As a small business owner, you want to recruit and hire the best. But how do you go up against the giants in your industry when you don't have their resources? Recruiting for small business requires a different approach. Take a look at 10 tried and proven strategies that can boost your recruiting efforts.
1. Focus on Cultural Fit
Cultural fit is crucial in a smaller company, where your new hire is likely to have a greater effect on your business culture. Many experts feel that cultural fit is the most crucial element in successful hiring, in fact, your business can pay the price financially due to turnover when the fit isn't right. Have candidates meet with as many of your current employees as possible to ascertain fit. And be honest about your company's culture at every stage of the process to weed out the people who can tell right up front that they won't fit in.
2. Create an Appealing Work Space
Cubicles may feel efficient, but they can be off-putting, especially to millennials looking for new positions. If your employees are going to spend almost one-third of their lives at work, they want to be in a place that feels comfortable and welcoming. Show off your attractive offices when you bring candidates in for interviews to win them over.
3. Make Sure Your Whole Process is Mobile-Friendly
Today's job applicants live on their phones, so it shouldn't be surprising that they want to handle their applications on their phones as well. Your website is probably already responsive, but how about your recruiting process? Walk through the entire step-by-step process on your phone to see how accessible it is.
4. Reach Out to Your Alumni
Who knows your company better than your former employees? Reach out to them to ask for recommendations and referrals when you're hiring. Who knows? — Maybe a great employee whom you hated to lose to greener pastures is ready to make a return.
5. Leverage Your LinkedIn Membership
The whole purpose of LinkedIn is to make business connections, yet job recruiters don't seem to rely on it as much as job seekers wish they would. LinkedIn is a fabulous resource to let you see what connections you share with your applicants, which gives you a head start on seeing how they might fit with your company.
6. Choose the Right Channels
Think about who you're likely to recruit for the positions available. If you are looking for someone with decades of experience, follow the traditional recruiting process by posting full job descriptions on job boards and setting up face-to-face interviews. For more entry-level positions, where you're more likely to recruit from the millennial generation, get those job listings out on social media — 37 percent of recruiters are now using social media to reach out to qualified candidates, and that number is only bound to grow.
7. Check Out Local Job Fairs
Yes, job fairs still exist, and they're a great way to connect personally with potential job candidates, especially if you're looking to fill entry-level spots with new college graduates. The job seekers who attend job fairs are highly motivated — After all, they've shown the gumption to show up, rather than just uploading a resume to a job website.
8. Emphasize the Future
This strategy is particularly crucial when you're recruiting millennials, who will make up about half of the job force as soon as 2020. This generation has grown up in a world of rapid change, and they want to know that you're prepared to help them grow as your company grows and changes. Emphasize what teaming up with you might mean for their futures, and establish the sense that you'll coach them into new positions and opportunities.
9. Use Niche Job Boards
It's fine to go to the giant recruiting boards like Indeed or LinkedIn when you want to hire masses of employees (say, for temp sales work during the holidays). But if you're trying to fill a spot with very specific requirements or your business is in a niche industry, go to the sites designed to fill that niche.
10. Recruit From Your Freelance Pool
Particularly when you're trying to get creative or tech tasks accomplished, you may find it simpler to hire freelancers at first. Treat your freelancers well (and pay them well!) to establish a good working relationship, and then, when you're ready to fill those spots on a full-time basis, recruit from the pool of freelancers you've established. This strategy lets you feel confident in both the recruit's work and their fit with your company.
When you implement creative and proactive recruiting strategies, you can fill your open positions more quickly with the reassurance that you're hiring the right people to move your organization forward.