People are at the heart of any organization and the right hire can play a vital role in growing your business—no matter the size. But as a business owner, you might be wondering, “How can I hire the right employees for my small business?”
Today’s job market is especially competitive, we won’t sugar coat it. Many people are leaving jobs and looking for new, more meaningful, or higher paying jobs—what many are calling “The Great Resignation.” In 2021, an average of 3.95 million workers quit their jobs each month. In December alone, 4.3 million people resigned—3% of the workforce.
The job market is hyper competitive right now, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to hire.
Whether you’re looking to hire your first employee or add to your growing team, read on for four tips to snag your dream candidate and navigate The Great Resignation.
1. Get Specific About Your Business’s Needs
Growing your team is an exciting step in developing your business. New employees can offer a fresh perspective, new skillsets, and bring renewed passion to your business venture. But before you start adding to your team, it’s important to understand exactly what your business needs and what the ideal candidate looks like.
For small businesses, understanding what matters most about a candidate—like if they should be a cultural fit or offer a specific skill set—will help you narrow down your search pool.
Employees in small businesses wear a lot of hats, so be honest with candidates if you’re looking to hire someone to perform multiple roles. If you want an accountant who can also handle POS reporting, or a retail manager that’s also great with social media, be upfront about that from the beginning of your search.
Determine the most critical tasks that need to be completed and include them in the job description and interview questions. The more specific about responsibilities, required education, experience, knowledge, and skills you can be, the more tailored your applicant pool will be, and the more likely the perfect candidate is to accept an offer.
2. Ask the Right Interview Questions and Conduct Assessments
If you’ve found a promising candidate, a little prep for the interview will go a long way. During the interview, be clear about what your expectations are—if it isn’t what the candidate is looking for, don’t waste any more time. Both you and the applicant are hoping to find the perfect fit—if it’s not a mutual match, it’s not the right hire.
If you’re hiring for a role that has very specific tasks, it may be beneficial to conduct tests or assessments during the interview. Assessments allow you to see how a candidate interacts with your business environment and allows them to showcase different skillsets they have that aren’t highlighted by their resume or interview responses.
In a time when many people are making career shifts, you may come across candidates who are in career transition and don’t have the exact background you’re looking for. Be open minded to varying backgrounds, as someone may be skilled in something that is very applicable to what you’re looking for and can learn the rest. For example, someone transitioning away from a corporate job may be qualified to help you with social media, while learning the ropes of your restaurant.
3. Invest in Applicant Tracking and Hiring Software
It can be easy to get buried in paperwork and dead-end applications when you’re going through the hiring process. For small businesses, investing in hiring software can help save time and money during the recruitment process.
To hire the right employee for your small business, don’t waste time manually posting your listing on multiple job boards and social media platforms, with no insight into what is working. Instead, find software that streamlines all your hiring needs, eliminating the guesswork that sometimes comes with finding new staff. An easy applicant tracking system that helps with interview scheduling, video conferencing, and background checks will give you peace of mind that you’re not only zeroing in on top candidates, but also gathering all the necessary documentation.
4. Continue to Improve Your Small Business’s Hiring Process
As your business continues to evolve, so should your recruiting strategy. Each time you hire an employee, evaluate what worked and what didn’t. Leverage your team as a recruiting tool—employees are three times more likely to be a trusted source of information compared to the employer.
Candidates will get a better sense of what your organization is like by interacting with current employees—making it more likely that you’ll hire the right person. Continue growing your network of potential hires all the time—not just when you have an open position.
Keep in mind that the hiring process doesn’t end when your new hire arrives on their first day. Proper onboarding and training are just as important as the recruiting process. If you aren’t already, utilize an electronic onboarding platform to help your new hire get all the information they need—like an offer letter, documentation and forms, and payroll information.
Finding, attracting, and hiring top talent is hard—but not impossible. With these tips, you’ll have the resources you need to help your business continue growing, without unnecessary stress. Looking for more HR resources? Learn more.