For small business owners, putting a help wanted sign up in the window used to be the most efficient way to hire an employee. Today, there are ways to do your homework before you hire someone; checking their LinkedIn profile and other social media accounts, for example. Social media can also be an open door for potential employees to contact you to inquire about open positions.

As businesses grow, one of the secrets to a strong employee team is to have members that have grown along with the business. Those long lasting employees can become reliable troubleshooters and have strong potential to be those you can count on to be managers and team leaders. After the helped wanted sign goes up, here are things that are helpful in building that long lasting employee base:

Where to Start

The U.S. Census reports that one in four high students have a part time job. That’s over 3 million people in the workforce who have the potential to learn and grow along with your business. Hiring a younger employee base has its challenges, however. They work shorter shifts, for example. Establishing a strong relationship with your young employee base has benefits though, including dependability and the ability to take on more responsibilities, due to being immersed in the every-day tasks of the job.

Internships are Key

Apprentices are an age-old tradition and are still an important way young people can gain a footing in the field of work they are interested in. Internships and job shadowing are a part of many school curriculum’s. Any time a student is interested in entrepreneurialism, small businesses or management, the opportunity for them to see how a business runs is a great way for hands on experience. Be open to the idea of demonstrating how you run your business for those students who are interested in the craft.

Responsibility Molds Strong Leaders

Those who are cut out for managerial positions often have a knack for leadership. Business owners can spot that potential a mile away. A business owner is only as strong as the people on his team, so it is important to help those with potential gain the experience they need to grow as a leader. That is another reason why hiring a younger team members can be asset; the longer they work for a business, they more they know and are able to contribute to its success. Employees who demonstrate strong work ethic are more likely to increase those positive traits as they mature. Remember: rewarding them with positive feedback and more responsibilities builds strong leaders business owners can depend on.

As business owners, it is a huge responsibility to build the team that supports your operation. It becomes your family. They say it “takes a village to raise a child” but the same can be said for running a business and a strong employee base must be just as strong.

Shannon Johnson

Shannon Johnson is the owner of Planet Sub at the North Shoppes in St. Joseph, MO, which opened in 2014. He gained 15 years experience in the mortgage industry before achieving his goal of becoming a business owner. He lives in St. Joseph with his wife and three children.