Small business recruiting can be difficult. You sometimes face a host of challenges that maybe some of your large competitors don’t.
Perhaps you’re an innovator in your space or strategically plan to position your small business as a niche market solution. Your budgets are smaller than those of your larger competitors, so you have to be smarter about where and when you spend. You have to be more intentional about each business decision to ensure you’re continually improving your small business position.
Recruiting and hiring as a small business deserves the same amount of strategic planning as any other aspect of your business. Today, we’re highlighting how the most efficient small businesses can find, attract, and hire the best talent.
Finding the Best Talent
Sometimes, finding a particular set of skills, education, or knowledge is the asset you look for most in a candidate. Consider turning to your local colleges and universities to help identify stellar prospects before they find themselves on the job market. You can inquire about education programs or disciplines that align with your company objectives and work with the institutions to position your small business as an enticing place to begin a career.
Your small business might also be a great place to offer internships. Internships can be great for providing students with opportunities to find hone their skills and also gives you a realistic trial period for potential future hires.
Navigating the job boards can be tedious. There are many options and various platforms from which to choose. While most are effective at targeting available candidates, it can be challenging to find the most qualified people for your role. The key is to make use of the job boards for what they are. You’re essentially casting a broad net, first to pull a good quantity, then to hone in on those with the most quality skills.
Be sure you’re creating and posting enticing job descriptions, that outline the necessary qualifications and showcase the best your small business has to offer. If you’re too precise about the position in this stage of the game, you increase the risk of losing potential candidates who may disqualify themselves before even applying. Keep your ‘deal breakers’ simple and broadcast your essentials and opportunity.
Small business recruiting budgets may be limited. You don’t have enough budget to advertise everywhere and invest in some of the on-boarding platforms your larger competitors may be using. It’s essential as a small business, to ensure you’re maximizing all your free and inexpensive resources first. Consider developing an internal referral program. You already have a great team. Deputize them as company ambassadors and encourage them to help you identify qualified candidates to join the team.
Incentivize them if you can, after all, you’d rather offer your internal team a few rewards for finding a great hire than blindly invest in unproven ad campaigns. Don’t forget to tell your vendors, your best clients, and your networking affiliations that you’re looking to grow your team. You’d be surprised how many of the best hires come from resources you least expect.
Attracting the Best Talent
Once you’ve identified your best talent pool, it’s time to attract them to your small business. Remember, the candidates have just as much of a choice in the decision to join as you do in the decision to extend the offer. Create a shortlist of relevant incentives to ensure you keep them interested and highlight the best your company has to offer, in terms of salary, benefits, and perks.
Be mindful of what your position, in your particular market, is paying and be certain that you’re competitive within your industry standards. There are some quality resources available to help you analyze where your position specific incentives align with regional and national trends including the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Many of today’s job seekers are less impressed with company size or monetary incentives. Instead, they are searching for the company that fosters a healthy culture among its employees, teams, and management. The best candidates are looking for the opportunity to make a difference, build something bigger than themselves and be acknowledged for a job well done. During your interview stage with your best prospects, be sure to highlight all the intangible benefits of your small business. Talk about your company picnics, your service recognition structure, and tell stories of how other employees have contributed successfully and love their job.
The best candidates will choose not to join your team if they feel there is limited or no room for growth. It is imperative that you not only discuss the growth opportunities within your small business but also cite examples of other team members who have successfully transitioned into new and enhanced roles.
Hiring the Best Talent
Assemble a Hiring Team
In leading your small business, you often wear many hats and find yourself managing and developing various aspects of your strategies yourself. In small business recruiting efforts, don’t be afraid to bring in other leading members of your staff to be a part of the hiring process with new candidates. While your intuition and hiring process may be the standard, having additional layers of interviews with other key employees can help you identify the best of the best before hiring.
Your other managers, for example, may uncover additional skills in a second interview, or have a different opinion of a prospect’s transferable experience. Before you extend the offer, having the feedback of your employees can reinforce your hiring decision. It can also make the integration of a new team member seamless if the team feels they have been part of the decision.
Share Your Vision
When hiring in new members to your team, it’s important to reiterate your overall company objectives, growth strategy, and personal vision. By communicating the long term plan at this phase, you’re setting the expectation with the candidate that he or she is not only there to complete duties and tasks, but also to fit into a larger effort to move the small business forward. If you’re passionate about your vision, new hires will be inspired to perform their best.
Setup for Successful Hire
If you’ve mastered all areas of finding and attracting top talent, don’t lose them at the hiring phase because you’ve missed the mark in the on-boarding process. Be sure you have a plan for everything from your applicant tracking system and communication timeline through the first few weeks of introduction and training.
If at any point in this final step a candidate feels unsure, confused about what to expect, or misled in any way, he or she may second guess the decision or opt to back out. If you plan to extend the offer letter on a Thursday, make sure you send the offer letter on Thursday. If you plan to delegate the paperwork to administrative staff, make sure those team members deliver precisely as you’ve dictated to the candidate.
Our Solution to Small Business Recruiting
Small business recruiting can be managed efficiently and effectively without having all the resources that the large companies may enjoy. You can find, attract, and hire the best talent with some smart planning and focused efforts.
The quickest way to solve any small business recruiting woes you may be facing is to use balanceTRAK. BalanceTRAK is a simple-to-use applicant tracking system that helps you hire more qualified candidates faster without manually screening each applicant. Get a free demo of balanceTRAK today.