Small Business Recruiting Strategies 2021 – How to Effectively Recruit Top Talent [Updated]

Small business owners can learn how to hire top talent even without a big human resource department. As challenging as it is to find suitable candidates, persuading an “A” candidate away from a secure job to work for you is just as challenging.

One of the main reasons for attracting and hiring “A” candidates is that research suggests top performers are roughly four times as productive as average performers.

In this post, we will ensure to provide you with all the information you need to hire top talent candidates as a small business.

Table of content:

  • Small business recruiting tips for before you get started
    • Have clear and thorough job descriptions
    • Create a good story and compelling case for each candidate
    • Identify your winning team
    • Assess your talent pool
    • Be upfront about salary and benefits
    • Ask relevant questions during the interview
    • Continually update candidates
    • Pos on multiple sites
    • Use contacts and connections
    • Market your strategies
    • Make your company a great place to work at
  • Small business recruiting strategies to look for in 2021
    • What is your small business recruiting strategy?
    • Small business recruiting strategy #1: Use Social Media
    • Small business recruiting strategy #2: Play Up the Culture
    • Small business recruiting strategy #3: Technology is your Friend
    • Small business recruiting strategy #4: Protect your Local Area
    • Small business recruiting strategy #5: Ask Current Employees for Referrals
  • The final tip for small business recruiting: Don’t Stop Short

Let’s begin!

Small business recruiting tips before you get started

Small business recruiting tips before you get started

As a small business owner, your success depends on your ability to attract top-level talent and turn that into skilled employees. However, if you can’t do the former, the latter never happens. That’s why it’s critical to review and refine your recruiting strategies continually.

Have Clear and Thorough Job Descriptions

Many job posters believe that the wordier, embellished, and jargon-filled the job description, the better. However, those descriptions tend to be more incomprehensible than anything else, leaving the applicant wondering what the job is and if they’re really qualified.

This will lead to an insurmountable stack of applications submitted by unqualified applicants.

To avoid this, make the job description readable with clearly defined expectations.

There should be enough simply worded information that the applicant won’t have doubts about the position’s purpose. If the description isn’t clear, simple, and thorough, the kind of applicants you want to hire will simply move on.

Here are a few tips to remember when writing the description:

  • State the amount of experience you’re expecting clearly.
  • Use keywords to illustrate the job expectations.
  • Point out a few unique perks of working for your company.
  • Use bullet points and short paragraphs to describe the job.
  • Explain the salary with phrases like “DOE” or “competitive pay.”
  • Include a clear list of expectations.
  • Hire a professional writer to draft the posting or run spellcheck at the very least.

For more information, check our guide on writing good job descriptions.

Create a good story and compelling case for each candidate

Create a good story and compelling case for each candidate

Business owners have to make a persuasive case for why a candidate should work with them. If your industry has larger companies to compete for talent with, you need to craft your case in such a way as to entice them to join the team.

Think through what’s in it for them and be ready to articulate the answer.

Depending on the level you are hiring, here are a few examples:

  • An executive. That person might want equity in exchange for the risk of joining a smaller or growing company.
  • A middle manager. Your message should convey staying power and security.
  • An entry-level worker. Show your company promotes from within, and as you grow, there will be many opportunities for advancement.

Regardless of the type of employee, you’ll need to show how their skills can contribute to the business’s success.

Another way to capture a potential employee is by explaining to them what problems you are trying to solve by hiring. Walk them through what you are trying to accomplish. Engage them enough, so they want to be part of the team, to collaborate and build something with you.

Identifying Your Winning Team

Identifying Your Winning Team

Before bringing someone on, think about what your team will look like.

Think through what your team will look like so you can hire accordingly. Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” slogan “begin with the end in mind,” tells us we need to know where we are headed before starting out.

This approach will:

  • Give a clearer sense of who will fit best with the current employees
  • Identify Skills and experience needed for this job
  • Identify the top priority needed to accomplish in their first 90, 180, and 365 days
  • Consider what you expect this person to achieve

Exercise:

Examine a winning team you admire.

  • What do they have in common?
  • What are some of the attributes they exhibit?

Now think of your team:

  • What is working and what isn’t?
  • Look for the commonalities and build on them.
  • Identify what hasn’t worked in the past, and assess talent against what does and does not work in your company.

Assess your talent pool

Assess your talent pool

Stop relying exclusively on staffing or executive search firms as the primary source of new talent. A company looking for more “A” candidates needs to know first-hand about the available talent. You won’t know unless you are doing your own recruiting.

Manpower recently documented that 52% of American companies are struggling to fill open positions. Should you look for employees with talent or ones who have a lot of potential?

While talent is the natural ability to do and perform, potential refers to the possibility of doing and performing an even greater job function – but the abilities are not quite there.

While it can be enticing for you to want to mold someone into a more significant role, are they able to be coached and trained to grow into that role naturally?

Performance and potential both matter, but performance should count for a lot more. Performance is real; it can be measured objectively. Potential is always subjective and may never be realized.

Top Performer Traits

Top performers usually have similar qualities. When hiring, watch for these traits:

  • Problem solvers. These people try to find a solution before depending on others to solve a customer’s problem. They don’t rely solely on a company manual to resolve customer problems. They figure out how who can provide the best answers.
  • Strong communicators. To provide customers with a great experience, it’s all about developing strong relationships which need strong communication skills. Hire people who can easily communicate online, on the phone, and in person.
  • Conscientious. Hire people who take pride in their work. You can’t train someone who thinks of delighting the customer.
  • Enthusiasm. Look for positive people. Upbeat and optimistic employees create a unique working environment, spawn new ideas, and, just as important, are enjoyable for the other people involved.
  • Even keeled. Stressful jobs can be challenging to those who are easy to anger. Seek people who tend to let things roll off their shoulders.

Small business owners and hiring managers can have better success by being prepared, positioning their company in such a way as to encourage job seekers to want to join a growing organization, knowing what talent is available for the position, and seeking desired traits that will sustain time.

Employment personality tests can be of enormous help to create a good, competitive, and aspirational team. For more info on that, check our comprehensive guide on Employment Personality Tests.

Be Upfront About Salary and Benefits

Be Upfront About Salary and Benefits

Money talks, so if you’re trying to hide what you pay, save yourself the hassle. The amount will get around to the candidate at some point, and there’s no reason to waste the candidate’s time if they’re overqualified.

It’s always a good idea to discuss the compensation early on in the interview process. The fact is, most people work primarily for the money, and if you’re willing to talk about salary freely, it’s much more likely to attract the candidates you want to hire.

Ask Relevant Questions in the Interview Process

A significant part of endearing your company to employees is showing them respect, particularly for their time. When candidates are called in for an interview, don’t waste time on pointless questions that won’t get you any closer to a hiring decision.

Questions to avoid include goofy questions like, “If you could be a candy bar, what would you be?” or “If you were alone on a deserted island, what one person would you like to be with?” Also, avoid hard questions for the candidate to answer, such as “Tell me about yourself.”

Opt instead for specific questions relevant to the position in question. These questions will include background, past work experience, strengths and weaknesses, and fit for the company.

Check our interview questions article for more relevant and valuable information.

Continually Update Candidates

Continually Update Candidates

Human beings thrive off communication, and if you’re leaving your candidates in the dark about where you’re at in the interview process, that’s unprofessional, to say the least. You should be clear about your timeframe from the very beginning and continue to communicate with your candidates until the end.

For example, before the process begins, set up a few specific dates for candidates to remember:

  1. When you will begin to go through applications,
  2. When you will start holding interviews,
  3. And when you will let everyone know your decision.

This will require sending periodic emails, which can take time but will be worth it for your relationship with future employees.

Communication is vital when it comes to building a positive candidate experience, so you might want to check out the following posts:

Post on Multiple Sites

Post on Multiple Sites

If you want your posting to be seen by appropriate audiences, publish your posting on suitable sites. As a general rule, make it as visible as possible. Posting on one site and calling it good will deprive you of some great applications.

Seek to post your position under as many industries as possible. For example, if you’re hiring a new HR manager, you can market it under several industries, including public relations, communications, HR, and even marketing. This makes your post more visible and to a much wider audience.

The recruiting system, like Recruiteze, can make it a breeze to post job openings and applications on numerous sites with just one click!

Use Contacts and Connections

Frequently, gaining an excellent team is all about who you know. Odds are you have hundreds of connections on social media sites, from LinkedIn to Facebook, and many of them can help you find the employees you’re looking for.

Ask them to post your position on their social media pages or ask them if they have anyone in mind for a specific job.

It’s always nice to have someone you trust to make a recommendation for a job candidate since it eliminates a lot of the guesswork and helps you hasten the interview process.

Market Your Strengths

Market Your Strengths

Just as job applicants should play up their strengths when applying for a job, companies should market their strengths in job postings.

Quality employees will be looking for specific things from their employers such as reliability, a great work atmosphere, a growing enterprise, and a business that relies on ethics.

Think about what makes your company unique and a worthwhile place to work, and market that in your posting.

To do this effectively, check our free guide on recruitment marketing.

Make Your Company a Great Place to Work

In addition, show your future employees that your company has a great atmosphere. In short, if you want your existing employees to recommend your company to potentials, your work environment should be impressive.

This includes offering competitive compensation and benefits, personable and effective management, friendly co-workers, unique perks (such as donut Friday), and an appropriate number of vacation and sick days. These little perks can go miles in improving the efficiency and happiness of your employees while attracting new employees to the workplace.

Small business recruiting strategies to look for in 2021

Small business recruiting strategies to look for in 2021

Now that we have gone over some of t