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5 Recruitment Tips for Small Business

By August 26, 2015July 10th, 2019Blog
Recruitment Tips for Small Business

5 Recruitment Tips for Small Business

Every day I hear both sides of the story in regards to recruitment. Business owners complain that they can’t find (or keep) quality people. Career clients share stories about terrible experiences applying for jobs with smaller companies.

Here are 5 tips for small business to assist them to provide a positive recruitment journey for all parties.

1. Do you understand what you are looking for?

If you have not explicitly articulated what you are looking for, how will you know when you find it?

How often do you see businesses decide they need more staff, so they post on social media saying something like ‘We are looking for someone to help with our admin 3 days per week. Inbox us if you or someone you know are interested.’

Then they start to get inundated with applicants and, as they read them, they realise none of them are what they had in mind.  That must mean there are no good people out there, right?

Wrong. Candidates look at job ads and ask themselves if they can do the job. ‘Administration’ is such a broad term. Pretty much anyone who has turned on a computer and filed a piece of paper can apply. What one company call an Office Manager, another calls an administration assistant.

You need to provide prerequisites for the role around the type of duties they will be doing, the industry, technical or IT knowledge and skills required and the level of expertise. Will they need experience with accounts and social media or just answering the phones?  Clear selection criteria attract the right person.

2. Are you professional in your recruitment process?

One of the biggest complaints from candidates is that potential employers don’t communicate with them. People apply and don’t receive any acknowledgement.

Poor processes in recruitment make a poor impression on every applicant which in turn gives them a bad experience with your business. Whether they end up working for you or not, this reflects on your brand in the local market.

Treat potential employees with the same level of professionalism that you treat your customers. If they have taken the time to apply, respond to their application thanking them for applying and letting them know if and when they will hear back.  If you have advertised a role and get busy, don’t just put the applicants aside, ignore them for weeks and expect those people to be sitting waiting when you are ready.

What is the impression you are making? If you show the level of professionalism that you will expect them to demonstrate to your customers, you will attract high-quality candidates. If you treat them like they should be grateful to work for you, you will get the candidates that are desperate for any job.

3. Do you know what you have to offer?

Why should the candidate want to work for you?  You need to sell your business.

Suitable candidates will shop around, but that does not mean they aren’t willing to work for a small company, even if they are currently working with a large organisation. What are you able to offer them that another employer can’t?  If your answer is to do with money, it is time to rethink.

Flexibility, location, career prospects and training and development are just a few benefits that candidates tell me can entice them to change jobs and even take a pay cut in some circumstances. There are many non-financial ways to motivate employees. If you are not located in a major city, these benefits may be the way to persuade someone to work closer to home for less money.

4. You get what you pay for

I understand that small business is on a tight budget. Employees are one of the top 3 expenses for any business. But if you are paying award minimums with no other benefits, you will attract people at a skill level that are happy to work for that. They will also happily leave you if an opportunity comes up with an employer who offers just a little bit more.

Research what jobs are paying in your area. If you are offering considerably less for the same position, who are you going to attract? What you can afford to pay is not the concern of the candidates if someone else is happy to pay market rates.

You get what you pay for. Awards set the minimum (which you legally must pay), but the market decides where the best candidates will choose to work.

5. Have a plan for when they start

You have hired someone. They seem great. They turn up on day one eager and ready to go. Do you know what they will be doing? One of the biggest complaints, when employees start working for a new company, is that the employer wants them to start being a productive member of the team on day one without giving them the support to set them on the right path.

We talked about having a clear idea of what you need before recruiting. You also need a clear plan for when an employee starts. What do they need to know? What training do they need? Who should they meet? Where will they sit? What equipment is required? What work will they be doing in their first week or month?

When employers complain to me that a new employee is not working out, my first question is what they did to induct them into their business. If you want them to hit the ground running, you need to set them up to succeed.

Remember, just because you are not a big company, doesn’t mean you can’t attract and retain quality employees.  Just make sure you approach the process with the same effort you would give to any other significant purchase for your business.

If you would like one of the Strawberry Seed Team to assist you with with your Recruitment, please give us a call on (03) 4216 5200 or book a meeting online.

Carli Saw

Author Carli Saw

Carli is a Human Resources professional with more than 20 years of experience across a range of industries and a passion for supporting small business.

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