It is certainly an employers world right now with unemployment at 10%. But that doesn’t mean you can take for granted a pool of talented, experienced candidates available to you. You still have to get the word out that you have a need and you want to attract the best and brightest to fill your position. Advertising in your local newspaper is still expensive and so is listing a job on Career Builder or For most positions, your best choice is craigslist. Except for major metropolitan areas, a craigslist ad is free and you have a virtually unlimited number of words.
Be creative and offer a well-developed snapshot on craigslist of what your company offers in terms of culture and what you are looking for in terms of fit from a new employee. I discovered that creating a real picture of the job opportunity drew far more activity than a traditionally worded ad. Here’s a sample of my own craigslist ad:“It’s 10:07 pm on a Wednesday night and I’m still in my office working!!
Tina Mitchell and I are CPAs in a rapidly growing practice located in Farmington. We are different than any other CPA firm you’ve ever known. Our clients are mostly small businesses that rely on our business advice. We help our friends and clients with their marketing needs and hone their business systems so that they can be profitable even in these difficult economic times.

But I’m stuck working late again tonight because I’ve just got too many things to do – all the accounting, bookkeeping and payroll projects are just piling up. With the economy as it is I need to spend more time advising my clients and less on the bookkeeping projects.

Can you help me take care of the accounting for these great business owners so that we are able to provide the high end consulting services they need?

Are you somebody who’s superb at handling details … a loyal, hardworking, energetic person who always follows through and almost never misses a deadline … so productive your last employer considered hiring two people to replace you … excellent with QuickBooks and understanding bookkeeping inside and out … comfortable in a small business environment where priorities can change quickly … a super organized get-it-done type person who’s also very good at communicating with people?”

As you can see, it creates quite a picture of the need I had and the kind of person I was looking for. It gave candidates that saw the ad on craigslist permission to really express their own USP (unique sales proposition) and what they were bringing to the table. Other traditional ads did not uncover the quality applicants that I needed, but this craigslist ad drew a great deal of interest from great folks. And, in the end, I hired two!Lesson? When advertising for employment on craigslist, don’t be stuffy. Be conversational. Let your readers and target group know what you REALLY want and encourage them to sell themselves and your business!


by Steven Schlagel