It’s inevitable that, at some point, even the smallest of small businesses will need to hire employees. How you go about the recruiting and hiring process could vary based on the position available and your company’s industry.

In general, word of mouth is a great first step to seek new talent. And sometimes that’s all you need to find the right candidate.

For many of us, word of mouth these days involves posting to your favorite social media networks. For positions like an administrative assistant, office help, or someone to assist in a shipping department, I suggest sharing on some of the platforms you’re probably already using regularly, including Instagram and Facebook, and perhaps Craig’s List.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry can help find employees also by posting jobs for your business. The department also has a bank of individuals looking for work and can cross-reference them with the job opening to see if any are a match.

Other times, zeroing in on the right applicant may take a bit more time, outreach, and, in some cases, investment.

If you’re looking to bring on an employee with decision-making power or hire someone for a middle or upper management position, LinkedIn might be your preferred recruiting tool. In addition to advertising on LinkedIn, you can also first share information about the career opportunity with your colleagues and connections. It’s the most professional of the social media platforms and a good place to find and cultivate new employees. By connecting with a potential new hire on the network, you can easily see their current and previous job experiences and how your position may or may not fit in.

Another option is to advertise the job opening on a paid job board, such as Indeed. An advantage of going that route is that Indeed offers hiring services in conjunction with the job post, which can be especially appealing to business owners already short on time for reviewing resumes and interviewing.

No matter how you recruit your employees, I highly recommend doing a background check. It’s important to verify the applicant’s education and job history to ensure that the person chosen to join your organization is credible.

The extent of a background check may vary depending upon the nature of the work. For instance, it’s a good idea to check the driving record of someone who would be driving on your company’s behalf. Employees handling money should have a criminal background check. Individuals who could have access to your company’s proprietary information should have a background check also. The same background checks may not be necessary for someone working at a fast food restaurant.

In general, it’s a good rule of thumb to be consistent with background checks for all employees in similar positions. For example, if you do a background check on one driver, you should check all drivers. The same applies to drug screenings. If you screen one employee, it’s a good idea to screen all.

In my more than 40 years in human resources, I have found that simply calling references and former employers is not enough. Job seekers can (and often do) provide contacts who will say positive things about them. Most times, previous employers are not permitted to share anything about their former employees other than that the person worked there.

Thankfully, there are accredited background check companies that can help. Once you decide which information and history should be checked, it’s a good idea to be consistent with what you do and whose background you check.

Good luck and happy hiring!

For additional insight on hiring for your business, contact SCORE Bucks County at 215-943-8850 or visit 

About the Author(s)

 Nina  De Rosa

Nina De Rosa has worked for more than 40 years in human resources and has expertise in recruiting payroll, and personnel administration and supervision.

Mentor, SCORE Bucks County
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