Hiring is a topic that readers often submit questions to my Ask Uncle Marty™ column about. Business owners and managers have always struggled with finding the right people, and many also struggle with retaining those people once they've come on board.
I've addressed this in a number of columns, and I'm sure will continue to do so in the future. One thing I've always shared is how I very rarely will advertise the fact that I'm looking for new people. Primarily, I prefer to ask my current team if they know anyone—family, friends, connections—who would be a good fit. A recommendation from someone I already know and trust, and who knows my business inside and out, is the best recommendation in my eyes.
If my team doesn't have anyone in mind, then sometimes I'll put up a sign on my door that simply says, "accepting applications." Why not "we're hiring" or "help wanted?" Because those are too desperate-sounding and may attract the wrong people, however an "accepting applications" wording is more discerning and will attract people who expect to compete for the job and not just have one handed to them.
Why on my door and not online? Because I want people who are already in my shop to be the first to apply. Those are the people who know what we do...and, more importantly, appreciate what we do because they're already clients. They know the value and therefore can sell the value.
On the very rare occasion that we just can't find someone through the aforementioned means, I might do a blog post or online search. But, I'm very careful with the wording. I came across the following post we did a couple of years ago when we were looking for a manager at the shop. Maybe its wording will be helpful to you when creating your own.
Remember the old adage passed down to me from my mom and that I've always shared in my coaching and teaching: "Hire the smile; train the skills." A team member's willing attitude and positive demeanor is exponentially more important than any degree, background, or on-paper skillset in almost any circumstance and/or enterprises.
Growing Collegetown Business Taking Applications
Uncle Marty’s Shipping Office continues to grow, and we’re currently accepting applications. We hope to hire some new associates with the potential for one to develop into a full-time store manager for our Collegetown shop.
Previous experience in packing, shipping, storage, printing, or mailbox rental—our core services—is not required; we’ll provide training in those areas. What matters most is a warm, welcoming personality, a kind, respectful attitude, a willingness to adapt as the business grows in an ever-changing industry, and, above all, the ability to take care of our valued guests and clients with the level of consistent and exceptional service that they expect at Uncle Marty’s.
Salary and benefits will be discussed with each candidate on an individual basis, depending on what you bring and learn, responsibilities, experience, and added value. Our goal is to not only be fair, but to ultimately be a steppingstone for someone’s future life and career goals. Permanent, year-round Ithaca residents are preferred, as we hope for a long-term arrangement.
We can usually be flexible with schedules, however our busy season when we need all team members available is during local university finals and student move-out weeks in May and December. Candidates must be able to commit to being available during the May moving season (including all day on Memorial Day, our busiest day of the year after Cornell’s graduation), as well as the couple of weeks leading up to December holidays when we experience another busy time.
We encourage anyone interested to first check out our site at unclemartysoffice.com to read our mission statement on the home page and learn about our current team and services, and also take a look at our socials (Instagram @unclemartysoffice) to see more about who we are and what we do. Then, if you want to apply to join our team, please do so with our online application, email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application as a PDF, or stop into our Collegetown location at 206A Dryden Road in Ithaca to snag an application in person.
Let’s grow together!