Hiring staff can be a daunting task, and in a small business, you often lack the luxury of extra staff or consultants. Usually, the job will fall to the owner, who will often ask, ‘what if I get it wrong?’
Paying attention to the following business management tips can help reduce the risk by improving the quality of your hiring process.
4 Key Small Business Tips for Better Hiring
1. Defining Your Ideal Employee
Knowing what you need and want out of your staff is crucial and will influence every other part of the recruitment process. Describing the ‘Ideal Employee’ for the role in question will be fundamental to your hiring success.
Firstly, create a Job Description that outlines the necessary skills and qualifications. Then list all the characteristics of your ideal employee, being careful to edit out any biases (including gender, ethnicity, age, etc.). Characteristics might include skill level, attitude, willingness to learn, teamwork skills and adaptability to new business cultures and situations. Involve the team your new hire will join during the process to define a comprehensive and inclusive description.
2. What is an effective Position Description?
The goal of the Position Description is to attract quality applicants. Here’s the most effective way to do it:
- Start with a clear job title. The more accurately it describes the job, the more likely the right people will apply.
- Appeal to your ideal applicants. Avoid jargon or confusing phrases. Most job seekers scan job ads and will skip past yours if it’s confusing in any way.
- Be clear, concise and friendly. List the job requirements in an easy to understand and positive way. Focus on duties and responsibilities, while avoiding general statements.
- Spell out the skills and qualifications required.
- Include traits from the Employee Description.
- Provide an accurate, succinct and attractive company description. In addition, mentioning staff benefits can attract qualified applicants.
3. Know your recruitment options
Latest research shows that job seekers are typically using online job boards (60%), social and professional networks (56%), and word of mouth (50%).
There are many channels small business managers can tap to find the best person:
- Word of mouth is still an effective method and one-third of jobs are never formally advertised. Research has shown that 17% of jobs are advertised through word of mouth and 13% of all jobs are filled this way, yet 50% of job seekers rely on this for their opportunities.
- Ask your current employees for referrals. Rather than advertise, many companies like to use an Employee Referral program. Excellent company culture and a high level of trust aid in the success of this method. Alternatively, you can ask your Professional Groups as like-minded peers can have a very clear picture of your needs.
- Recruitment Agencies are still a popular form of recruitment and can have surprisingly low costs while providing a more personal approach.
- Advertising in print and digital media requires you to understand your applicant. Are they looking through Jobs Vacant ads in the local newspaper? Or are they scanning job sites like SEEK and Indeed? Either way, use excellent Position Descriptions to engage your targets.
- Be creative. Investigate Government incentives for employing people you might overlook. Consider hiring a more mature person, an intern, or a person with disabilities. Government services can show you how.
- Currently, 56% of job seekers use online job boards to find positions with LinkedIn being the most popular. Its strength is in utilising powerful networks. You can expand your talent pool immensely through interconnecting employee networks.
4. Tips for a successful interview
- Be prepared. Distribute Employee Profile, Position Description, and Job Description to all team members involved in the interview process.
- Phone screen the candidates thoroughly before the interview to create a short-list. Prepare merit-based questions around the original Employee Description. Use the same questions and skill tests for each interviewee.
- Put the candidate at ease. Provide likely scenarios applicants will be faced with and assess their choice of action. Take extensive notes during the interview.
- Follow up and thank all interviewees.
- Take your time – don’t let your urgency to fill a vacancy overwhelm hiring the best candidate.
- Resist putting the wrong person in charge of hiring. Consider upskilling yourself or your manager with a diploma accreditation.
Small business hiring and recruitment can be tough and stressful but it’s important to remember that it doesn’t have to be.
Educated, skilled and ideal applicants for your small business exist and you can find them across all recruitments platforms. You simply need the tools to help you look.