Monday, November 2, 2009

Finding Inexpensive Staff

Finding Inexpensive Staff

On occasion, even the smallest of business needs additional staff, perhaps to meet seasonal demand, for a new product launch or a major event. 

Direct hires are expensive, sometimes don't work out, and in some states, are difficult to terminate.  Contractors can be costly and for simple tasks, overqualified and less than motivated.  How then to find those willing to work at reasonable rates or for nothing? 

Here are some suggestions:

1) Interns - don't think Monica Lewinsky here, but rather a college student that needs business experience and resume filler.  This can be a win-win scenario where the business gets an enthusiastic student in marketing and the student can gain valuable career insight.

2) Retirees - like the intern, the business gains someone with experience in a field, and the retiree can make a few extra $$ in a flexible position.  Seniors also tend to be very reliable and willing to share knowledge.

3) High-school work programs - many local high schools sponsor juniors and seniors in work programs as part of their coursework.  These students will need to perform adequately to pass, and are usually paid at minimum wage.

4) The local state unemployment office - post a notice of your need or talk to a office staff member.  They will be more than willing to help you find a capable and willing worker.

5) Local churches and community organizations - talk to the pastors or directors of these concerns and inquire about the skill set you are looking for.  They can publish in their newsletter or on their job boards.

6) Craigslist - most larger cities in the US and Canada have a website.  In this case, a little more of a risk is assumed with an unknown person, but I've personally found roofers and other workers with no problems on Craigslist.

7) Twitter - use the local job hashtag (#) or create a new one for your area.  See how many people respond to your inquiry.  I'd guess quite a few during this period of high unemployment.

People are always looking for a primary job, a second job or a part-time position.  Take advantage of this by exploring some of the options above.  The location and needs of your business will dictate which option is most appropriate.

- AJ