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SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Mar 26, 2003
Alberta CANADA
The Framing Nook
Does anyone have any good ideas regarding hiring?

I live in an area that has less than 3% unemployed at present! Its very dif to find a worker. I am looking for a part time - no exp nec - will train. Need Long term person. I've tried the help wanted adds even a nice add in the carreers - very little response, and what did respond, were not what I was looking for! I also have a sign in my store!

Please help with ideas. Thanks
My best success has been with middle-aged women whose kids are grown up, and they are bored at home. They want fun work & flexible schedules, and fit well into our business model.

Generally, it's better to have two or three part-timers than to have one full-timer. That way they can take some extra time off occasionally.

Some years ago we had three who scheduled the time amongst themselves. I simply told them that two had to be here during the certain hours, and they worked it out. That can't work for everyone, of course.
Have you considered doing a mailing to your customers? We have found some of our best employees by putting a sign in the window. Our community is like yours we have low unemployment and if someone wants work it is probably more to keep busy than for the money.

A nicely crafted letter to your customers might even have a duel impact for some added business.
Over the past 5 years and thinking that I had found good employees every one of them ended up being horrible, with the last one stealing from me while I was attending the Atlanta show last year. Letting your clients know that you're hiring part time is an absolute wonderful idea. After the fiasco I came home to last year I started letting my clients know that I was looking for part-time help and one of my long time clients came in and said she only wanted something part time, couple of days a week and would be willing to have me try her out at no charge for a few days. So I thought, well why not. Because I frame alot of stitchery and she is a stitcher, part of my training was already done.

She has since turned into the best part-time employee that I've ever had. My most pickiest of clients have pulled me aside and told me that she's a delight to work with and very courteous and if I'm not here they don't mind working with her. In our business that's a huge plus.

So my advice for what it's worth, let your clients know, you just never know what might come up.

Have you tried the "stay at home moms" at the local elementary/High schools? Some of them might not be looking for work, but often would like to feel that they contribute a little financially to the family.....Yes stay at home moms do a lot of work...lets not go there!.....
I know of a few moms in our neighbourhood who would love to have a job that would allow them to be there before and after school, the family really doesn't need the money to get by, but they would like something different to do during the day.

One of my favorite and most conscientious co-workers ever had retired from engineering. He found his way to that shop because he had started doing artwork and was interested in framing it.

Perhaps you could reach out to a community art center for candidates.
Put your add under ART not framing or custom framing in the help wanted section. When I took this aproach I got a bunch of very talented art students beating a path to my door.
Normandog is right. This advert resulted in dozens of replies when I recently ran it in the local press.

to train as gilder in traditional picture frame makers in Sudbury. No gilding experience needed, but an understanding of art techniques, colour theory, and care of equipment is essential. An interest in art history would be an advantage.

It sounds like you know something of what type of employee you are looking for, and what you expect of that employee. My suggestion comes from personal experience, give careful thought to how much experience you are needing, how much you are willing to commit to finding/keeping a good employee, and lay out some specific responsibilities for both you and the employee that will outline his/her duties and also your responsibility as their employer.

What you offer is what you should give, period. If you choose to give more for outstanding performance, so much the better but don't ever go back on your offer and expect a positive response. That only leads to mistrust and a very shaky work environment for all concerned. Too many people get into a work crunch and look for help without any consideration of the employee's side of the situation. Granted, you will have some who simply are looking for a few bucks and really don't want to work any harder than minimally possible to earn it, but you have to be alert for that one special person who displays potential and has that attitude that says I am willing to learn and adapt to your business.

There really are still a few dedicated people out there who would love to have a position of certainty with the challenges of the nature that we are offered each day. If you can be alert and trust your gut feeling about a person, you may find that perfect employee you are searching for.

Good luck.

Having hired hundreds of framers and retail managers, I have found that my best people always came by refferal from either other employees or customers. Your customers know your business better than you think and other employees know what kind of people you are looking for, they know the work, and they are great advocates for working in your store.

The other fairly successful method I have used is finding people in other similar/related types of businesses that impress you when you are their customer. It is OK to go out and get an employee. Just because they are working somewhere else doesn't mean they are happy there.

In the end, hiring is a crapshoot. Good Luck.
Harry is right, hiring is a crapshoot! I generally have potential new hires come in 2-3 times to interview...that way you can see if they show up on time and look presentable. After the first interview they loosen up a little and you see a little more of their personality. I write up a list of questions to ask ahead of time. However, I've had several people who interviewed well but turned out to be horrid employees. And none of it matters if you can't get people to interview in the first place! Talk to the classified people at the paper...they can give you some good tips to get more leads. I dumped all my employees except for one part timer last year after a horrible experience with a few of them. Aftre the one I had left moved away, I tried to go it alone for a few months. It helped get things back in perspective. After 2 months of that, someone wandered in looking for work. She managed a shop years ago but had been out of the business for several years. I hired her on the spot because my new rule was if they don't work out, dump them immediately instead of waiting for things to turn around. Well, she turned out to be the best employee I have ever had! I was out for surgery in December, of all months, and she really kept things moving. I was out sick again a few weeks ago for 10 days and she really worked her tail off. All this with no real interview! I just told her I'd try her for 12 hours a week for a few weeks and if it didn't work out, we'd part ways. Finally, this place is running well without me spending all my time in the back room! Good luc to you...
We’ve had pretty good luck at getting part-timers from a local high school.
We approach the guidance department who, in turn, contacts the art teacher who does the preliminary screening for us. We tell them what we are looking for – seniors with good academics, good study habits, polite, etc.

They send us a bunch of kids and we grab the best. Of course, they can only work in the afternoons and on Saturday, but that is what we want. The real advantage for us is that since they are under their parents roof, they need no medical benefits. Since they are so young (generally without any work history) we get by by paying them minimum wage, but, through an arrangement with the school, we end up putting one dollar into a scholarship fund for each hour the kid works.

This make us look like great benefactors (we advertise this at every opportunity) and it looks good for the kid who is able to cite on his/her college application that he/she received a scholarship. It is win-win for both of us.
One of the biggest factors we've found in getting the most qualified people in the door is the right ad. I used to figure that everyone who is really looking for a job is going to look at all the ads, so why bother making it big and professional looking? I discovered that not only are you less likely to get the really good people with a simple text classified, but you get LOTS of the "not-so-good" ones. We've developed a display ad that has a basic format that can easily be modified to suit the position sought, and has all the basic info that we want every one to have. I have a theory that one of the most important parts of the ad is the statement that a high school diploma is required, and that s pre-employment drug test and physical is required.
Try the local colleges, most have job posting boards. Or talk directly to thier head of the Art Department.