Seven Strategies for Hiring Print Shop Employees

Hiring print shop employees can be a challenge. Competition for creative talent can be fierce. And many prospective employees may have an outdated notion of how much technology, creativity, and automation is involved in running a printing business today.

So, the process of attracting qualified candidates might take longer than you expect.

Here are a few strategies to make the process go more smoothly.

Don’t wait until everyone in your shop is overwhelmed with work. Treat recruitment and hiring as an ongoing process. Imagine what the organizational chart of your printing business might look like two or three years from now. As production becomes more automated, what type of employees will you need to fill key positions? If you develop and maintain a pool of potential candidates to support your longer-term vision of your business, you will be better prepared to fill the positions when it’s clear your company needs to expand the staff.

Think about the types of employees you will need to hire over the next six months to a year. As you network with community organizations, marketing agencies, and colleges, identify people who might be good candidates for these positions. Stay in touch with job seekers you liked but weren’t able to hire immediately.

Write clear job descriptions.

Describe the types of services the new employee will provide during the first few six months to a year. Then think about the types of responsibilities that employee might assume as your print shop continues to evolve and grow.

The initial job description should include more than an overview of the position and reporting relationships. Describe how success will be measured, and what duties the employee will be expected to handle on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly.

Determine salary and benefits.

Use a salary guide to determine the types of salaries and benefits are provided to employees in similar positions within your city or state.

Think about low-cost perks that might make the job more attractive to highly qualified candidates. Benefits such as flextime, work-at-home options, flexibility in using paid time off, or reimbursements for fitness-related purchases can give your company an edge when recruiting employees with hard-to-find skills.

Look for people who like to learn.

Your employees will have to constantly develop higher-level skills. They must be willing to take on new roles and responsibilities as your print shop evolves. “Talented people are trainable -- and are typically very eager to learn,” writes Paul McDonald of
Robert Half in a post on why the hiring process takes so long. “So, keep the door open to promising professionals who may not have all the experience you seek but have the potential to ramp up and advance quickly.”

Ask your best employees to refer good people.

Your employees can be an excellent source of referrals because they understand your work culture and the types of individuals you need. On the other hand, you don’t want to cultivate a work environment in which everyone has the same background, skills and personality. You may need a balance of extroverted, sales-oriented people and introverted creative professionals who excel at analytics, detail work, and problem-solving.

Bring in temporary employees until you find the right candidate.

Interns and temporary employees can help you through spikes in workloads until you find the ideal candidate for a specific job.
Conduct enlightening interviews.

Before preparing questions, review both the job description and the candidate’s qualifications. Note any gaps in experience or resume statements that require clarification.

Prepare a list of questions and schedule enough time to go through them. Consider having another employee help with interviews. While you ask the candidate about teamwork skills, your colleague could ask about technical qualifications.
Be sure to allow time for the candidate to ask questions. The types of questions the candidate asks will reveal how they think and their level of interest in working for your organization. Conduct the interview in a non-office location such as a conference room, so you will be less likely to be distracted or disrupted.

At Ordant, we want to help all types and sizes of printing business become more successful. Our print-shop management software can help make your print shop more profitable and more efficient in handling a higher volume of shorter run orders with fewer people.

When you and your employees aren’t bogged down with repetitive tasks such as estimating, order entry, and proof approvals, your team can focus on growth-oriented projects such as developing new types of products, improving technical skills, or building relationships with potential outsourcing partners and new customers. To schedule a demonstration of Ordant
software, visit

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