5 Tips for Finding the Right People for Your Small Business

For small businesses, the impact of hiring the right people is more significant in comparison to a larger corporation. Recruits chosen to work for the company can affect its ability to succeed. Scouting for talent is also slightly more challenging for small business entrepreneurs. More often than not, larger corporations either have a dedicated team to source suitable candidates or are able to hire one of the top recruitment agencies to do it for them.

With limited manpower and available funds, how can small businesses do the same? Here are a few helpful tips.

1. Look for flexible applicants

The interview phase allows business owners to learn more about the applicant beyond what is stated in the resume. For small businesses, employees need to be flexible and wear different hats. They must be willing to learn new skills and perform a variety of tasks.

Regardless of where you place your job ad, be mindful about the keywords that you use to describe the position. Be as descriptive as you can but make it clear and concise. Include a list of possible daily tasks, the skills that you are looking for, the benefits that you offer, and possibly the salary if you’re comfortable to do so.

Keep in mind that tasks can change, especially when it comes to running small businesses. Look for people who are open to change. Be transparent about this during the interview. Disclose what you expect from candidates, what the challenges your business is facing and what your applicant might encounter if the person decides to work for you. Lay it on the line before you offer the contract.

2. Analyze their attitude

Instead of simply looking for an applicant with an incredible resume, find out what the person has learned from previous work experiences. Your interview questions should delve into what challenges or problems they faced and how they handled those situations. Ask what they got out of that experience. These types of questions will give you a better idea of what the applicant’s attitudes are, especially when it comes to handling stressful situations.

Character is especially important for new entrepreneurs as multiple things can go wrong when running a startup. You will need people who are determined on finding solutions rather than focusing their attention on the issues. Look for people with both integrity and the ability to integrate well with the rest of the team.

3. Know where they congregate

Find out where the best candidates like to gather, whether physically or online. For instance, if you need a sales expert, visit trade shows and exhibits and observe the people giving product demos. If you are looking for a software developer, check out hackathons.

Conferences, trade shows and similar industry events are also great channels for advertising your company and your openings. These events can attract great talent. They also offer opportunities for you to showcase your business, provide information about what you offer and answer any questions applicants may have.  

4. Consider your staffing needs

Some companies don’t really need a full-time employees. There are experts that you can hire as independent contractors. These are beneficial for instances where in you don’t need a specific daily service. For contractual workers, you only pay for the hours of work rendered. As a result, you can still avail of professional services without the hefty price tag or having to compromise on quality.

5. Use different hiring methods

There are many ways of finding talent. You can place an ad on a job site and receive hundreds or thousands of applications. If you want to target a certain sector, you can use LinkedIn and similar social media sites. These sites will allow you to look for professionals with specific skills or experience. An alternative is to get help from a recruitment agency, as they will source talent and screen the applicants for you.

Finding the right person for the job takes time and effort. If you want to build a team that will grow with your business, don’t simply use their resume as the basis. Consider their responses during the interview, how they work on the field and what other people say about them to get a better idea of how they will fit in your company’s culture.

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A recruitment professional with over twenty years’ experience in the field and a record of entrepreneurial accomplishment, David is Managing Director and Head of HR at Mackenzie Jones. In 2003, David set up Mackenzie Jones in the UK, growing the business across two offices in London and Birmingham. In 2005 David established Mackenzie Jones in Dubai to serve the Gulf region and neighbouring countries. As the Group MD, David is responsible for the overall direction of the Mackenzie Jones Group including Mackenzie Jones, MumsAtWork, MENA Solutions, Simply Digital and ThinkTech.