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RIP Want Ads -- NOW where do I go for fresh blood?

Equity Cabinets

I initially posted this to the CAD/CAM forum since I had been trawling through that forum looking for inspiration. But I think it's really more of a "manage my shop" question so I'm cross-posting here to get a different kind of response.

We all know that the tools to run a shop are critical, and material suppliers and pricing/sales are key as well. But staff to run the shop is just as important, no?

I've got no shortage of vendors who'll get me a quote or customers to sell my next job to. But when it comes to staffing questions, it seems like nobody reads the newspaper any more. And every time I run an ad in Craigslist I get SLAMMED with get-rich-quick kiddies, job recruiters / head hunters, and no real good applicants.

I run a 10,000 sq ft commercial cabinet shop in a rural part of San Diego and we are looking for qualified help.

So I thought I would check in with you, see if anyone had bright ideas. Where are applicants going to find work? Where are businesses going to find employees?

We've always staffed our 10-man shop through word of mouth. But I'm specifically looking for bench guys and a new draftsman (Cabinet Vision + AutoCAD) and I want to drop my line where the fish are.



4/3/18       #2: RIP Want Ads -- NOW where do I go f ...
Karl E Brogger  Member

Website: http://www.sogncabinets.com

Listening intently

4/4/18       #3: RIP Want Ads -- NOW where do I go f ...

I have had a lot of applicants from indeed, but I would like to know the best place to look for people with experience. I would like another finisher and another person for general shop help but can't find people with good experience. I already have 2 that we are training and would like someone with experience because as everyone knows having to completely train someone takes a good deal of time.

4/4/18       #4: RIP Want Ads -- NOW where do I go f ...
Puzzleman Member

If you are only using one source to find people, try expanding your horizons.

I use Craigslist, Indeed, Snagajob. All are websites.

I talk with Goodwill, Salvation Army and several other organizations similar.
I use a person in my shop who is partially disabled. We were able to work with his physical issues and he is one of the better people here. You never know what you will find. I know of a restaurant that has a chef that is in a wheelchair. He was an executive chef before an accident left him paralyzed. They figured out a way to use him in their kitchen. He is happy to work in the field that he loved and they are happy because they have someone who already knew how to cook.

I use a few retired people during my busy season.
I use a couple of people on disability through my busy season. One is a graphics person who has problems with his legs. Has to get up and walk around at least once an hour.

I have found people by talking to my FedEx and UPS drivers.
I have found people by talking to the waiters at a restaurant that I frequent.
I found a person working at a fast food place. Really good worker and they were wanting a job with regular daytime hours. Great person.

I am always constantly looking for people even if I am fully staffed. Never know when something will happen and I want to be sure that I have a solution in the works.

4/4/18       #5: RIP Want Ads -- NOW where do I go f ...
james e mcgrew Member

Website: mcgrewwoodwork.com

You sound like my twin on the west coast.

When i use Craigslist i have a burnner phone number and a separate generic email.

that way i can do some screening before wasting time talking to them, as well i require them to email me a resume, reason is i want to see if they have digital ability,, funny how many probably good canidates over look that small request. recently we found a vet who was sitting at a verizon call center desk who wanted to do more with his life,

Hiring him has been a great move, not only has he well proven himself he found another guy just like him !!

4/4/18       #6: RIP Want Ads -- NOW where do I go f ...

Puzzleman, thanks for the perspective. I don't see too many people during the day except the guys I already work with. That's probably part of the trouble! If I got out of the shop once in a while and bought some dinner I might encounter someone who'd be a good fit.

I'm hesitant to hit up our local traveling salesmen (lumber distributors, hardware distributors) but appreciate the idea of talking to the guys at the lumberyard and the UPS driver.

Now you have me wondering if the local VA or military bases have a career center or a job board. I'll see if I can track that down: We are vet-owned and vet-friendly, but I've never started my search before by looking at unemployed ex-military.

4/4/18       #7: RIP Want Ads -- NOW where do I go f ...

There really aren't many good people with experience out there. Hire for character and train for skills. I get most of my entry level people while I'm out and about. If I notice a store clerk is exceptionally motivated and takes initiative I ask if they're looking for a change of careers. Some of my best hires have been motivated and hardworders from fast food places.

4/4/18       #8: RIP Want Ads -- NOW where do I go f ...
james e mcgrew Member

Website: mcgrewwoodwork.com

"Now you have me wondering if the local VA or military bases have a career center or a job board. I'll see if I can track that down: We are vet-owned and vet-friendly, but I've never started my search before by looking at unemployed ex-military."

Dustin it has been so refreshing to have some one with a "Yes sir, No Sir, What is next Sir" and the floor be kept so clean ! Vets are my default now.

I have done Jerrys suggestion as well it works as well

4/4/18       #9: RIP Want Ads -- NOW where do I go f ...
Alan F. Member

I would thinks vets that have recently returned to the workforce or are about to return would make excellent hires if you are willing to train.

They have already shown the ability to take direction and learn. We just need to think outside the box to learn to apply their skills to our needs.

4/4/18       #10: RIP Want Ads -- NOW where do I go f ...

RE: Burner email addresses and burner phone numbers

I have had some success in using throwaway email address but temporary phone numbers was tricky for us for a while. Verizon wants a 1-year contract and I only have a few incoming lines that I prefer to keep open for customer contact.

Lately I have been using "freetone" which is a web and mobile app. No cost, ad-supported, and gives a "real" phone number in our local area code. It will also send and receive sms text messages. When the telemarketers start calling the app, I just toss the number and get a new one at no cost.


4/4/18       #11: RIP Want Ads -- NOW where do I go f ...
james e mcgrew Member

Website: mcgrewwoodwork.com

We use the verizone but no contract just buy minute cards from convienince stores as needed

4/4/18       #12: RIP Want Ads -- NOW where do I go f ...

This will be regional and may not help you, but the semi retired people in my parts are a great resource.

They are reiable, smart(for the most part), and basically just looking for something to do(cheap). They dont want to work there fingers to the bone, but their intelligence makes up for it.

In our area, we have a lot of retired factory workers. They worked their butt off their whole lives, and dont know how to sit still. So they would be great at various small jobs.

4/4/18       #13: RIP Want Ads -- NOW where do I go f ...

Any suggestions how to reach a semi-retired pool of applicants? That's another group that seems hard to "hit up," even tougher that veterans since there's no VFW bulletin board! ;)

4/5/18       #14: RIP Want Ads -- NOW where do I go f ...
Puzzleman Member

I have fund retirees by talking to people involved with their church. They will know who is out there. Just put out the word that you are looking for help and are particularly interested in retirees. Talk to people from different churches.

Another avenue has been AARP. They have a department that helps with retirees to get a job.

Another avenue is to see other working retirees. Ask if they have friends or know someone who is looking.

The main key to all of this is to keep looking all the time. Not just when you need help. Then you have to take what you find. But if you are constantly looking, you will find people who can fit what you need eventually.

4/5/18       #15: RIP Want Ads -- NOW where do I go f ...

I'm curious as to what the wages for a bench guy is in San Diego, along with median home price/ rental price.

7/24/18       #16: RIP Want Ads -- NOW where do I go f ...

I know I'm a bit behind as this was an convo from several months ago, but we're near a couple universities and a trade school and have has some success posting jobs opportunities in the relevant areas for the type of job.
E.g. If you need someone for CAD stuff, call the secretary for the computer/engineering program at the school. They'll hang fliers on the boards for you and send out emails to students.

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