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How to Hire Good People as Small Business? A Step-by-Step Guide

Updated: May 27

Finding the right person for the job can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack, especially for small businesses. 

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the cost of a bad hire can be up to 30% of the employee's annual salary. 

How to Hire Good People as Small Business?

That's why taking the time to build a strong hiring process is important. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to hire good people who will become valuable assets to your small business.

How to Hire a Competent Person for a Small Business? 6-Step Process

To hire a competent person for your business in the long run.

Let’s see how we can identify the best person in 6 easy steps:

Step 1: Define Your Needs

Before searching for candidates, take a step back and consider what you actually need. Here are some key questions to ask yourself:

What is the role? Clearly define the position and its responsibilities.

What skills and experience are required? Be specific about the technical skills needed for the job and any soft skills that are important for your company culture (e.g., communication, teamwork).

What are your expectations? Outline the key performance indicators (KPIs) you'll use to measure success in this role.

Craft a Compelling Job Description

Once you've defined your needs, it's time to write a job description that will attract top talent. Here are some tips:

Keep it clear and concise. Use plain language and avoid jargon.

Focus on the benefits. Don't just list duties; explain how this role will contribute to the company's success and what the employee can expect to gain from the experience.

Highlight your company culture. Let potential candidates see if they'd fit your unique work environment well.

Step 2: Attract Top Talent

Now that you have a clear picture of your ideal candidate, it's time to get the word out.

Here are some effective ways to attract top talent:

  • Utilize Job Boards: Popular platforms like Indeed, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor can reach a wide range of candidates. However, consider niche job boards specific to your industry for even more targeted reach.

  • Utilize Social Media: Promote your open positions on your company's social media pages, and consider paid advertising to reach a wider audience.

  • Employee Referrals: Your current employees are a great source of referrals. Offer incentives for successful referrals and tap into their network of qualified candidates.

  • Build Your Employer Brand: Showcase your company culture and values on your website and social media. Positive reviews from current and past employees can also go a long way in attracting top talent.

Step 3: Streamline the Application Process

Make it easy for potential candidates to apply by using online application forms.

You can also use pre-screening questions to filter out unqualified applicants and save yourself time.

hiring for small businesses

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS): While not essential for every small business, applicant tracking systems (ATS) can help you streamline the application process.

These tools can manage applications, schedule interviews, and track candidate progress.

Step 4: Conduct Effective Interviews

When it comes to interviews, they're your chance to really get to know a candidate.

You want to see if they've got the skills and experience, and if they'll fit well into your company culture.

First off, you need to structure your interviews. This means having a set format with questions that directly relate to the job description.

It helps keep things consistent and ensures you cover all the necessary areas.

Consider using behavioral or situational interview questions. These are great because they get candidates to talk about past experiences and how they tackled challenges.

It gives you a good idea of their problem-solving abilities and whether they're a good fit for the role.

But it's not just about technical skills. You also need to focus on cultural fit. Ask them about their work style, values, and how they see themselves fitting into your team.

It's important to gauge whether they'll mesh well with your company's vibe and way of doing things.

Step 5: Evaluate and Select the Best Candidate

Now that you've wrapped up the interviews, it's the moment to assess and pick the best candidate for your team.

Start by looking closely at each candidate's skills and experience, matching them against what you outlined in your job description. 

It's not just about what's on paper—consider how they might fit into your company culture. 

This step is important because you want someone who not only has the right skills but also meshes well with your team dynamics. 

small business recruitment

Once you've narrowed down your choices, don't forget to jump into reference checks and background screenings.

These extra steps ensure you're making a well-informed decision and can help verify the information provided by the candidates. 

By taking the time to evaluate each candidate thoroughly, you can be confident in your choice and welcome the right person into your small business family.

Step 6: Make an Offer and Onboard Your New Hire

Congratulations! You've found the perfect candidate. Now it's time to make them an offer they can't refuse.

Competitive Compensation and Benefits

Research industry standards and offer a competitive salary and benefits package. While salary is important, consider offering perks that align with your company culture, such as flexible work arrangements or professional development opportunities.

Positive Onboarding Experience

The onboarding process is your chance to make a great first impression and set your new hire up for success. 

Develop a comprehensive onboarding program that includes:

  • Company Overview: Provide an overview of your company's history, mission, values, and products or services.

  • Role-Specific Training: Offer training specific to the new hire's role and responsibilities.

  • Introductions and Team Building: Introduce the new hire to their team members and facilitate team-building activities to help them feel welcome and integrated.

  • Goal Setting and Performance Management: Set clear goals and expectations for the new hire and establish a system for ongoing performance management.

Retention Strategies

Hiring the right person is just the first step. Retaining top talent is crucial for the long-term success of your small business.

Here are some tips:

Investment in Professional Development

Promote a Positive Work Culture

Competitive Compensation and Benefits

Offer learning opportunities like workshops

Create a positive, supportive environment

Review and adjust salaries regularly

Encourage attending conferences

Recognize achievements

Consider flexible work arrangements

Provide tuition reimbursement

Offer opportunities for feedback

Include wellness programs


Hiring good people is not just about filling a position—it's about finding individuals who will contribute to the success and growth of your small business. 

By following these steps, you can streamline the hiring process and attract top talent that aligns with your company's values and objectives. 

Remember, investing time and effort into hiring the right people upfront will pay off in the long run, leading to a more productive and motivated team.


1.  How long should I keep my job description posted?

There's no one-size-fits-all answer but generally aim for 2-4 weeks.

You want to give enough time for qualified candidates to apply, but not so long that the applications become outdated.

If you're not getting many qualified applicants, consider revising your job description or exploring different advertising channels.

2. What are some red flags to watch out for during the interview?

3. Is it okay to negotiate salary with a candidate?


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