Job ads are advertisements.
Seems obvious, right? But job ads for people that want to work in your screen printing or embroidery shop must be written and targeted correctly. Go where the group you're trying to reach hangs out. Speak their language.
Mike Chong shows you how to approach hiring for different cohorts. Be ready to speak Spanish. Learn to research, revise, and alter your approach.
"It's hard to get rid of bad employees. You invest so much time and energy into them."
Finding workers is difficult. So you'll want to do the appropriate demographic research and planning to find the right employees. Are you near a college campus with lots of recent graduates, or is there a blue-collar community near you?
Wages and competition for workers are high in Oakland. The labor market is tight, and working in a screen printing shop isn't appealing to everyone. But Mike discovered that there was a large Latino population that knew how to screen print near his shop. If present trends hold, by 2030 Latinos will be the majority ethnicity in Oakland (source).
Most of his production staff speaks primarily Spanish. As he's hired more Latinos, being bilingual is an asset. He hired one bilingual employee who grew into running his production operation. But Mike is happy to employ workers that only speak Spanish.
If you're looking for English speaking staff, Mike advises using Indeed. He talks about using Indeed to hire recent college graduates in this video.
Naturally, you'll need to write the entire job ad in Spanish. But don't worry – with the internet and a little help, you can communicate entirely with applicants in Spanish.
The substance of the job ad doesn't need to differ. Describe the responsibilities, expected hours, pay, benefits, and qualities you want – and deliver a reason those talents work so well for your company.
Here are Mike's tips:
"I tried this method and got 20 applicants in less than 3 days."
Finding the local Spanish speaking population that would fit in with his production staff was a real challenge for Mike. Here's what he learned:
You'll want to respond quickly and move fast.
There's a clear and consistent process Mike uses to find employees.
Open interviews with your production team are a great screener. Mike has interviews at 10 AM and 5 PM to accommodate candidates with jobs.
First, Mike has the production meet the candidate. The introduction helps Mike weed out candidates based on things he may not have noticed. Having more opinions on each candidate ensures your blind spots are covered. He takes brief notes on each candidate.
Second, Mike has the best candidates move on to task-oriented parts of the interview. He'll have the candidates work with his production team to see how they take orders, how well they organize and problem solve, and whether they're a good fit for the team. They'll work for a short period (15-45 minutes) and then Mike gets feedback from the team about how everyone did.
From here, he hires the candidates that fit the team – or seem eager to learn. Never underestimate someone that wants to learn how to screen print.
Your goal as a business owner is to find people that can do the work you need done. You also need people that can do the work correctly. Whether someone speaks English or Spanish is irrelevant.
When you find someone that's enthusiastic, capable, and focused you can start developing a role for them in your shop.
Just like you advertise and market differently to certain segments of your customers, you should advertise and hire based on your potential employees' characteristics. Consider these questions carefully when you're hiring:
The basics of marketing and advertising apply to job postings. You have to solve a problem and be appealing as a brand – you can't just ring the dinner bell and expect perfect candidates to show up.
Mike Chong owns Merch Monster in Oakland, CA. He's focused on providing highest-quality custom apparel and merchandise for business leaders across the US. He regularly produces video content for Printavo, which you can find in our Tips & Tutorials playlist on the Printavo YouTube channel.
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