Hiring Workers for Your Screen Printing Shop? Speak Spanish and Use Advertising Strategies

Tips & Tricks

Job ads are advertisements.

Seems obvious, right? But job ads for people that want to work in your screen printing or embroidery shop must be written and targeted correctly. Go where the group you're trying to reach hangs out. Speak their language.

Mike Chong shows you how to approach hiring for different cohorts. Be ready to speak Spanish. Learn to research, revise, and alter your approach.


Who do you want to hire?

"It's hard to get rid of bad employees. You invest so much time and energy into them."

Finding workers is difficult. So you'll want to do the appropriate demographic research and planning to find the right employees. Are you near a college campus with lots of recent graduates, or is there a blue-collar community near you?

Wages and competition for workers are high in Oakland. The labor market is tight, and working in a screen printing shop isn't appealing to everyone. But Mike discovered that there was a large Latino population that knew how to screen print near his shop. If present trends hold, by 2030 Latinos will be the majority ethnicity in Oakland (source).

Most of his production staff speaks primarily Spanish. As he's hired more Latinos, being bilingual is an asset. He hired one bilingual employee who grew into running his production operation.  But Mike is happy to employ workers that only speak Spanish. 

If you're looking for English speaking staff, Mike advises using Indeed. He talks about using Indeed to hire recent college graduates in this video.

How to write Spanish language ads – even if you don't speak Spanish

An ad in Spanish to demonstrate how to hire Spanish speakers for screen printing

Naturally, you'll need to write the entire job ad in Spanish. But don't worry – with the internet and a little help, you can communicate entirely with applicants in Spanish.

The substance of the job ad doesn't need to differ. Describe the responsibilities, expected hours, pay, benefits, and qualities you want – and deliver a reason those talents work so well for your company.

Here are Mike's tips:

  1. Get help writing the ad. If you already have Spanish speaking staff, get some help! You can also pay a translator 
  2. Use Google Translate for the basics. You can simply type "translate English to Spanish" into Google to get a basic translation.
  3. Use text or Facebook Messenger instead of the phone. If you're not confident in your Spanish skills, use that layer to translate your message.

Where to find Spanish-speaking workers

"I tried this method and got 20 applicants in less than 3 days."

Finding the local Spanish speaking population that would fit in with his production staff was a real challenge for Mike. Here's what he learned:

La Pulga de Oakland, a Spanish-language Facebook group for buying and selling

  1. Target local Spanish language Facebook groups. Local buying and selling groups can be a great way to get your job listing out. Keywords: Ventas (sell), compras (buy), la pulga (like flea market). In Oakland, Mike found ten Facebook groups with more than 10,000 members. He recommends posting a high-quality image of the job listing with a brief description.
  2. Talk to groups responsible for helping new immigrants assimilate. Whether that's local churches, nonprofits, or other outreach organizations, it can be a great resource for workers.
  3. Post flyers. Simply worded flyers with a tear-away tab and instructions to text are still an option. Think storefronts, markets, libraries.
  4. Go out into the community. Word of mouth from your current employees and your own involvement in outreach efforts are the most valuable hiring efforts.

You'll want to respond quickly and move fast.

What process to use for hiring workers

There's a clear and consistent process Mike uses to find employees.

  1. Post job to relevant Facebook groups.
    1. Using the ad he wrote above, Mike posts to each group and waits for responses.
  2. Respond quickly via text or Facebook Messenger.
    1. Mike responds as quickly as he can via text or Facebook Messenger to immediately capture their attention.
  3. Hold open interviews, not phone screeners.
    1. Mike holds open interviews in the morning and evening. Phone screeners aren't appropriate for this audience – they take too long and don't give him the information he needs. 
  4. Make a shortlist of potential candidates.
    1. Take notes. Make offers quickly and move forward quickly.
  5. Do a group working interview.
    1. You can interview people with your production team in groups or one-by-one. Read more about Mike's strategy for in-person interviews below.

How to do a group working interview

A man in front of an automatic screen printing machine

Open interviews with your production team are a great screener. Mike has interviews at 10 AM and 5 PM to accommodate candidates with jobs.

First, Mike has the production meet the candidate. The introduction helps Mike weed out candidates based on things he may not have noticed. Having more opinions on each candidate ensures your blind spots are covered. He takes brief notes on each candidate.

Second, Mike has the best candidates move on to task-oriented parts of the interview. He'll have the candidates work with his production team to see how they take orders, how well they organize and problem solve, and whether they're a good fit for the team. They'll work for a short period (15-45 minutes) and then Mike gets feedback from the team about how everyone did.

From here, he hires the candidates that fit the team – or seem eager to learn. Never underestimate someone that wants to learn how to screen print.

Conclusion

Your goal as a business owner is to find people that can do the work you need done. You also need people that can do the work correctly. Whether someone speaks English or Spanish is irrelevant.  

When you find someone that's enthusiastic, capable, and focused you can start developing a role for them in your shop.

Just like you advertise and market differently to certain segments of your customers, you should advertise and hire based on your potential employees' characteristics. Consider these questions carefully when you're hiring:

  • Who your target employees are.
  • Where they hang out.
  • What they watch and do.
  • How you can find them.
  • How you can get in front of them.
  • How to talk to them so they'll respond.

The basics of marketing and advertising apply to job postings. You have to solve a problem and be appealing as a brand – you can't just ring the dinner bell and expect perfect candidates to show up.


This is just one way to start hiring employees for your custom printing shop. See the next part about hiring workers on Indeed, and check out our video about buying used screen printing equipment.

Mike Chong from Merch Monster

Mike Chong owns Merch Monster in Oakland, CA. He's focused on providing highest-quality custom apparel and merchandise for business leaders across the US. He regularly produces video content for Printavo, which you can find in our Tips & Tutorials playlist on the Printavo YouTube channel.


Next Post: Hiring on Indeed for Screen Printing Shops: Use the Right Keywords

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