Suggestions Gotta hire employee, nervous...


New Member
We need to hire a new guy/gal to run a FB500 and our Colex 5x10 table. How did ya'll find/hire/train your people? And not get inundated with waves of desperate people -- many of whom who lie to get any job??

I've advised my boss we not post a help wanted ad ANYWHERE, but to check other shops/sign companies in our area but he's reluctant to reach out to them.



New Member
I use temp agencies. You can test drive the personalities without worrying about doing all the background checks, taxes, insurance, ect. If you find someone you really like, ask them to stay. I found a few good employees this way. I had one employee go off and make his own shop in a different market (sublimation). There is little to steal and I have cameras everywhere. I would also go to the local college campus and post there. I have learned a few things form the video-game development students. Start with temps and move to college's. As a veteran, I always give veteran preference. If you can afford them, definitely give them first shot. I my experience there more reliable and have better work ethic than most. My current business is "veteran owned and operated" which opens a few federal, state, and local job opportunities. The biding process makes it almost not worth the effort, but I am in a feast and famine market.

Robert Armerding

Merchant Member
Sounds like you have an urgent need. There is a book that really speaks to how to find the best. "It's Not the How or the What but the Who: Succeed by Surrounding Yourself with the Best." by Claudio Fernandez-Araoz, Published by Harvard Business Review Press.

Trade Only Screen & Digital Sign Printing
I have found that setting a few bars in place really helps weed out the applicants that are not serious. Here are some examples:
  1. I send an email out asking why FireSprint? Why do you want to work here specifically?
  2. First interview is through Google Meet. If you can't figure out how to get connected, not sure you should be running a printer.
  3. After the first interview I ask them to follow up with something, references, a link to their portfolio, etc. What it is isn't important, I just make sure the ball is in their hands. If they we're lukewarm about working here, they may not follow up.
  4. We always do background checks. Not that records need to be squeaky clean, but theft or violence tends to be a no-go for us.


Being a small business, the quality of a single hire has exponential impact. Worth being picky and working hard to find the right candidate. Seems odd your boss is reluctant to reach out, particularly in a large metro area like yours, there has to be related companies, customers for example, that don't directly compete. I just hired a designer who was a referral from a (much larger) sign company for which we do some subcontracting. They were branching into ad-agency related services and this was a candidate that impressed but not a fit for the work they had planned. For shop personnel, the pool is larger because you are looking for people with good motor skills, some technology aptitude, and good work ethic/attendance. Lots of people beyond those working in print shops fit that description. Sounds like your problem is knowing how to filter through them.

Bobby H

If we have such a job opening we'll check with the art/graphic design departments at our local university and vo-tech for possible candidates. It could be either as an internship or full/part time gig. It doesn't take artistic talent to be able to run a vinyl cutter or some of the other production equipment in a sign shop. However, I think people who are more artistically inclined tend to do better at that kind of work since they can think visually. Basic math skills are very important as well. It's surprising just how many people can't seem to grasp simple aspects of geometry.


Very Active Signmaker
Temp agencies can be OK. You can get a wide gamut of people but everyone now and then you'll get someone good that lost a good job and doesn't want to sit at home. Test drive them on simple shop work and then introduce them to more complicated tasks.