How to Hire Employees for Small Business—Expert Tips and Strategies
Hiring is critical to any business’s success, but it can be particularly challenging for small businesses. With limited resources and a smaller talent pool to choose from, small business owners face unique hurdles in the recruitment process.
Small businesses often lack the dedicated HR teams and streamlined processes that larger organizations benefit from, which can lead to disorganized and inefficient recruitment practices. In a small business, each employee plays a critical role, and the impact of a bad hire can be much more significant than in a larger organization. A poor hire can negatively affect team dynamics, productivity, and even the company’s reputation.
In this article, we will address these unique challenges and provide practical solutions to help you optimize your hiring process. By understanding the intricacies of recruitment for small businesses and implementing effective strategies, you can improve your chances of attracting the right talent, reducing employee turnover, and ultimately fostering a thriving and successful business. We will introduce you to an affordable, user-friendly, and highly effective ATS solution that will help you cut costs, properly assess candidates, and provide them with an excellent candidate experience. Stay tuned to learn how to hire employees for small business and transform the way you find and onboard new talent.
Creating Effective Job Descriptions
Source: Agent-X Comics
While a good job description is important for businesses of all sizes, it is critical for small businesses due to their unique constraints and the significant impact each hire has on the organization. Small businesses often have limited resources, both in terms of time and money. A well-crafted job description helps you attract the right candidates more efficiently, minimizing the number of applicants unfit for the role. Here are some do’s and don’ts of writing job descriptions:
Use clear and concise SEO-friendly job titles
Use gimmicky job titles like “marketing ninja”
Accurately describe the position's responsibilities
Overload the description with unnecessary details
Specify up to 5 key qualifications and skills
List every single possible qualification
Highlight opportunities for growth and development
Make unrealistic promises or guarantees
Mention the location and type of employment
Leave out essential information about the role
Provide a clear call-to-action (how to apply)
Make the application process too complicated
If you prefer to outsource this task to professionals, we recommend using an applicant tracking system (ATS) that offers templated job descriptions. With Workello, you can choose from over 900 expert-written, SEO-friendly job description templates and customize them to best represent your company and the position. Once your job description is complete, Workello allows you to generate a link for the ad that you can post on any job board or social media platform you want.
Developing a Streamlined Hiring Process
Small businesses sometimes don’t have HR staff, and the hiring workload then falls on the business owner or other team members. An efficient ATS can help optimize the hiring process for small business by automating tasks, allowing you to focus on other essential aspects of running your business.
Here are some ways an ATS can save you valuable resources:
Applicant sorting—ATS can automatically sort and rank candidates based on specific criteria such as skills, experience, and education, making it easier to identify the most qualified applicants.
Resume parsing—The system can automatically extract relevant information from resumes and store it in a structured format, making it easier for hiring managers to review and compare candidate profiles.
Communication—The system can automate communication with candidates by sending out personalized emails for every step of the process, ensuring timely and consistent communication. For example, if you use Workello, with just one click, you can:
Invite candidates to interviews
Extend job offers
Interview scheduling—ATS can simplify interview scheduling by allowing candidates to pick available time slots, syncing with hiring managers’ calendars, and sending out automated reminders to reduce no-shows.
Collaborative decision-making—ATS allows team members to leave notes, share feedback, and rate candidates, making it easier to collaborate and make informed hiring decisions.
Adopting an ATS for your hiring process results in reduced delays, consistent communication, and decreased human error. Candidates are seamlessly moved through the recruitment funnel, ensuring an optimal candidate experience.
Assessing Candidates and Making the Right Choice
For smaller teams, it is essential to find candidates who can work well together, complement each other’s skills, and contribute positively to the company culture. Additionally, each employee has a larger impact on the overall performance and success of the company. A thorough assessment helps minimize the risk of making costly hiring mistakes. That’s why we recommend combining the following assessment methods to get to know candidates from different angles:
Online talent assessments are used to evaluate a candidate’s skills, knowledge, and abilities. Based on their type, they can be:
Technical skills tests
A good talent assessment platform will have a wide range of templated tests created by experts, but it will also let you create custom assessments. Workello boasts an extensive template library as well as an assessment builder. Initially designed as a platform for writing skills assessments, Workello now offers skills assessments for any role, including Marketing, Sales, and Customer Support.
Interviews can be conducted online or offline. Prepare a list of open-ended questions that encourage candidates to share their experiences and demonstrate their skills.
Contact the candidate’s previous employers, coworkers, or other professional references to verify their employment history, performance, and work habits.
Perform background checks, such as verifying education, employment history, and criminal records, to ensure the candidate’s reliability and integrity.
Offer the candidate a trial task or a probationary period to observe their performance and fit within the team and organization. This can be an effective way to assess their abilities in a real work environment.
Onboarding and Retention Strategies for Small Businesses
Onboarding in small businesses may be more informal and flexible than in large companies, but it’s still important to follow all the necessary steps to ensure that new hires receive the required information and training.Studies show that over 80% of organizations don’t have a structured onboarding process in place, despite the fact that new workers who go through one are 58% more likely to stay for 3 years. If you follow the steps from the table below, you will set up your new employees and your company for success.
Create a plan outlining key milestones, goals, and activities for the first few months of employment.
Pair new employees with experienced team members who can guide them through the onboarding process.
Consider training new hires outside of their primary job function or department to help them gain a broader understanding of the organization.
Communicate expectations clearly, discussing performance expectations, company culture, and the employee's role in the organization's success.
Monitor new hires' progress during the onboarding period (3 months to a year) and provide guidance or additional training as needed.
Nurturing Top Talent and Minimizing Turnover
The Work Institute’s 2020 Retention Report found that 37.9% of employees who leave the organization do so in the first year. This usually costs a lot of money, because the employees leave before they become fully productive. Career advancement, well-being, and work-life balance are the most often reported reasons for departing in the first 90 days.
Source: Work Institute
Even though strategies like offering competitive compensation packages for retaining top talent might be out of reach for small businesses, they still hold advantages over large companies in some areas. Here are a few ideas on how you can capitalize on that leverage.
Flexible work schedules, remote work options, or part-time arrangements are highly appealing to employees seeking a better work-life balance.
While small businesses may not have the resources for formal training programs, they can provide employees with diverse roles and responsibilities, allowing them to learn and grow in different areas.
Small businesses often have fewer bureaucratic barriers, enabling employees to take on greater responsibility and have more input in decision-making processes. This can lead to a higher level of job satisfaction and engagement.
Fostering a positive work culture in a small team allows employees to build closer relationships with their coworkers and management. This can create a strong sense of camaraderie and support, making employees feel more valued and connected to the company.
5 Mistakes to Avoid in Small Business Hiring Process
Small businesses can sometimes fall into certain traps that hinder their ability to attract and retain top talent. Here are 5 common mistakes you should avoid during the hiring process:
Overreliance on personal networks can limit the diversity of candidates and potentially exclude qualified applicants from consideration. You should expand your search by advertising job openings on various job boards, social media platforms, and attending industry events to attract a wider range of candidates.
Rushing the hiring process can result in a poor hire. Take the time to thoroughly evaluate candidates and make informed decisions, rather than rushing to fill a position.
Relying solely on interviews may not provide a complete picture of a candidate’s skills and abilities. Use multiple assessment methods, such as skills tests, personality assessments, or job simulations, to get a more comprehensive understanding of a candidate’s capabilities.
Excluding team members from the hiring process can result in a lack of buy-in and support for the new hire. Seek input from employees who will be working directly with the new hire, as they can provide valuable insights into the candidate’s potential fit within the team.
Unconscious bias can lead to less diverse hiring decisions, missed opportunities to hire top talent from different backgrounds, and potential legal issues. Use diverse interview panels to help minimize the impact of unconscious bias.
By avoiding these common mistakes, small businesses can build a winning and diverse team that’ll help the company grow and thrive. Here are some more tips and best practices for hiring.
Maximize Your Hiring Success with Workello
Small businesses face unique challenges when hiring; however, these can be mitigated through appropriate recruitment strategies and hiring practices. A well-crafted job description, efficient ATS, and thorough candidate assessments can optimize the hiring process. Small businesses can leverage their flexibility and close-knit culture to retain top talent, offering perks like flexible work arrangements, diverse roles, and more decision-making autonomy. Onboarding should be structured with clear expectations and cross-functional training. Avoid common hiring mistakes, such as overreliance on personal networks, rushing the process, relying solely on interviews, excluding team members from the process, and unconscious bias. By following our guidelines on how to hire employees for a small business, your organization can attract and retain top talent.
Workello can help you find the ideal employee and save money while also improving the candidate experience during the recruiting process. An easy-to-use ATS platform with a fully automated hiring funnel, it also doubles as a skills assessment platform with templated pre-employment tests created by industry experts. There’s no need to pay separately for a skills assessment platform and an ATS because Workello offers both options at an extraordinarily low cost. Try it out for free here.
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