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How can I find quality and reliable employees for a small telecommunications company?


TAYLOR MEYER Saint Clair Shores, MI

I am a Project Manager at a small telecommunications company. We are having a hard time finding candidates that can be trained to do the job. Finding people with experience has also been a challenge. We have a training coordinator that handles all training and safety at our disposal. In order for a candidate to be somewhat productive, they need a few months of "on the job training" in addition to the week long training class.

23 November 2015 27 replies Leadership & Management



Ponni Anand Seattle, WA

Solution might be right under your nose. Did you try posting on the" jobs" section of ACP Advisor Net?

7 December 2015 Helpful answer


Deborah Meyer Columbus, OH

Hello Taylor: I'm assuming you also have this posted out to eBenefits - correct? And the opportunity to search resumes there. For generic (which yes includes Veterans) job posting - I recommend connecting with Indeed for a sponsored job posting (increase visibility) for a fraction of the cost of a newspaper. Have you contacted the Veteran Rep at your local Career OneStop? Maybe someone recently exited the military and moved to your geographic location?

25 November 2015 Helpful answer


linda harper Cocoa, FL

Taylor, I would try your local colleges that offer associate degrees in electronics or engineering studies. Most schools have an office to post job listings.

The students will probably be pretty green but very trainable and eager to learn. You also would be able to vet them by their grades when the provide their school transcripts to you. Plus you could train them the way you want and not have the problem of them saying "Well at my last company...."

Good Luck!

25 November 2015 Helpful answer


Neil Serafin Sequim, WA

Your search is a tough one. Go for people with experience as Carpenters...they are into accuracy and understand hand tools. Very few people understand level 1-3 OS ( the transportation layers)....try also Cable TV techs with at least 6 months experience who are burnt out on their present job...they have been checked out already for background regarding drugs , , driving record and credit ratings. Good luck.

24 November 2015 Helpful answer


Eugene Tuzkov El Segundo, CA

Hi Taylor. Have you tried the "Advanced Search" feature of LinkedIn? It may be a Premium (Paid) feature, but I'm looking at it now and looks like there are alot of Search options. It's also giving me the option to upgrade to a more premium account where I would have access to even more search options (including "years of experience").

You can also try testing LinkedIn ads and laser target on the exact demographics you want to reach for this position. I must warn you however, LinkedIn ads are some of the highest CPCs (cost per click) that I have seen in PPC advertising.

23 November 2015 Helpful answer


Darlene Casstevens Oxford, NC

You could try a temporary agency such as Robert Half & Associates, for example. They will have already done the pre-screening to find out if the employees are reliable.


Brian Andrews Gardner, MA

Also seeing your a veteran their is a group on FB made up of mostly veterans.. this group comes with a weird name because it is a logo from the Guys who created the article 15 clothing line and the Black Rifle coffee company called Drinkin Bros they have sup groups to this as well one of them is Jobs.. others are states and IT professionals...


Brian Andrews Gardner, MA

As a veterans employment counselor in Ma talking to the local career center is a good


Gloria Early Clinton, MS

The VETS Rep from your local state employment service or career center may be a place you want to look.


Henry ("Dr. Hank") Stevens Fort Lauderdale, FL

TWO UNRELATED THOUGHTS; but first, know that I have been an Human Resources pro for decades, even while in the Army; and second, I am currently a Vocational Counselor.

THOUGHT ONE: Sit back and give some considerable thought to identifying what the TALENTS are that a successful employee must bring to the table. Make your selection based on his/her talents. Experience is often a consideration that often blinds employers. You can always teach the detail to a receptive employee.

THOUGHT TWO: Your state employment service will likely offer you a wealth of candidates. They will often screen to your specifications and may even supplement the cost of his/her initiation/education into your employ. Best perhaps, is it is free.

If you would like to discuss, send me an EM to


Don Barkman Oak Ridge, TN

Many state employment agencies do testing. It is a quick way to find people that have at least the basic skills you need like math and reading. Plus, if they test and refer to you, you are pretty much off the hook for testing discrimination. Beware, though, some state offices are good and others are not. You'll know once you try them.


Roger Wilcox Waverly, IA

Most cities/counties have an area workforce development group that you could contact. (You could also contact a local chamber of commerce group.) Be specific in your job posting so that the candidates you attract have exactly what you need. Do thorough reference checks even before you interview so that you are investing your precious time in quality candidates.

Hiring is your most important function, so you want to make sure that you do it right. Good luck.

( I also like the suggestions for LinkedIn.)


Stacy Yike Fairfax, VA

Another channels might be to introduce e yourself to organizations training talent pipelines. Year Up (Year is doing great things preparing young adults for entry level IT, but their closest site to you in Chicago. YUPRO ( can connect you to all their alumni nationwide (10,000+). Other groups working towards connecting young adults to entry level positions can be found at Opportunity Nation (Opportunity Good luck, Stacy


Mack Moore San Antonio, TX

Advertise for cable company experience. lots of changes in the industry.


Jo Prabhu Long Beach, CA offers FREE job posting and receipt of upto 80 resumes for FREE. After that each resume you download costs $1.00 per each. I have been very successful receiving CV's from this jobsite and the cost is neglible compared to others. Yes you will receive some wanna be resumes, but its FREE and worth it. They also have a follow up system which is very easy to manage. I have found LInked In cumbersome and tedious with tons of limitations-very annoying and it does not have any applicant tracking system to follow up with although its a good source for professionals at the Managerial level and up. I don't ever use Careerbuilder or Monster anymore as their resumes have been there forever and every new Recruiter uses it to contact the same candidates over and over again.


Dwayne Williams Purvis, MS

Hello Taylor,
Hope all is well. Have you heard of Private Public Partnership? Private Public Partnership focuses on fostering long- term partnerships with companies, corporations, foundations, academia, and non- governmental organizations to increase Leader and Unit readiness, as well as enhancing Individual Soldier physical, emotional, spiritual , financial and employment readiness. You can contact by email: us army. is for further questions or concerns to assist in your gaining prospective client workforce. Have a blessed day.
Best regards,



James Sipprell White Pine, TN

One of the possibilities is in the cable industry which in some areas is not paying their people as well as maybe you and your small company could. If they reuse the IT department within the school systems you'll find very qualified technicians once again are usually underappreciated. Lastly, If you have any radio friends who were club members, there is a possibility you'll find a few younger techs. Best of success.


Tim Thoelecke Jr. Morton Grove, IL

It seems most of the quality people out there already have jobs, so running ads does not always reach them, unless they are really unhappy. If you run ads, the goal is to attract as few applicants as possible. Otherwise you get a lot of unqualified people. I've had luck with craigslist and ziprecruiter, though both generate a lot of spam.

Also, when you describe the job, "sell" it. That is, use phrases like "looking for a superstar," and "great opportunity to work for a fast-growing company in the telecom industry." Or, if it's appropriate: "work from home" "make your own hours"

If the job description is too long, they won't read it and they will just "spray and pray" resumes.


Jim Jones Getzville, NY

Hi Taylor, some great advice here. Let me add, have you partnered with community colleges, colleges/universities to find candidates. Have you held a job fair at your site? Also the local/state employment office is a great place to post your positions.


_ _ Urbandale, IA

Hi Taylor,
Great question, it's coming up in the HR community quite often. You aren't alone!
There is a war for talent. No matter where you are, the economic condition, or the job type: If you have a need for the employee, everyone else does too. And more companies are willing to take someone outside of their primary discipline and crosstrain them. It's a real struggle.
This has to be a clear leadership objective. Your CEO, owner, or President needs to share this as a strategy.
I would start with your current employees. The best customers always come through referrals, right? Same with talent acquisition. Get them to open up their networks to you, and provide an incentive to do so. Referral bonus, etc. That's a high yield and low cost way to get people in the door.
Second is to review your compensation package. Is it competitive for your industry? For your area? What about your closest industry? Benefits (Med, Dental, 401K match) +PTO+Salary = Total comp.
Third is your culture. What do people think of your company? What do employees think of working for your company? How long do people stay? Why do they stay? Do people leave the first chance they get, or do they stick around for a long time? Attrition rates are important.
Fourth, is the presentation of your company to the employee candidates. What's your website looking like? How do candidates apply? Think about HOW you would sell the company through technology to these employees. Millennials will make up the majority of the workforce in a few years. If your company is manual in their processes, it's going to be a hard fight to win and retain talent.
Message me if you need further direction. I'm happy to help.


Bruce Montville Hampton, NH

Our free 'Veterans Resumes for Success' program writes/re-writes/tweaks resumes for veterans. Many of them have IT and Telecommunications hardware/software experience.
As we identify the skillsets of each veteran, we always suggest companies to them that match up with those skills. This is done when we complete our resume process for each vet.

So please stop hiding and tell me the name of your company, where you are and full contact info. We'll be glad to pass the word for you. Best, Bruce -


DF Jackson Washington, DC

You can also incorporate a "completion bonus" for employees who work a full year


Henry ("Dr. Hank") Stevens Fort Lauderdale, FL

It's all about finding people with the talent - and talent trumps experience every time. You can teach the tasks to someone with the talent. But, if the person is not doing what s/he wants to do, you are going to suffer much turnover. So, the question is, what are the talents necessary to do the job well?

But ONE example . . . . . you are NOT going to find a great salesperson who is NOT competitive. Being competitive is a talent. Sure, you can teach the techniques of salesmanship but unless you are doing so to a person who IS talented you will be working with a second-stringer.

I have spent my whole career separating human chaff from the wheat; and although it is FAR more common to look for someone with the experience, it is a fool's errand.

People will do what you want them to do, when what they do, is what they want to do.


Jim Schreier Milwaukee, WI

I would like to see the "ads' or "posts" that you've used before responding in more detail but I will comment on a general possibility that may be at least a partial cause of your difficulty.

Are your "posts" focused on "experience" and "skills?" Are you looking for what people "HAVE?" Have you described in your posts or ads the challenges of the job in a positive way that focuses on what you what someone to do? By focusing on the "haves" you're often describing the job the person already has -- but they're looking for more: a bigger challenge, the opportunity to learn and grow. Are you presenting that? I'm happy to help you refine your job profile, etc.


David Torch Denver, CO

might be able to help with some advice on key skills, systems experience etc. to look for in candidates.


Olya Schaefer Saint Petersburg, FL

I'd try linkedin or if that's applicable.


Vivek Vadakkuppattu Seattle, WA

Kind of late here, but what is the profile of the employees you are looking for? I work in telecomm and might be able to help once I have a better understanding of the kind of people you are looking for. If you are looking for field technicians, I know of quite a few companies in the DC area that have been downsizing in the last couple of months, and might have a talented pool you can tap into..


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