Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, but they often have trouble finding the right employees. With a limited budget and a need for specific skills, it can be hard to know where to start. However, by taking the time to think about what you need and being flexible in your approach, you can find great employees who will help your business thrive.
Here are a few tips to help you find the best candidate and make the most of your hiring process.
1. Be Clear About The Role And Write A Compelling Job Description
As a small business owner, you'll need to wear many hats. But one of the most important is that of "recruiter." When you're hiring for your small business, it's essential to be clear about the role you're looking to fill and to write a compelling job description.
A well-crafted job description will help you attract qualified candidates and make the best possible hire. Here is how you can do that:
Start by identifying the skills and experience that are required for success in the job.
Second draft a job description that outlines the key responsibilities, qualifications, and desired qualities for the role.
Also, include information about your company culture and values, as this can help attract candidates who are a good fit for your business
Finally, post the job description on your website. Social media channels, and job boards
2. Search On The Right Platforms
With the advent of the internet, there are more opportunities than ever for small businesses to find the right candidate. Find the best platforms where your potentials candidate hang out, whether they're online or in person.
LinkedIn is a great platform where professionals interact and discuss opportunities. Search, find, and reach out to potential candidates directly.
Identify which social media channels your ideal candidate is likely to use. If you're looking for a web developer, for example, they may be active on forums or social media groups dedicated to web development
If you're willing to put in a little extra legwork, you can also try attending job fairs or hosting your open house event. This is a great way to meet potential employees in person and get a feel for their personalities and work style.
3. Education Is No Guarantee Of Competency
In today's job market, education can be a valuable indicator but it is no guarantee of competency and intelligence. Many other factors contribute to someone's ability to do a job well, including experience, motivation, and personality.
In today's rapidly changing economy, it is more important than ever for small businesses to focus on finding employees who are adaptable and can learn new skills quickly. Consequently, relying solely on education when making hiring decisions can often be counterproductive.
4. Personality Is Greater Than Experience
It's often said that experience is the best teacher. And while there's certainly some truth to that, it's not the whole story. In fact, when it comes to the workplace, personality can be just as important as experience.
That's because someone with a great personality can bring a lot to a small business. They can create a positive work environment, build good relationships with customers, and generally make the business run more smoothly. All of this can be invaluable for you as a small business owner, trying to grow your business.
5. Look For Any Employment Gaps
Employment gaps can often provide valuable insight into a candidate’s skills, qualifications, and work ethic. For example, a gap may indicate that the candidate has taken time off to care for a family member, travel, or pursue an advanced degree.
Asking about employment gaps can help you to get a better understanding of the candidate’s background and motivation for seeking the position.
6. Ask Open-Ended Questions
It is best to ask open-ended questions and give the candidate ample time to respond. See their approach to questions that do not have any specific answer. This would help you get insights into their thought process.
7. Behavioral Interviews Are Important
Behavioral interviews are becoming increasingly popular with employers. In such interviews, the interviewer asks questions about specific situations that the candidate has faced in the past. The goal is to get a sense of how the candidate would behave in similar situations in the future.
This type of interview can be particularly helpful for small businesses, that may not have the resources to conduct extensive background checks on potential employees. By asking targeted questions about past behavior, you can get a better sense of which candidates will be the best fit for your organization.
8. Offer Benefits And Perks
Though Small businesses may not be able to compete with big companies when it comes to salary and benefits, they can still offer several perks to attract top talent without breaking the bank.
Offer telecommuting options, flexible hours, or the ability to work from home one day per week. Candidates will appreciate the freedom and flexibility that these options provide.
Other cost-effective perks include on-site child care, free parking, and monthly stipends for health and wellness initiatives.
Provide the opportunity for employees to take on more responsibility. As a result, working for a small business can be an excellent way to build your skills and experience.
By offering a mix of both tangible and intangible benefits, you can appeal to a wide range of candidates without blowing their budget.
9. Capitalize On Employer Branding
Several employer branding techniques can attract top talent to your company. Here are seven of the most effective:
Use social media to tell your story. Social media is a powerful tool for employer branding. Utilize platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to share your company story and culture with potential hires.
Politics-free workplace culture. Make sure you have a great culture and safe workplace environment. Market it as your selling point to attract potential hires.
Use employee testimonials. Employee testimonials are one of the most powerful tools in employer branding. Share stories from current employees about why they love working for your company. This will help attract candidates who value the same things.
Perks and benefits. One of the key components of employee retention is monetary and non-monetary benefits. Make sure you have covered the basics like gym or sports club membership, company dinners, and healthcare benefits.
Get involved in industry events. Attend job fairs, conferences, and other industry events to promote your brand and reach potential candidates.
10. Probation Period - Make It Count
For small businesses, employee turnover can be a big problem. Not only does it cost money to constantly train new employees, but it can also disrupt the flow of work and negatively impact morale. One way to reduce turnover is to use a probationary period for new hires.
By giving employees a set period to prove themselves, businesses can weed out those who are not a good fit for the company. Probationary periods also allow employees to learn about the company and decide if it is the right fit for them.
11. Don't Just Ask Work-Related Questions
In addition to work-related questions, also ask the interviewee about their interests and what motivates them. You should also be prepared to talk about the company's culture and values. The goal is to get a sense of whether the interviewee is a good fit for the company.
It's also important to remember that first impressions matter. Make sure you come across as warm and welcoming. This will put the interviewee at ease and help them open up.
12. Check Out Their Social Media
Social media can tell you a lot about a person. Before you hire anyone, take some time to check out their social media accounts. See what kind of person they are and what kind of lifestyle they live. This will give you a good idea of whether or not they’re a good fit for your company.
13. Google Them: You May Find Something Interesting
For Small businesses, a bad hire can be costly, so you want to make sure you do your due diligence during the hiring process.
One of the best ways to screen potential candidates is to Google them. You can also check out sites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor to see what others are saying about the candidate. LinkedIn is a great place to see a candidate’s professional background and see if they have any endorsements from past colleagues or employers.
14. Test Their Skills
To find the right employee, you need to test their skills. You can do this by giving them a short test or asking them to complete a task during their interview. This will help you to see if they have the skills you need.
You should also ask them about their previous work experience and why they want to work for your company. This will help you to learn more about their work ethic and motivation.
15. Filter Applicants To Streamline Hiring
The process of hiring a candidate can be divided into a few key steps. First, you will need to screen candidates to make sure they meet your minimum qualifications.
Once you have a shortlist of qualified candidates, you will need to arrange a pre-screening interview to get to know them better. At this stage, you may also want to assign a skills-based test to assess their technical abilities.
Finally, you will need to run a background check to verify their credentials and ensure they are not hiding any skeletons in their closet. By following these steps, you can be confident that you are hiring the best possible candidate for the job.
16. Utilizing Freelancers And Contractors
One of the best ways to keep overhead costs down when first starting out is to utilize freelancers and contractors instead of hiring full-time employees. Not only will this save you money on things like benefits and office space, but it also gives you the flexibility to scale up or down as needed without having to let anyone go.
Of course, this isn’t a long-term solution and you’ll eventually need to start bringing on full-time staff. But in the beginning, it’s a good way to keep costs down and still get the help you need.
17. Ensure A Smooth And Proper Onboarding
As a small business, you may not have the luxury of a dedicated HR team to help with the onboarding process. However, there are still some things you can do to ensure that your new hires have a smooth and successful transition into your company.
Here are a few tips:
Define expectations early on. Be clear about what you expect from your new hire in terms of job performance, hours of work, etc. This will help them hit the ground running and avoid any confusion down the road.
Set up a buddy system. Pair up your new hire with a current employee who can show them the ropes and answer any questions they may have. This will help them feel more comfortable and ease their transition into the company.
Give them time to adjust. Don't expect your new hire to be productive from day one. Allow them some time to get acclimated to their new surroundings and get to know their co-workers before throwing them into the deep end.
18. Offer Referral Incentives To Current Team Members
Offering a financial incentive to current employees for referring new hires is a great way to source quality candidates. Your employees already know your culture and what it takes to be successful in your organization, so they’re more likely to refer people who will be a good fit.
You can offer a lump sum for each successful referral or a percentage of the new hire’s salary. The key is to make sure the amount is significant enough to motivate your team but not so high that it cuts into your bottom line. Another option is to offer non-monetary rewards, like extra vacation days or gift cards.
19. Stay Up-To-Date On Industry Standards And Compensation
Harvard Business Review points out that the area of talent management where small businesses can have the biggest impact is staying up to date with industry standards and compensation. Through their research, they have uncovered 4 hiring tips for small businesses:
Know what skills and experience are required for the role you’re trying to fill.
Understand the current market value for that role.
Continuously evaluate your current employees to make sure they are being paid in line with the market.
When making an offer to a new hire, always try to be at or above the market rate for that role in your region.
20. Retain Your Great Hires
Small businesses often have a difficult time affording the high costs associated with hiring new employees. In some cases, it may make more sense to retain the employees you already have. Here are a few tips for keeping your employees satisfied and retained:
Offer competitive salaries and benefits.
Make sure your employees feel appreciated.
Create a positive work environment.
Encourage employee growth and development.
Promote a healthy work-life balance.
Small business owners who want to hire top talent should follow these tips. Competing with larger organizations is tough, but using resources smartly and employing the right techniques can really make a difference in attracting new employees to your company or organization.
We also help small businesses grow and scale their businesses. Get in touch with us to learn more about RedFolk Marketing.