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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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:
- When you will begin to go through applications,
- When you will start holding interviews,
- 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:
- An Excellent Candidate Experience Starts with Effective Communication
- What Is Candidate Experience And How To Create Amazing One [In-depth guide]
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!
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.
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.
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.
Now that we have gone over some of the essential tips for small business hiring and recruiting, let’s get down to the actual strategies.
Some companies don’t have a strategy for recruiting top talent. Instead, they use the traditional approach of advertising an open position, collecting resumes, interviewing candidates, and making a final decision when the time comes.
This strategy is not as effective today as it was in the past. There are two reasons for this:
- Increased competition
- Availability of technology
If you want to beat out your competition for the best talent, a traditional approach is not your best option. You can make adjustments, such as implementing advanced technology, which allows you to target the best talent and minimize the risk of hiring the wrong person.
But what if you don’t know what to do? What if you have always used the same strategy and are unsure how to make a change for the better? As frustrated as you may be, don’t let this get you down. A few changes will have you on the right track.
Here are five of the best ways for small businesses to recruit and attract top talent:
In a 2013 study, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) surveyed its members regarding their use of social media for recruiting.
The results were astonishing: 77 percent who responded said they use social networking services to recruit. Even more, telling is that this number stood at 56 percent in 2011 and a mere 34 percent in 2008.
And this is all the info from a decade ago!
Today, more than 100 million job applications are posted on LinkedIn every month!
Simply put, the use of social media for recruiting is on the rise.
From Facebook to Instagram, you are in a position to use social media to recruit candidates. This may not be the only way you seek applicants, but there is no denying the growth of social recruiting.
For more actionable information about using social media in recruiting, check our guide on social media recruitment.
If you are looking for some tested and proven strategies that work in 2021, check our in-depth guide on social media recruitment strategies.
Some people like the idea of working at a big company, such as Google, Apple, or Facebook. There is nothing wrong with this, as it can be a truly rewarding experience.
However, there is a big difference between working at a huge corporation and a small business.
Small businesses are more flexible. They can pivot without delay. And most importantly, employees have the opportunity to have their voice heard from day one.
If you want to recruit the best talent, create an attractive company culture. Make it clear during recruitment and interviewing that every new hire is a big part of the team. Don’t pass up the opportunity to discuss advancement opportunities.
There are definite disadvantages to being a small business. Conversely, there are many advantages. You need to play up the angle that your company culture is better than the best, even when compared to large employers.
To nail this part, make sure to check our free guide on building the Employer Brand.
When you think about recruiting in the 1980s, for example, technology does not come to mind. Instead, companies spent countless hours and thousands of dollars recruiting, interviewing, and hiring new employees.
Fast forward to 2021, and the business world has changed in many ways, including how companies can use technology to find the best talent.
In this blog post, we discuss the benefits of video recruiting and interviewing. With this approach, your company can:
- Save time
- Save money
- Improve efficiency during the interview process
- Conduct more than one type of interview
- Streamline the application and hiring process
- Publish directly to free job boards
Although you may not have a solid grasp of using recruiting software, it doesn’t take long to catch on. Software providers, like Recruiteze, make it easy to get started. This allows you to hit the ground running. If you would like to try a free applicant tracking system for small businesses, click here.
In order to learn more about technology in the recruitment industry and how it can help you, make sure to check our post on Recruitment Automation.
Let’s face it: the biggest companies have the budget, time, and workforce to recruit talent from one side of the globe to the next. It is likely that you aren’t in the same position. And there is nothing wrong with that, as long as you take this approach: you have to protect your local area.
Here is how you can do this:
- Make your company known in the local area, such as by attending trade shows and networking events.
- Formulate relationships with local colleges and universities.
- Hire locally whenever possible while also making it known that this is the approach that you take.
It goes without saying that some areas have more talent than others, but if you dig deep enough, you will eventually find the people who are best suited for your company.
What better way to find new workers than by asking your current workforce for assistance? There is a good chance that some of your staff have contacted others who would make a perfect addition to the company.
If you want to boost the number of referrals generated by your current employees, implement an incentive plan. For example, you could offer to pay $500 for any referral hired and stay with the company for 90 days.
Tip: just because somebody refers a candidate does not mean you should necessarily hire the person. You still have to do your part in determining if they are the best fit for the company.
You now have a clear idea of what it takes for small businesses to recruit top talent. It may not be easy. It may not even be fun. But once you are on the right path, there is nothing left to slow you down.
Recruiteze is an applicant tracking system designed for small and medium-sized businesses in mind.
Recruiteze helps you:
- Publish job openings on numerous boards and platforms with just one click.
- Efficiently manage candidates and other recruiters.
- Keep all the communications in one place and be more proactive.
- Hire a top talent through unique, proven workflows.
- Save time and be cost-effective while hiring more.
- Enhance candidate experience.
- And much more.
You can try out Recruiteze for free during the 15-day free trial.
As a staffing agency, your inbox gets filled with dozens of resumes, and each of them is formatted differently. Candidates try to be unique and stand out in every way possible, while you try to make unbiased decisions and need to have all the resumes formatted in the same way.
And then you sit there in front of your computer and spend half an hour reformatting just ONE resume.
iReformat can do that for you in just a few seconds. All you need to do is choose or create a template that you want your resume to fit, and the software does all the leg work for you.
You can also select multiple resumes and have them reformatted all at once.
Try iReformat for free, and feel the magic happening yourself.