Hiring & Recruiting Best Practices for Small Businesses & Start-Ups

Candidate Selection & Hiring Important for Start-Up & Small Business

If you’re working in a small business or a startup, you probably already know that “if it doesn’t exist, you have to build or create it.” One of those items is likely to be recruiting new people as your business grows.  For small businesses alone, the cost of turnover is around $8,000. The impact of that figure may even be low when looking at the amount of time and energy you have spent sourcing and qualifying your candidates.

And for larger businesses? The average cost of a new employee without training is approximately $57,968! So before you jump in and go crazy sourcing candidates, you should identify ways to attract top candidates without spamming your entire network. Recruiting quality candidates should start with these steps:

Before you contact anyone, understand the job you’re hiring for and the department it sits in.

Consider the nature of the job and the department before posting anything! This step is often skipped and it’s the best way to hire a bad fit.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What are the most important responsibilities of this job opening?
  • What are the most important skills and background required?
  • What kind of compensation/salary/benefits can we provide? How does this compare to market numbers?
  • How would you describe the company atmosphere?
  • Why would a candidate want to do this job?

Once you’ve nailed down the specifics, set some timeline goals before you start. When do you absolutely need someone to start? You can then figure out when you want to post the description by, when you’ll close the job from applicants, and what time period you’ll hold interviews.

All in all — how long with the process take?

Share Your Job Requisition & Posting with Flair

Using the answers to the questions above, you can write a compelling, upbeat, and revealing job posting and responsibilities description. Don’t forget that transparency is critical. You should provide candidates with a “real” vision of the employer (you), their potential colleagues and team, and the environment they would work in. You can do this by including pictures and videos in your online job posting. Harness your social recruiting tactics, as well. Add social connectability and sharing options by connecting it to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

 

How & Where to Post Your Open Job Announcement & Requisition

  • Your company’s, personal, or connections’ blogs
  • LinkedIn news feed, company page, group discussions, and professional networks
  • Free or inexpensive job boards
  • Classifieds

Those are a lot of places, but 50 percent of job seekers still spend most their time searching on traditional job boards, while 29 percent of job seekers use social media as their primary tool for job searching. You want to cater to both groups with your posting strategy.

Before you move ahead, make sure the URL to your job posting and requisition is SEO-friendly. You’ll come up higher in the results.

Start with your personal network, but don’t stop there.

So you’ve posted the job? Don’t kick your feet back and wait for resumes to fly in the door — actively pursue good leads!  You should be spending a specific amount of time every day until you make your hire. So how do you know who to call? Get started with the following three steps:

1. Identify 1st and 2nd degree connections that would be a good candidate for the position or a good networking contact in the industry. Organize these names on a spreadsheet at a minimum.

2. Certainly don’t stop there! Your best candidates probably won’t be someone you already know. Talk to your current employees and use employee referrals.

3. Target specific social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Meetup, and GitHub (for engineers) to find specific candidates in your area that you can contact directly.

Even though you already posted the job, always send personalized messages to people you have identified as good candidates. You’ve got to go on offense and message people every day.

Candidate & Company Culture Fit Important to Hiring Process 

Hopefully you’re getting some good applicants from your hard work. So be swift in screening candidates as they express interest. Contact them the same day to schedule a short introductory call or meeting. If it is not done in-person, try doing it over Skype. Once you’ve selected top-notch candidates, have a structured interview process — Topgrading is a tested and proven model that I highly recommend. Give candidates feedback quickly. Don’t mess around with putting a candidate on the “back-burner”. If you’re not compelled to move forward now, cut them loose.

There are many, many ways to begin your recruiting process. But if you’re just starting out, you might have to do it yourself. If you’re getting more serious about your recruitment, there are many free and inexpensive tools that can help streamline your process. Avoid the potential $8,000 cost of turnover in your business and recruit the right way, don’t skip steps!

What other tips would you give professionals tackling DIY recruiting for the small business and fast growing startup industries.  What works?  

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Jason Webster

Jason Webster is co-founder of Ongig, a platform that creates shareable, visually-appealing job descriptions. Connect with Rob and Ongig on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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