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Where the Employees Are

Leave the want ads in the dust by checking these nine potential hot spots for top job candidates.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The obvious first choice for recruiting employees is the classified ad section of your local newspaper. Place your ad in the Sunday or weekend edition of the largest-circulation local papers.

But if you want to go beyond this, there are plenty of other places to recruit good employees. Here are some ideas:

  • Tap into your personal and professional network. Tell everything you know--friends, neighbors, professional associates, customers, vendors, colleagues from associations--that you have a job opening. Someone might know the perfect candidate.
  • Distribute fliers. Do what restaurants and dry cleaners have been doing for years. UPS has been known to do this in hopes recruiting part-time workers. But unlike many other recruitment methods employed by the big guys, distributing fliers is just as easy for small businesses.
  • Contact school placement offices. List your openings with trade and vocational schools, colleges and universities. Check with your local school board to see if high schools in your area have job training and placement programs.
  • Post notices at senior citizen centers. Retirees who need extra income or a productive way to fill their time can make excellent employees.
  • Use an employment agency. Private and government-sponsored agencies can help with locating and screening candidates. Often their fees are more than justified by the amount of time and money you save.
  • Establish an employee referral program. Encourage your current employees to recommend your company to people they know, and offer cash bonuses for referrals that result in hiring.
  • List your opening with an appropriate job bank. Many professional associations have job banks for their members. Contact groups related to your industry, even if they are outside your local area, and ask them to alert their members to your staffing needs.
  • Use industry publications. Trade association newsletters or industry publications often have classified ad sections where members can advertise job openings. This is a very effective way to attract skilled people in your industry.
  • Go online. There are a variety of online job banks like that allow employers to list openings. Potential employees from all over the country can search these databases.

Excerpted from Start Your Own Business by Rieva Lesonsky and the staff of Entrepreneur magazine.