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How to advertise for help wanted

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SmallBusiness.com How-tos are step-by-step instructions for specific small business tasks. They are created and edited by readers like you. You can help edit this How-to or you can create your own. Find more How-tos at the SmallBusiness.com How-to Hub.


For many small business owners, filling an empty position takes a lot of effort -- after all, you don't want to hire the first semi-qualified applicant who walks through the door. So how do you attract the perfect employee when you need to fill a vacancy? You may be tempted to simply place a "help wanted" sign in your window, but that's not always enough to attract someone who will mesh with your team and perform well at their job. Would that simple sign reach the candidate pool you hope to hire from?

A "help wanted" sign is a great place to start, but you might also consider adding another approach or two to your search.

Five ways to recruit new employees

  • Your local newspaper
Classified ads are still alive and kicking, and your local newspaper probably has an online classified section as well. While you're placing your ad in print, consider your trade or industry publication as well.
  • Online job sites.
The big boys like Monster.com[1] and Careerbuilder.com[2] have a national readership and may reach more potential candidates than just your local newspaper.
  • Your own website
Even if you don't have a page or section specific to job vacancies or careers with your small business, a quick blurb about the position on the home page with a phone number or email to contact for more information may get some hits. If you have a company blog, you might also post the job opening there.
  • Online networking
Do you Twitter or have a Facebook account? Check with your contacts on those sites. If you're looking for a human resources specialist, you never know who might have a former colleague, friend or family who happens to be looking for a job in that area.
  • Look within
Perhaps you can promote someone who's been with your business for a while already. But if that's not an option, your current employees may have a former colleague or classmate who happens to be in the market. You might even consider offering a finder's fee or token of appreciation to the employee who helps you find your new staff member.


Hiring a new employee is one of the most important tasks you'll face as a small business owner. You want to find qualified, competent and loyal employees, and using one or more of the avenues mentioned above as part of your process will help to do just that.


  1. monster.com
  2. CareerBuilder.com

See also