5 Recruitment Strategies For Small Businesses
Finding the most suitable candidate for a job role is one of the most challenging aspects of being a small business owner. Recruitment can be an arduous and frustrating task at the best of times. As well as advertising the role in the right places, you’ll need to filter through numerous applications, make a judgement about every candidate’s experience, skill set, character and personality. And that’s before you even get to the interview stage.
If your business is small, there’s a good chance you don’t have an HR specialist who you can rely on to handle the recruitment process. Even if you do, you’ll need to decide on an effective recruitment strategy to help you find the right candidate for the right investment of time and money. The best recruitment method for your business will depend on a range of factors, including your available budget and the nature of the vacancy.
There are a lot of options open to small businesses and entrepreneurs trying to find the best talent. The following are 5 of the most effective recruitment strategies for small businesses.
1. Recruitment Agencies
Using a recruitment agency might first appear like and expensive option, but agencies take away a lot of the administrative work associated with recruiting great employees. They massively reduce the amount of time it takes to recruit, which can actually end up saving a lot of money in the long run. A high quality recruitment agency has a lot of things going for it:
- Over time, a good recruitment agency will build an in-depth understanding of your organisation and the industry you operate in. They’ll be able to offer a personal service and find the best candidates for your specific vacancies. Good recruiters almost become a part of the team, on hand whenever you need them.
- Recruiters are experts in finding the best candidates. It’s their job to sifting through CVs and scrutinize professional profiles. They know what they’re looking for and will stand a much better chance than most of spotting an inflated or exaggerated resume.
- Recruiters have an easy-to-access talent pool. They have their own lists of contacts and can unearth talent that you’ll struggle to find on your own.
- They will do the hard yards for you. Although the final decision of who to hire is always down to you, candidate screening, resume scrutinizing, reference and qualification background checks will all be done for you. Agencies pre-filter the list of candidates you see, so you’ll only have to review the very best.
2. Social Media Recruiting Strategy
Social media is commonly used by businesses of all sizes to recruit talent. LinkedIn is the first choice platform for many businesses. It’s easy to see why. How many business professionals do you know who are not on LinkedIn? Their paid-for advertising service allows you to target the relevant market segment, which can give a very cost-effective way of generating interest and applications for your role. Meanwhile, you can easily head-hunt suitable candidates for free.
However, LinkedIn does have competition from Twitter and Facebook. It might be that a combination of the three is the most effective social media recruitment strategy. Twitter is a quick and effective resource for getting a job vacancy publicized. Just remember to be smart in how you utilize hashtags: they need to specify the role and location in order to be most effective. Asking your employees to tweet job vacancies will help maximize reach.
Facebook, like LinkedIn, offers paid job advertising to a carefully targeted audience. Pinpointed advertising means a higher likelihood of getting suitable candidates applying for the role.
3. Online Recruiting Tools
There are a wide range of online recruitment tools which could make the job of finding the right candidate easier.
Here are a few to consider…
- Psychometric testing – this is probably the most commonly used technique for testing the aptitude and suitability of a candidate. Services available offer varying levels of depth. Some are very cheap – even free – but the more detail you want, the more you have to pay. While the results of such tests should never be the decisive factor in the selection process, they can be very effective in establishing who’s suitable and who’s not.
- Skills testing – For highly technical roles, you need to know if the candidate has the required expertise. There are numerous online skill tests available to recruiters across a wide range of technical areas. It’s a surefire way of discovering what they know and what they don’t.
- Gamification – the newest form of aptitude testing comes in the form of ‘gamified’ testing. As with psychometric testing, they vary in complexity and depth. At the more complex end of the spectrum, there are full-blown simulated work environments. Imagine if you could replicate your own working environment and test – in a virtual simulation – how a candidate performs and responds to the challenges they are guaranteed to encounter in your workplace. That’s exactly what gamification can do.
- Video interviews – for roles where you require a two-stage interview process, you can save time by carrying out short video interviews. Personality and character count for a lot, and this method is an efficient way of finding out whether an individual has the right traits for your company.
4. Your Own Networks
Everyone has their own network of contacts, so why not get the word out that you are recruiting?
Imagine the hassle you’ll avoid if a trusty acquaintance knows just the right person for the job. Sure, you still need to interview them, but if it turns out that they’re just what you’re looking for then you’ve just made a huge shortcut in the recruitment process.
5. Head Hunting
The advantage of head-hunting is that it increases your ability to target successful professionals. This is useful strategy in it’s own right and worth highlighting separately, but the implementation of head hunting could easily overlap with recruiting from you own networks and/or a social media strategy.
Instead of casting the net far and wide, head hunting is all about a laser focus on the specific people you’d like to work with. Do you know people with a good reputation in your industry? Do you know that employees of a particular company are exactly the type of people you want to hire?
Approaching specific individuals directly to see whether your vacancy is of interest can be an efficient and effective way to recruit. There’s something appealing about working for a small business and it’s always an ego-boost to be approached directly about a role. Both factors might just tip the balance in your favor.
Which Recruitment Strategy Is Right For You?
Above are five different recruitment strategies available to small businesses that have been proven to work time and time again. If you’re looking to make a new hire, it’s time to get planning. The nature of your job vacancy and the resources you have available, in terms of both money and time, will be important factors in deciding which approach to take. Whatever your route, take the time to find the right person. A great employee is nearly always worth the investment.