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  • Writer's pictureLucie Lapierre

7 Unique Ways to Find Potential Employees!

Updated: Jan 2


Disclaimer: The information provided in this article does not constitute legal advice nor does it encompass all obligations under provincial or federal laws and regulations, a collective agreement that may be in force or any existing policies that may be in place for your business. For more information on the methods below, visit the links provided or seek professional or legal guidance.

For the past year, it has become increasingly difficult to find employees. There are several factors that contribute to the shortage of labour available: retirement of a large segment of the population, changing demographics, low immigration numbers during the pandemic, as well as more choices of employers for job applicants. It is an employee’s market!

The following tactics may help you to reach out to potential employees!

1. ACCESSIBILITY – HIRE A PERSON WITH A DISABILITY In Canada, a good percentage of people with a disability are not working. Oftentimes, employers will be reluctant to offer employment to a person with a disability because of preconceived biases and assumptions regarding their potential accommodation needs and its effect on the employer's budget. Accommodation can often be easily applied in the workplace and does not cost too much to implement. The person with the disability will know what they need, and often, they already have the tools and resources needed to accommodate their disability in their workplace (technology, transportation, etc.).

The Ontario Ministry of Labour has programs available for employers and potential employees. You can find more information at this link.

2. DIVERSITY - HIRE A NEWCOMER Being new to a foreign country is scary, but is also a time full of new experiences and aspirations! On average, every year, 6,000 people from around the world come to live in Ottawa. This is an untapped source of potential employees!

WorldSkills help immigrants and employers to find their perfect march!


There are many ways to socially recruit, whether through social media platforms, recruitment platforms or virtual or in-person job fairs.

Job Fairs: Attending in-person or virtual job fairs might be an effective way to meet potential employees. You may also want to create your own job fair with local businesses around you! A simple search on the internet will give you more information about job fairs happening in Ottawa!

Social Media: Choose the right social media platforms on where your potential employees might be looking for a job. Depending on your type of business, it might be worth investing in social media posts like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. Use a shorter version of your job ad with a catchy, leading title to capture their attention!

Recruitment platforms: Indeed is by far the leading recruitment platform for employers. Investing in a post on this platform might bring you the employee you are looking for. There are also other recruitment platforms that are worth exploring, depending on your type of business, such as professional associations. You can also contact local high schools and post-secondary institutions in your area to see if they would consider your job ad to be displayed on their school information boards.

Schools – High Schools, Colleges, University – Internship or work placements are a great way to find an employee. Trade schools and professional programs are looking for employers to facilitate a work placement. You do not have to be a big business or part of the government to take part in those programs. Many businesses find their perfect match when participating in those programs, and the students may stay in your employment after graduation!


What can you offer that is different from the other businesses? Outline these in your job ad and on social media to create a sense of curiosity, and attract potential employees.

You are amazing!: Focus on how amazing the potential employee you are looking for is and how they will fit in your business!

Highlight all the great rewards you are offering.

  • Do they get free lunch, free parking, discount on merchandise, paid vacation, retention bonus, etc.?

  • Can you offer a family discount for employees?

  • Do you have company-run parties, celebrations, special days?

  • Do you contribute to a cause, charity, social purpose?

  • Do you offer flexibility, like working from home, and flexible work hours?

  • Do you offer to pay for transportation when the public transport is not available or late at night?

Tell them that you value diversity and inclusion and how each employee in your business can be themselves.

If you can, include pictures of real employees or the team and the workplace.

Have the salary range that you are willing to offer. Salary ranges will bring you more potentially qualified employees, as they see an invitation to negotiate the experience they bring to you. And it gives you the opportunity to offer more for that perfect match!

The number of hours offered per week and when they will be i.e., day, evening, night. You will attract people that are available during those times.

Include contact info and make it personal. For example, contact the owner by name.

If education, specific certification or past experience is not relevant to the job you are offering, do not ask for a resume on the job ad. Just ask them to contact you directly.

Be quick to reply to a potential employee; the longer you wait to make your decision by reviewing resumes or scheduling interviews, the more chances you have to lose that amazing potential employee!


Drop-in interviews: If you are available and can make the time, offer an interview on the spot. "Come in for an interview" would be a great message on your job ad!

Working interviews: You can ask the potential employees to come in for a working interview, which is to ask the employee to perform the basic tasks of the job and see how they perform. Make the working interview only a few hours long, and it is best to pay the person for the working interview as they will have worked!

Past experience: If you did not ask for a resume, during the interview, ask for a list of past employers in case you want to contact them for a reference check.

Making an Offer: Do not be afraid to make an offer at the end of the interview. If you want to think about it, it is ok, however, be conscientious of the applicant's time.


If you can afford it, an employee referral program could be a wonderful way to attract new employees. An employee referral program is when an existing employee refers someone that they know for a job with your business.

You can offer the following type of reward(s) for the employee who makes the referral:

  • Gift card or gift certificate

  • Discount on merchandise or select high-end items

  • Cash added to their pay

You may want to put some conditions on this incentive, such as when to give the reward, for example after the new employee has passed probation, or that you are certain that the new employee is meeting your expectations. Limit it to a certain number of referrals per employee per year, etc. Ensure that you review the Employers’ Guide - Taxable Benefits and Allowances and do your research on the deductions to take on the reward depending on its nature


If you can afford it, you may want to offer a retention bonus to employees to be collected after a certain period provided that they meet the expectations of the job. For example, after 3, 6 or 12 months of employment. The bonus could be the equivalent to a percentage of their weekly pay, and added to their pay. As with the employee referral program, it is recommended to consult CRA to ensure that the proper deductions are taken on bonuses or any other irregular amount.

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