Blog & News

Online Strategies for Hiring Your First Employee

By Glenn Martin | Director of Digital Marketing

While the last year has been extremely difficult for many businesses across the country, there have also been a few industries that have thrived under the “new normal” conditions of COVID-19 restrictions and working from home. Some of those industries include interior designers or remodelers, therapists, gardeners & landscapers, home contractors and more.

Many solo entrepreneurs across the US have even expanded enough to be in need of hiring their first employees. If you’re one of those businesses, below are a few tips on how to use digital platforms to your advantage in finding and hiring your first employee.

Write an eye-catching job description

The first thing you should think about when hiring your first employee is what tasks you want them to take off your plate. While it can be difficult to delegate things when you’re so used to doing everything yourself, try to think about what tasks you spend most of your time on that aren’t directly related to selling or growing your business, and see what is possible to delegate. 

Once you’ve taken note of those items, come up with a compelling and eye-catching job description. Since you are the owner and only current employee, you’ve got quite a bit of power in this situation, and it’s good to be somewhat selective. This is an important decision, and taking the time to choose the right candidate will pay off in the long-term. You will want someone who is going to be completely on board with your mission statement and who can help you continue to succeed and grow. 

Write the job description with the tone and enthusiasm of the type of person you want to attract; once people start to apply, it will quickly become obvious who is equally enthusiastic about your business as you are. 

Post the job in the right spots

Once you have created your job description, it’s now time to post the job online. There are many channels that employers can use to post job openings, but it’s important to choose the right ones. Some platforms are free to post on, while others require you to pay. Most (if not all) let you “boost” or advertise your job post so that it reaches more people or is on the top of results.

Indeed & ZipRecruiter

Indeed and ZipRecruiter are two online directories that allow you to post your job for free*. There’s a large asterisk next to the “free” description of these websites since they both strongly encourage people to boost their job listings. While it’s possible to find candidates using these two platforms, you’re likely to get drowned out by bigger companies who have a much larger hiring advertising budget.

Facebook

Facebook allows you to post job openings and accept applications through Facebook messenger. Over the last couple of years, this has become an extremely popular way for small businesses to attract talent, because it’s also linked to your Facebook page, where candidates can view your posts, pictures, and so on. If you’re active as a business on Facebook, this is a great way to find candidates. Facebook will accept payment to “boost” your job openings, but even $25-$50 will go a long way in finding great applicants.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is another great resource for hiring, especially for more office-type job settings. Depending on the industry that you’re in, it can attract a more professional array of candidates compared to Facebook, since the user pool of LinkedIn is much smaller and narrower compared to Facebook. While you are required to pay in order to have job listings on LinkedIn, we’ve found that you can find the right candidate much faster on LinkedIn because the whole platform is created to encourage networking, job seeking, and professional development. 

How to use your website for hiring

Another piece of the online hiring puzzle is your website. If you’ve got high-quality content on your website, then you can send people there in order to apply for jobs. If you post your job description on your site, you can encourage people to apply either by listing your email address or having an application form directly on the page. You may even ask for people to upload their resumes or cover letters, which can be attached to that form.

Installing job post schema

Something that gets overlooked, but that you can install on your website is called “job post schema.” This is a bit of code, also known as structured data, which gets pulled into Google and other search engines, allowing you to show up easily when people search for jobs online. For example, if someone were to search “Drupal developer jobs Des Moines,” the listing would show up in Google’s search results:

Screenshot of a job post schema listing on Google.

How to decide on where to post a job listing

The number of applications you want to receive, and how quickly you need to hire someone will likely determine where you post the job. If you’re ambitious and want to hire immediately, you likely want to post on something like Indeed or ZipRecruiter as well as on social media since you’ll get a lot more exposure right away. However, if you know your target audience is the type of person who follows you on LinkedIn or Facebook, you may only want to post there – it may just take a little longer to find the right candidates.

Utilize the internet to your advantage

While hiring your first employee as a small business is one step, it’s something to celebrate. Since the days of print classifieds are (mostly) over, it’s important to use the internet to its fullest potential. We hope you use these resources to find the best candidate for that very special job of employee #2

Let us know below if you have any questions or need help with your online hiring:

Glenn Martin

Glenn grew up primarily in Ames and graduated from the University of Iowa with a double major of Russian and Linguistics. During high school and college, he studied abroad in the Czech Republic and in Moscow. Prior to joining Webspec, he worked at a large tech company, dealing with domains, websites and servers, ending up in a training role teaching others. In his free time, Glenn enjoys cooking, traveling, reading and spending time with his wife and dogs Temari and Boris.

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