5 Ways to Save Money When Looking for New Employees

by Rieva Lesonsky

3 min read

The costs of hiring a new employee can quickly add up. In addition to the cost of placing ads for job candidates, there’s the cost of you or your managers’ time spent reviewing resumes, setting up interviews and interviewing job candidates. How can you lessen these costs and save money when hiring employees? Try these five tips.

1. Promote From Within

You can eliminate the cost of advertising for an open position—as well as time spent bringing unknown job candidates in for interviews and doing background checks—by promoting from within whenever possible. Since you know their strengths and weaknesses and if they are a good fit, all you need to do is interview them regarding their abilities and interest in performing the duties of the new job.

There’s also an added bonus: employee morale rises when people feel there is ample opportunity to advance inside the company.

2. Hire Employees Who Provide Tax Breaks

Under the federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), small businesses can get federal tax breaks for hiring employees who fall into certain targeted groups that typically have difficulty getting jobs. The tax credit is typically 25 to 40% of the individual’s wages, but can be as much as 50% in certain cases.

There is no limit on how many people you can hire within the targeted groups. Targeted groups currently include unemployed military veterans, individuals using in Empowerment Zones or Rural Renewal Counties, ex-felons, SSI recipients, food stamp or family aid recipients, and people going through vocational rehabilitation. Visit the Department of Labor website for more information on WOTC targeted employee groups and WOTC resources.

3. Use Word of Mouth to Recruit Employees

Placing want ads on job search websites can get expensive, and often brings poor results as you get a flood of resumes from candidates who aren’t qualified in the first place. Cut your hiring costs by using word of mouth to share the news of your job opening.

First, put the word out to everyone you know—both in your business and personal lives—that you’re looking to hire. Tell them the basics of the job and the type of person you’re looking for. Next, tap into social media to share your job opportunity and promote what makes your business a desirable place to work. You can even use LinkedIn to search your network and your contacts’ networks for possible employees.

Keep an eye out for people in your industry who are active in commenting, reaching out and helping others, and are knowledgeable about their jobs. Then reach out privately to see if they’re interested in interviewing.

4. Attract Job Candidates Using Inbound Marketing

Does your business website include information about careers at your company or list job openings? If not, add a page that does so. Create a sense of what it’s like to work at your business by including photos and brief bios of team members. Explain your company culture and business mission.

Implement good SEO tactics by using keywords that job seekers might use to find the type of job you’re hiring for, such as “graphic design jobs” or “warehouse jobs,” in your website content and tags. This will help get online job seekers to your website. When they do, be sure your site includes all the relevant contact information they need to get in touch with your business and apply for the job.

5. Hire Right the First Time

Hiring the wrong person for the job—then having to terminate and replace them—is a costly mistake for a small business. It’s awkward at best, and at worst puts your business at risk of a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Use screening techniques to weed out candidates before the actual interview. Have them fill out a detailed application and then do some real-life tasks such as writing marketing copy on the spot or taking a test. Develop interview questions and use the same questions for all candidates so you can be sure you’re comparing apples to apples.

Involve others in your company in the interview process so you get more than one person’s opinion, and have job candidates meet your team to get an idea of cultural fit. Last, but not least, don’t skimp on conducting background checks and/or drug testing, if relevant to the job. What you don’t know can hurt you. Developing a thorough interview process and using it for each candidate takes more time upfront, but saves you time—and money—in the end.

For more solid advice on how to get hiring right, read our article on the 9 things you need to do when hiring.

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