Jun 24, 2013
How do you find quality employees?

Our monthly column is devoted to what works and what doesn’t – for our readers, from our readers

“What’s your most effective way to find quality employees?”

Sherrill Taylor
Pacific NW Costume
Redmond, Wash.
I have found my most enthusiastic employees to be my customers! If there is a person who frequents my store often enough, or that I find has great love for our products, I will encourage them to fill out an application for when jobs might become available. Most of my current employees have worked for me for years and will move on to other jobs, but will continue to come back to work seasonally on a part-time basis.

Donna Hudson
One Stop Costume and Party Shoppe
Rolla, Mo.
I always look for that bubbly personality while customers are in the store. Then I talk with them, and if it is someone who I think would be a good employee at some point, I ask them if they would be interested in a job and if so, hand them an application. I tell them at Halloween we always hire. Then if I need someone sooner, I always have good applications. This works for me.

Denise Hagopian
Heavenly Choice Flowers & Events
Montebello, Calif.
My local high schools have a wonderful ROP, Regional Occupational Program, with six-week internships. Heavenly Choice has been an ROP training site for 30 years. The students work for experience, references and class credit and I hire the best from each class.
For special events and difficult projects, we use the fresh, creative talent at FIDM, Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in L.A. As an alumni, it gives me great personal pleasure showcasing merchandising students and future designers.

Sterling Smith
Rudman’s Gifts
Metairie, La.
We use college kids, so using the college jobs posting website works for us.

Alexis deMello
Fun Services Colorado
Westminster, Colo.
I’ve found the most effective ways to find a quality employee is to look at all the signs/signals. When they’re talking, all the body signals they send out help me calculate if they’re comfortable enough in a party store environment. It takes an extroverted person to really succeed in this creative industry.
I also like to ask what they are looking for. If we’re not looking for the same needs from each other, we let them know up front what we are looking for and if that doesn’t work, we keep looking. We try not to settle and we really try to find the best fit with the team. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t!

Wickel Donohue
Wickel’s Balloons, LLC
Huntingtown, Md.
Since I have a big family with lots of cousins, I start them out young. I can easily weed out the slackers and the go-getters. I try out family, friends and referrals and if they are good, I keep them on.

Adriane Brandenburg
Fun Party & Wedding Services
Shawnee, Kan.
Customers make great employees, so we hire the people who like to shop in our store. I also have high school employees and when it is time for them to go off to college, I ask them to find their replacement. We have had several sets of sisters.

Carolyn Moore
Top Hat Balloons
Magnolia, Texas
Since I use help from housewives and students, I just ask them to bring along someone they think would be good help on our next job that needs extra people. Since they know that person will be partnered with them on a job, the new person usually arrives with some (prior to the job) training.

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