When the economy is good and unemployment is low, it can be hard for some businesses to compete for new talent. Larger companies often want the same people which can put small business owners and entrepreneurs at a disadvantage.
How can you get these points across to potential employees? Try some of these proven techniques.
Make Your Vision Clear
Talented candidates want to work for a company that has a clear business strategy to carry it into the future. You should be able to present a well-articulated vision and strategy to achieve it to instill confidence in your business. This ensures potential talent that there are opportunities for growth and innovation which can draw forward-thinking applicants to your business.
Fill Different Roles
When you have a small staff, it’s really important to hire a diverse group of people. Entrepreneur Magazine explains the five types of employees every small business needs:
● The Mentor. Large corporations have entire departments dedicated to training and orienting new staff whereas a lot of small businesses lack the resources for formal staff development. That’s why every staff needs a Mentor. There are some people who excel at educating and get excited about sharing their knowledge about both the work and the culture of the workplace. New employees ultimately feel more comfortable and may be motivated to work harder.
● The Knowledge Seeker. This is someone who isn’t just good at the job but is also passionate about learning as much as they can about the business. Knowledge Seekers typically sign up for extra training or pursue advanced degrees related to their work. They’re a good resource for the rest of the team because they’re usually on top of advancement in the field.
● The Renaissance Man/Woman. Small business owners are usually involved in every aspect of the business which is often overwhelming. Having a trusted employee who can fill a lot of different roles is extremely useful. It takes some pressure off of the boss so they can focus on other things while knowing that day-to-day operations are in good hands.
● The Morale Booster. Working at a small business isn’t always easy, especially during downturns or slow periods. Morale can suffer which further affects the way the business performs. Having people on staff who are optimists can help you and your staff see the bright spots in bad situations. While this may not have a direct financial effect, it improves the work environment and can have an impact on employee satisfaction.
● The Challenger. It might seem like having all of your employees agree with you all the time is the way is should be but having someone who is willing to challenge decisions and ask questions can be beneficial to the business. Encouraging healthy debates and feedback about the business can help your business grow stronger.
Nail the Interview
If you want the best talent to choose your company, you really have to nail the interview. Every single employee you hire can add to or take away from your business so it’s important to interview in a way that helps you find the best employees that fit with your business’ culture.
When creating the job listing, it’s important to list all the qualifications that you’re looking for including level of education, experience, and the necessary skills. But you should also include any personality traits that are essential to the job so you’re more likely to find a good fit.
Posting open positions on internet job boards and the company website is important but don’t forget more traditional publications like newspapers and trade magazines. Also, if you’re looking to fill a key position that isn’t an entry-level role, using a recruiter to find the right candidates is a good idea.
Prepare your questions for the interview but be prepared to answer some, too. A good candidate will likely have questions about the company’s growth, culture, and future strategies, particularly if they’re being courted by large corporations.
After the interview, make sure the applicant knows when you’ll follow up with them. Leaving this open-ended can be a mistake, particularly if it’s someone you really want to hire. If they don’t know when to expect to hear from you, they may accept another offer in the meantime.
Give New Graduates a Chance
While it’s nice to have someone with a bit of experience, young people fresh out of school are full of innovative ideas, great with technology, and eager to work for companies that are socially and environmentally responsible. The younger generation is looking for more than a steady income and good benefits. They want a flexible, fair working environment that provides opportunities for growth.
Always Have Success in Mind
Never underestimate how important hiring the right employees is to the success of your business. The right mix of people can help your business grow stronger, faster and directly affects your bottom line. Paying attention to attracting, hiring, and keeping the right people is key to keeping your business running for years to come.
Any opinions are those of Thomas B. Fleishel and not necessarily those of Raymond James. The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the topics referred to in this material. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete.