Recruiting Talent into a Small Business
Recruiting talent can be a challenge for small businesses, competing with big brand names, offering significant reward and benefits packages. However, if you get the message and process right, you will soon be giving those big boys a run for their money!
Your Employer Brand
Understanding what differentiates you as an employer is essential. What is your unique selling point? What is it about your business which attracts and retains good people? Small businesses tend to be more dynamic places to work, offering more flexibility and job diversity, often tailoring job roles to better suit individual needs.
Once you understand your USP, you can begin to create the message around it and get recruiting managers on board. It is important that the message is relayed consistently internally and externally. Remember, creating your employer brand is just as important as any other branding. Be honest, don’t try to sell something that doesn’t exist. If you do recruit off the back inaccurate branding, you will end up with unhappy people and a revolving door of talent leaving as fast as you can bring it in.
Consider specific concerns candidates are likely to have about working for a small business. i.e. how secure is the business? What development opportunities will I have? How will you reassure potential candidates that you business has staying power and that employees have the opportunity to grow? Capitalise on the things you can offer which are not as readily available in a larger business i.e. roles with broader responsibility, direct contact with business leaders for employees at all levels.
Read more on the importance of an employers brand here.
Understanding the role
It is important to have a clearly defined role profile or job description. Think about the key activities and responsibilities, but also what type of behaviours would be well suited to the role and your business. It is no good hiring someone with the perfect match of skills and experience if they are a poor cultural fit with the team.
Tailor your recruitment process
The internet is rife with examples of competency based questions and advice for candidates on how to answer them but I have yet to see a job which involves answering interview-style questions as a key activity! This means that employers need to get smarter if they want to find people who are a great match for the business and the role.
A tailored recruitment process should be created for every role, to include measures of skill level, experience and behaviours. Get creative! There are lots of ways to assess whether someone can genuinely do what you need them to do every day at work.
Read more on spotting talent here.
Recruitment processes typically take months rather than days or weeks. Once you have found the perfect candidate, it is likely that you will have to wait a further month or two for them to work out their notice period with their current employer so planning ahead is essential. For key roles, you might consider increasing notice periods so that you are not left exposed in the event that someone resigns.
If your business is growing, resource planning can help you to identify gaps before they appear so you are on the front foot, starting the recruitment process before the need arises.
How PlusHR can help