It appears that a majority of small business owners are having the very same issues with their employees – finding the right people to work for their companies. A recent survey showed that a whopping 60 percent of small business owners state that they have a hard time finding the right skilled workers to fill their open positions.
Large corporations often have an entire department dedicated to the task of recruiting talent. So what can you, the small business owner, do?
How to Find the Right Employees
1. Show Them Why They Should Work for You
The first thing that you want to do is show candidates why they should want to work for you.
Chances are, hiring a quality candidate is going to require more monetary investment than you can afford. Give them non-monetary reasons why working with you is probably the best decision they can make.
You have to emphasize things such as the ability to advance without having to deal with large corporate red tape and office politics. If your company has a rich social environment that is a breeding place for lots of fun, sell it. If working with your company will give candidates more exposure to their professional development, then focus your pitch on it.
The bottom line: You need to be attractive to the prospects. If you’re a bootstrapper, you need to be sure that you attract them for reasons other than money.
2. Recruit the Best of the Best of the Best
Yes, you read that right – you need to recruit the best of the best of the best. Hiring the wrong person can drain your resources fast.
What’s the worst activity small business owners after a bad hire? Firing the employee.
If you make a bad hire, chances are that you will eventually need to fire this individual. Firing an employee is emotionally draining, especially when they refuse to acknowledge that they deserve to be fired.
When you recruit someone, be very, very picky. Remember, you are in a relationship with your employees for quite a long time and you can’t afford a bad hire.
3. Use the Right Hiring Methods
Placing your ad on Craigslist or Monster is going to bring a surge of applications. Receiving hundreds or thousands of applications can be overwhelming and the selection process can become even more daunting and you don’t want that.
The best way for you is to recruit candidates using more targeted methods. Try using social media to get the attention of local job seekers. The go-to social media site for recruiting employees is LinkedIn. You can advertise on LinkedIn and laser-target candidates with certain skill sets or you can hand-pick candidates yourself.
Another great option for recruiting a talented worker for key positions in your company is with a staffing agency.
The great thing about using a staffing agency is that you can “try before you buy.” The agency does the recruiting. They test the candidates that sign up for their services and they do thorough background checks. Once the candidate is thoroughly vetted, the testing then verifies what area of work they will excel in. What this means for you is that you are not stuck with an employee that you are not satisfied with.
The best hires generally use a very simple yet obvious method: Testing them with the actual work.
Experience and educational background matter, but honestly they mean nothing if your prospects can’t get things done your way. Be absolutely sure before you say, “You are hired.” And to be absolutely sure, you need to observe how they do their work first.
One last bit of advice: Trust your hunches.
“Trust your hunches. They’re usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level.” ~ Joyce Brothers
Businessman Seeking Photo via Shutterstock
Sometimes, you cannot get the best employees with pay alone. It all boils down to the overall working experience that you can offer. It depends on the personality of the employee. Some employees want it to be competitive while others want it to be laid back. It is a matter of looking for the right people for your organization.
Indeed. As an online business owner, I am driving on the fast lane – I need to. Therefore I look for employees who share my vision. I appreciate employees who are competitive 🙂
Great post. I work for an online magazine and we’re always recruiting writers. You’d be surprised at how many people think they’re writers but really aren’t! Fortunately there are freelance sites where they have usually already been rated. But still, there is that process to find out if their style and mindset is a fit for us.
Good tips. I feel the three you’ve shared are practices I think all small businesses would do well to adopt regardless of whether they actually find employing new staff to be a challenge or not.
Good post! This can be applied to the company of which I am a partner and good employees are certainly very much a company’s assets. The success or failure of any business also depends on employing good, loyal and hardworking staff.
We recently needed to hire a type of software engineer and were forced to go up against large corporations in our recruiting efforts. Get even though unemployment is hovering just under 10% here in North Carolina, we weren’t successful despite utilizing headhunters, staffing agencies and even an aggressive social media campaign.
Yes, you definitely need to be creative in order to find the best possible employees.
Software Engineers are currently writing their own ticket all across the country. I recently hired a software engineer for a small business client here in Texas. Software Engineers are in high demand, and they are not all created equal. As a small business, when you come across a great candidate, you must appeal to each candidate in a different way. Stay personalized in your recruiting approach. Get to know your candidates, or hire someone who can get to know them. Leverage your resources, and you can find the “right” candidates for your business. Good luck to you:).
How about offering internships to college students? This could be a great way to find or identify a top talent for your business. A person who is still learning can be shaped to match your need if you can put a little bit of extra work to train up that person. By the end you will surely get a loyal and hardworking employee for your business.
I really appreciate this read regarding hiring as a small business. I work with small businesses on a daily basis, and truly believe that Small Business is the life blood to our economy. Most small business owners have to do it all, from being the janitor to being the CEO. The best advice I can give is to let the expert find you the best employee’s. As a small business, you have to leverage your resources to keep your business meeting company goals. Hire a contingent recruiter, and you don’t pay them until they find you the hire you want. This is the best way to go! More bang for your buck. If you believe in your brand, and know what you have to offer,you will soar above the large companies, and be able to find the “right” hire. Good luck everyone!!
Well said – It’s better to pay for such services than hiring someone and regret later.
And who knows – the right hires could be your future business partner!
Adding Great Employees to Your Small Business Team is the one element to a successful business. 🙂
Your first and third points were good, but I thought it was funny that your second idea to hire good employees was to hire good employees. Still I have never used online tools to search for employees, I am pretty old school, and it has worked for me so far. My business is expanding quite quickly now, so we’ll be hiring a lot of people. I think going to an online ressource would help me get in contact with a lot more people.
An incredible article with some great insights. As somebody who works in IT recruitment I understand that finding the perfect employee can be difficult. I’ll certainly pass this on to our clients to consider . . . .
Love the information you shared, finding the right employees is key to running a good business. Thanks