated to help you.

Send out an eblast sharing your hiring needs and asking your customers if they know of anyone who might want to apply. Then pair it with a small giveaway of some kind. Offer a free service or product from your company if one of your customers refers a successful employee to you. For example, all customers who respond with a lead will be entered to win a free product or service from your business.

Since you are offering a prize you may also ask for referrals from all customers who walk into your business. A good way to do this could be to Include a referral form (name and phone number/email address is enough) on the bottom of your receipts or have your cashiers mention that all responses will be entered for a chance to win a prize.

12. Get Organized

No matter what ideas you have for recruiting, it is going to take time to do. Getting started can sometimes be the hardest part of the process. So make a goal to set aside some time to focus on recruiting. First you’ll need to make time to plan your search. Once you implement your plan you’ll need to set aside time to review applications and do interviews.

If you have any questions about the ideas presented in this blog, please do not hesitate to contact me.