Hiring on a Super Tight Budget

Deciding when to hire another employee can be a major decision for a business. It becomes an even more difficult decision if there isn’t much money for finding the right applicant.

Everyone knows how difficult it can be to budget when there isn’t enough money to go around. Small businesses know even more, since they are almost likely to be running without much cash reserves.

Hiring on a tight budget, or a $0 budget, can seem almost impossible. With the consolation of job boards and regularly seeing costs of $300 or $500 per posting, it is easy to become hopeless to find anyone with such a small budget. Let alone find someone great who fits your organization’s culture.

There still are some techniques you can use if you get creative.

1. Friends and Family

The first tactic is asking friends and family for. Ask them if they are looking for a new job or if they know of anyone who is. This has no costs, save perhaps the cost of a few cups of coffee. This works especially well for entry-level positions where on the job experience isn’t as important. Don’t only talk to friends and family, talk to everyone in your professional and personal networks.

2. Get social

Using social networks is another inexpensive tactic that could cost only your time. This isn’t the same as tweeting or posting new status updates, you need to be proactive. You will want to use the big three networks; LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook as well as any other social network used by the types of people you’re looking for. Every social network has a search feature now, so search for things about the position or applicant you’re looking for. Some common searches are:

  • the position’s name – “Oracle DBA”
  • jargon used by people in the position – “Photoshop brushes” for designers
  • hiring words – “hire”, “looking for work”, “resigned”, “left my job”
  • locations – “Portland Oregon”, “PDX”

Mix and match your search terms and use any advanced search features each network has (for example, Twitter lets you search by location).

3. Niche Job Boards

Finally, find and use cheap or free job boards. Even though job boards are becoming increasing consolidated, there are still some smaller job boards where you can post for free or cheap. Your local Craigslist can be very inexpensive, some are only $25 per posting. When you find a smaller job board, write down where it is located so next time you can post to them. If you’re using an applicant tracking system or another recruiting tool you should be able to keep track of how effective each of these job boards are.

These are just some of the tactics you can use when you are hiring on a super tight budget. They can even be used when you have more money to hire, paying more will give you better tools and possibly better results. What tactics do you use when trying to keep a low budget?

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