It’s harder than ever to keep and retain employees, especially in industry and service jobs. A quarter of employers found it “very difficult” to find qualified workers in 2021 compared to before the pandemic, according to The Conference Board.
In this job seeker’s market, small businesses owners need to be competitive. So, if it's time to expand, follow these six hiring tips for small businesses to recruit the top talent you need.
How to Hire Employees for Your Small Business
1. Write an Accurate Job Description
Be clear and truthful in your job description to ensure both you and your candidate are on the same page. If not, your new hire will quickly, or eventually, realize the duties and responsibilities aren’t as advertised — possibly leading to a resignation and starting the whole recruiting process over again.
2. Go Where the Candidates Are
It’s easy to rely on the big job-posting sites like Indeed and ZipRecruiter that can bring in applications by the bushel. While you may get some qualified candidates, there’s a lot to sift through. How can you diversify your applicant pool? Share the job posting or ask for referrals on Facebook and LinkedIn. A great recruiting strategy for small businesses is to look into more specialized job sites. Another option: Contact local colleges — you could find your next part-time social media manager through the business school’s career services department.
3. Rely on Referrals
We go to our friends and colleagues for referrals for dentists, hair stylists and accountants — why not employees? Think of it as another layer of vetting; your neighbor won’t likely refer a friend that would reflect poorly upon them. Also, fellow small business owners can be a great resource here.
4. Solidify Your Brand
Savvy job seekers will scope out your company before applying. What will they find? This is difficult, but try to objectively look at your online reviews, social media and website. Is it a place you would want to work? If your online presence isn’t giving the right impression, work to gradually improve your company’s marketing to seem more appealing to future employees. You might want to highlight workplace perks like company lunches or discounted gym memberships.
5. Ask the Right Questions — in the Right Interview
The small business hiring process, and especially the interview stage, is a huge time investment. Instead of scheduling 30-minute blocks for a dozen applicants, start with a quick phone screener where you can easily verify the candidate’s background, skills and salary expectations. Then, move forward with your best options for more in-depth interviews; here’s where you can dig into goals, ideal work environment and more. Don’t worry: We have a list of the 10 best interview questions to ask potential employees here.
6. Create an Onboarding Process
No matter the role or employee, the importance of proper onboarding cannot be overstated. For many, the first week at a new job is a whirlwind of overwhelming information, without much focus on human connection. But that first impression shouldn’t be wasted. Smart small business owners should outline an onboarding process that can be replicated and improved. This isn’t the time to throw new employees into the deep end — establish your company’s culture with clear expectations and one-on-one meetings.
We Can Help You Grow Your Business
Your favorite applicant accepted your offer — great! As your small business expands, protect it with employee benefits and workers compensation coverage. Connect with your Farm Bureau agent to learn more.