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How Do I Find My Next Great Hire?

Updated: May 13

By Miki Ackermann, Culture & Talent Works

Question: How do I find my next great employee as a small-mid-sized business competing against the large companies recruiting?

Answer: It’s difficult to find the next great employee. As mentioned before, recruiting is not an exact science, and it takes time and effort to make a good hiring decision.

Check out January’s Culture & Talent Works newsletter about the first things you need to consider when thinking about hiring (what you need, who you need, and how to spell out a clear job description).

Once these foundational items are in place, where do you find the right candidates? Many options exist - check them out below.

• Place ads in your local community pages. You can go with traditional media (newspapers) or use social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok). Use targeted ads and engage with industry-specific groups if possible. Keep posting regularly to let your audience and community know you are hiring. I also recommend showcasing “who you are” – meaning your culture, values, benefits, and such that make your workplace attractive. Don’t forget to ask your audience to share this post with others to expand your reach.

• Join a local job fair. The Dufferin Board of Trade hosts and sponsors such job fairs often; ask when the next one is taking place. If one’s not available, make your own. If you don’t have many positions open, join up with other local businesses to get one started.

• Speak to local secondary schools and post-secondary institutions about their job boards. Partner with educational institutions to offer internships, co-ops placements, and more. This may lead to potential talent, and even better, potential referrals from specific programs that align with your specific job needs and/or industry.

• Encourage referrals from your current employee base and customers. Implement a referral program with incentives to motivate your employees to recommend qualified referrals.

• Try placing an ad with your local Employment Canada Centre.

• Check with other local social service agencies and business support organizations such as Chambers of Commerce like the Dufferin Board of Trade – will they allow you to post a job ad on their website or via their social media posts?

• Reach out to the agencies that support persons with disabilities – they are underrepresented in the workforce yet boast very high retention scores when hired into the right job. These agencies may be able to help you find the right candidate.

• Similarly, call up your local refugee and newcomer centres. Newcomers may have the background and experience you are seeking.

• Beef up your website with interesting videos or information on why you offer a great place to work. This kind of information helps attract candidates who will align with your workplace culture and values. Include this information in your marketing materials as well – it’s never too early to recruit for future hires.

• Be pro-active and do some outreach yourself to potential candidates either via LinkedIn or other social media.

• Spruce up your job ads – craft them to become a true reflection of you, your business and your company’s culture and values. Avoid generic language, be authentic and reflective of what it is really like to work at your company.

Whatever you do, be authentic, focus on what makes your business and job(s) unique. And as always, remember to stay grounded in your business vision and values. Your values should shine through and help you decide how and who to recruit. For more information and HR and OD support, check out

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