Now hiring: How to find great employees

Great employees are essential to any company's success. But hiring the right person can be tricky, especially for many small business owners. It's not uncommon for independently-owned businesses to lack the market or web presence larger companies can afford. And, unfortunately, unless you operate in a very small town, potential employees may be unaware your business exists.

To find great employees, start by prominently displaying your company's values and mission statement on your website and job listings. Instead of simply posting a 'Help Wanted' sign in the window, take a more active approach. Scour LinkedIn and Facebook for possible candidates. Encourage your current employees to ask their personal and professional networks.

And when it comes time to interview, be consistent. Everyone involved in the hiring process should know the specific skills and capabilities you're looking for, as well as non-negotiables that make someone not the right fit.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses suggests a three-pronged hiring approach, beginning with understanding your best performers. Look for candidates with similar traits and experience and publicize the job perks they appreciate most. Make sure your messaging to candidates reflects your company culture and helps your business stand out from other companies hiring for similar positions.

If you're currently searching for new hires, consider sponsoring or advertising at an upcoming local job or career fair. Stay tuned to the Virginia Employment Commission website for a list of job fairs in your community.