As a business owner, you’ve realized how important it is to surround yourself with great people that will help you fulfill your mission. While hiring them can be daunting for any size business these days, it’s even more critical for small businesses to get their hiring right.
With all these online tools, social media and what feels like an ever-increasing talent shortage, one can only be left to wondering where to start and how to get it done right.
Here Are 5 Tools To Help You Find Great Employees For Your Business
1. The job description
A well thought-out job description is an excellent starting point for great hiring. While it might seem like a tedious task, it’s actually a tool that you’ll be referring to for these three reasons:
- Use it to create an appealing job posting for advertising purposes
- Work from the job description to create your interview questions
- Refer to it once your new hire is onboard to follow-up on job performance, training needs, coaching & feedback.
Here’s what a good job description should cover:
- A brief description of your company’s mission, business goals and what it’s about
- Summary of the role you’re looking to fill
- List some high-level role responsibilities and goals that your new hire will achieve
- Include skills and personal qualities that will enable your new hire to achieve these goals AND to be a successful collaborator in your current team
- Any certifications, diplomas or training they need to possess to perform the basic tasks of the job
- Add some verbiage about your company’s workplace – any perks you provide (i.e. training, office social activities, summer hours, employee discounts, etc).
Think in terms of goals to achieve and outcomes this new hire will need to attain. Also, keep in mind how much training & coaching you’re able to provide them. If you truly can’t invest much time with training the person on their job, then have someone who has performed that job well in the past train them instead.
Keeping this in mind when sorting through resumés and interviews will prepare you for that experienced job applicant salary expectations.
2) Your Website: Is it Easy to Find the Apply Button?
I don’t need to tell you this, but your website is a great lead generator and marketing tool. It’s also a great recruiting tool and you should leverage it correctly to attract prospective hires.
If you already have a career section, make sure it’s visible on your site’s landing page. I don’t know how many times I hear job applicants complaining about how hard it is to find online application forms on the company website. So minimize their frustration by making it crystal clear that they can apply to your company.
Here are a few guidelines to ease the job application process on your website:
- Add a “Work for us” button on the landing page and if you can, make sure it stands out, by making it look different than other sections (i.e. bold it, highlight it, put some arrows around it)
- In your career section, list the job openings on the first page of that section
- List some perks of working for you (flexible working hours, employee discounts on your merchandise, office social activities, training/learning opportunities, casual Fridays)
- Include call to action buttons like “APPLY HERE” and make sure they work properly – in fact, test them out
- Add some decent quality pictures of your offices and of your current staff at office social activities, or even a short video with you talking about what your company’s mission is, etc.
- As much as possible, add your bio and the bio of some key staff members (or all of your staff members) with a link to their LinkedIn profiles.
3) Social Media For Hiring
Many small business owners ask me about using social media for hiring. Some struggle with what content to put out there for job seekers. At a minimum, get a Facebook business page and post some content (pics, short videos, status updates) that relate to the workplace.
For example, if you have lunch with your staff every week, take some pics and add to Facebook with a short line saying something like this: “At so and so company, we take lunch seriously”.
LinkedIn is another way to boost your visibility to potential candidates through social media. Make sure you have an updated profile and use LinkedIn statuses to promote your openings. Use the tool to find potential candidates, post jobs, etc. People love to know who they’ll be working with and social media is the ultimate way for them to get a good sense of your company’s culture. With the right content online, you’ll tend to attract the right people – the ones who’ll connect with your company values and mission.
Lastly, you may want to nominate one of your staff members to nurture your social media accounts. Give them some high-level posting guidelines and ask them to find appropriate content.
4) The Interview
When it comes to interviewing candidates, people fall into two buckets: they either overthink it or they wing it. It needs to be a bit of both. Preparation is key but you don’t want to be so scripted that it feels unnatural to you and to the candidates your meeting.
Simply put, a job interview is for you to collect information about a prospective hire and assess whether they can: a) perform the job and b) be a good employee for your business.
The first one should be pretty straightforward to figure out, the second one takes a bit more investigation because you’re essentially trying to figure out this person’s personality traits.
Use the job description to come up with questions that will help you assess if they’ll perform the tasks well. Draw up a set of questions that will help you determine if this person can be a team player, can be flexible with their time, can stand working extra time when needed and/or can resolve problems as they come up. Ask for specific examples from their past or current work experience. If they have no work experience, ask them how they would go about it.
Don’t bother using the trivia-type questions such as: “if a train is going 100 miles per hour and there are 3 passengers boarding the plane…” This won’t reveal anything useful to you.
Google was infamous for using these type of questions during their interview process. However, they’ve revamped their entire interview process and they completely eliminated these sorts of questions because they don’t predict the candidate’s performance in a job, which is what you’re really trying to do.
Finally, your best ambassadors are your current staff members. Make sure to tap into their networks and share job openings with them FIRST.
Maybe you’re already doing this, but I still encounter business owners who omit this precious recruiting source altogether. Be sure to brief your staff members about new job openings. To ensure it’s effective, offer them an incentive such as cash, gift cards or extra time off when someone they refer is hired. This way they are motivated to send over the right people your way.
Chances are your best employees will refer you to great candidates and this will cut down your recruiting time in half. Of course, they’ll still need to go through your interview process, as would any other candidate.
Better yet, involve your current employees in your interviews. Have them meet with prospective candidates and get their input before making your final hiring decision.
A positive side effect of involving your current employees is that they will enjoy contributing to hiring their next teammates.
About The Author
Chiara D’Avanzo is a Corporate HR / Recruiter turned Independent Head Hunter & Talent Advisor, helping small businesses and start-ups with hiring their next great hires. She is also a Talent Manager at the FORWARD Human Capital Consulting.