Historically, small business owners have struggled with finding and hiring skilled workers. The most recent Reliant Funding Small Business Report said 35 percent of respondents feel it’s the biggest challenge of running their businesses. Small companies looking for qualified employees face competitive disadvantages for a variety of reasons, but especially when compared with larger companies trying to recruit as well.
As a resource for those who may dealing with the same, we asked top hiring solution providers to give advice on how a small business owner can overcome the challenge.
On increasing the chances of finding the right fit for any job opening:
“ Most companies post their opening and hope great candidates come to them. But looking for passive candidates (people who aren’t job searching) who are great a fit for the role often leads to better results. You can reach out to them and find out if they’re open to making a career change and pitch your opening. A lot of people dread the typical job search (sending resume and selling themselves in interviews) but feel like they lucked out when suddenly they hear from a company that is interested in them. ”
This passive search tactic gives an employer the chance to entice an outstanding candidate who would otherwise remain undiscovered. Another consideration: even if the skillset may not line up exactly, maintaining flexibility on potential for growth and offering competitive pay, can draw in the right fit.
On attracting millennial talent:
“ Candidates want to work for a place that aligns with their values. 44% of millennials turned down a job because of an organizations values. As the hiring landscape has shifted, candidates have taken an increasingly active role in carving their career paths. Job seekers are evaluating companies based on their mission and values, ultimately looking for that perfect match: an organization they believe in with principles that reflect their own. This presents companies with a unique opportunity to be the next chapter in someone’s career story, while simultaneously discovering people who will add value to their culture and mission. ”
This advice from The Muse doesn’t mean you’re out of luck if you’re not in the business of saving the world. It means involvement with a charitable mission can show that as a business owner, you care about making an impact in your community. Research initiatives and see how your business can help.
On using employee referrals:
“ An employee referral program is also an effective way to find outstanding talent. You can pay your current employees a $100-$500 bonus for referring a candidate who gets hired. These programs are often beneficial because your current employees know what it takes to be successful in your company and can recommend people who they believe have what it takes. ”
Most candidates do extensive research before they apply for a job. Current employees can serve as a mouthpiece for your company. According to The Muse, employee referrals typically bring in higher quality applicants than any other recruiting source. It’s also generally faster and cheaper, but that’s just a bonus.
On utilizing job boards:
“ Relying too much on job boards is a common mistake. If you post an opening on Indeed, SimplyHired, Monster, or Craigslist you’ll probably get a lot of applicants. But as you review them, you may find that they’re not the greatest candidates and in many cases, aren’t qualified for the job at all. Some job seekers go to job boards and apply to everything, hoping for the best and in turn, you spend a lot of time sorting through resumes of people you’re not going to hire. That’s not to say you shouldn’t use job boards, just don’t make them your only hiring source. ”
Quantity doesn’t always mean quality. While it’s often cheaper to post jobs on these sites, sifting through a ton of unqualified applicants can eat away precious time. Time is money, so it may be worth it to go with an experienced agency to cut through the noise and pull in quality candidates.
On using social media:
“ 45% of people say they’re more likely to apply for a job if they saw a friend post about the position on social, rather than if they found out about it through other means. Social media is a powerful tool for amplifying your employer brand. It allows you to show people exciting things happening at your company, highlight your culture, and even give candidates an inside look at your office. But when your employees use their own channels to share these kinds of stories, it becomes a hub for employee advocacy. ”
Small business owners notoriously struggle with marketing, which includes social media. The take away from this? Even if you only have the time to update one account, don’t underestimate the power of it. It’s free to open an account with Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and showcase your company.
When consulting with a hiring company makes sense:
“ Working with an external recruiting agency can have mixed results. There are a lot of good agencies and a lot of bad agencies and their rates can be all over the place. If you have a small recruiting team or looking for a great candidate (for a leadership position or a high-demand role like a developer) it might make sense to try out an agency and see how it works out. After the engagement, see if the results were worth the cost and decide if you want to continue working with them. ”
On the importance of a creating a candidate experience:
“ An amazing candidate experience is expected, So create It. If employer branding is what attracts top talent to your company, then the candidate experience is what motivates them to accept an offer. But there are a lot of steps between Point A and Point B, and candidates take stock of how they’re being treated throughout the entire hiring process—from how intuitive your application is, to how they’re greeted when they come to your office for an interview, to how they’re told whether they got the job or not. ”
At Reliant we often help small businesses as they expand. One issue they face with that expansion is bridging the pay gap with fast working capital when they are ready to increase their staff. If you face this similar situation, we may be able to help you.