One of the most exciting things about starting a small business is bringing together a team of employees with a vision similar to yours and that can grow alongside you and your business. Unfortunately finding the right collection of candidates is ofter much easier said than done. In fact, according to a recent State of Small Business Report, half of all respondents listed “hiring” as the top challenge they were facing in 2017.
With that in mind, here are a few tips to help attract the right applicants and hire the perfect person for the job at your small business:
Try different tools
Today there is no shortage of sites you can use to reach job-seekers. From ZipRecruiter to Craigslist there are many different outlets you can post your digital “help wanted” ad on. Additionally social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook might also be good places to start your search.
As you try new platforms and make good hires, be sure to ask your applicants where they saw your posting. Keeping track of this data will help you decide which sites seem to give you the best results. However also be aware that the position available and other factors — like the wording of your post — could also affect your results, so try to take those into account and make adjustments where needed.
Offer unique perks and talk up your company culture
When it comes to hiring, being a small business has its pros and cons. On the one hand you may not have the cash to pay as high of wages as larger competitors but you can compensate for that by offering creative employee perks and a great company culture. Be sure to highlight these aspects of your business in your postings so that you can attract employees who will appreciate such things.
Work on your interviewing skills
One major issue that entrepreneurs run into isn’t that you can’t find talented people but that they don’t necessarily know how to spot them. On the flipside, some may mistake a well-polished interviewer for a hard worker when those two things don’t always align. For that reason it’s important to find interview questions that will bring the true side of an applicant that will help you make your decision. Here are a few ideas but don’t be afraid to think of your own (just be sure to avoid any illegal questions).
See how candidates interact with your current staff
Ever heard the old tip of asking the secretary what they thought of a candidate and how they treated them when they came in for an interview? Not only is it a good idea to speak to your staff about their interactions with a potential hire but you could also go a step further. Instead of a traditional second interview, consider inviting a candidate to a meeting (a lunch, perhaps) at your business where they can spend some time with the rest of your team. Regardless of how great someone’s resume is, it’s more important that your team work in harmony — testing that chemistry before pulling the trigger on a hire could go a long way to ensuring you’ve made the right choice.
Reserve the right to be picky
Lastly, desperation is never a good look for any business and can lead to some awful hires. Instead of rushing through the hiring process or settling for an employee you’re not convinced can cut it, keep trying. In fact, if you’re not getting the level of quality applicants you need, you may want to take another look at the tools you’re using to hire and how your posting presents the position. Ultimately it’s almost always better to go shorthanded for a while longer than it is to deal with a bad hire.
Hiring can be a challenge for any small business. In addition to the pressure felt to find someone quickly, many entrepreneurs also have to compete with larger operations for top talent. That’s why it’s important to use the best tools, say the right things to bring in applicants, and be 100% so sure that you’re making the right choice the first time around. Happy hiring!