“A company is only ever as good as its employees.”
When it comes to expanding your work-force, the decisions you make and the practices you follow are crucial to the future growth and success of your business, especially if you’re an SME. Recruitment costs valuable time and money, two things which the majority of small business owners simply can’t afford to waste.
Hiring the wrong person for the job can have disastrous consequences for your team’s overall morale, hinder the rate at which you achieve company goals and cause a low employee retention rate. In fact, according to talent and recruitment expert Stefanie Stanislawski ‘globally, one third of all new hires quit their jobs after only 6 months’.
But with the right hiring practices in place, all of these problems can be avoided. In this article, we’ve consolidated 3 of the best recruitment strategies adopted by successful entrepreneurs, so that you too can source great employees and build a thriving business.
1. Advertising Job Vacancies – Get Creative
Having to compete with big businesses to acquire the most talented individuals can be difficult. In order to combat this, small businesses must get creative with how they source candidates. In this video, Brendan Browne, Vice President of Talent Acquisition at LinkedIn and Abby Hamilton, Vice President of People Development at LiveIntent, offer several inside tips on how small businesses can get creative with their recruitment process in order to compete with big businesses for the very best talent:
Write Job Descriptions That Are Enticing, Not Prescriptive.
An effective job description shouldn’t just be a long list of requirements. In order to get the best talent, think about how you can excite a candidate to join your company:
- Highlight the opportunity for career progression
- Outline the long-term company vision and goals
- Emphasise all of your business’ successes to date
- Don’t shy away from using a more casual and welcoming tone where appropriate.
Optimise How You Advertise
Take advantage of all the job advertising platforms available to you. Sure, you should advertise your jobs on the obvious Indeed, LinkedIn and Glassdoor, but don’t overlook the scope of your business’ own social media accounts. Posting job ads directly from your brand’s Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts will expand your reach. Better still, advertising in this way will attract candidates that are already engaged with and interested in your business.
Your own employees are also great sources for discovering new talent. Ask your current workforce if they know anyone who would be suitable for the role, or if they have any suggestions on how to find talented individuals. If you can get your existing team thinking like talent scouts you can avoid having to invest so heavily in recruitment.
2. Reviewing CVs – Be Mindful of Diversity
Interestingly, businesses that focus on employing a diverse range of employees are proven to be more successful than those that don’t. According to DiversityInc, a study of their top 50 companies for diversity outperformed others by 25 percent. So, in order for your business to reach it's full potential, you need to invest in building a diverse team.
In the following video Regina Hartley, Head of Recruitment at UPS, expands on this point, explaining how the best employees don’t always look the best on paper. And she may well have a point! Several of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders don’t exactly have glistening educational backgrounds. Think Richard Branson, Lord Alan Sugar and Deborah Meaden, to name just a few. As Hartley summarises:
"Getting into and graduating from an elite university takes a lot of hard-work and sacrifice, but if your whole life has been engineered towards success how will you handle the tough times?"
Hiring someone who has had a less than easy life might just be the person that your team is missing. Persistence in the face of adversity shows ambition, courage and an ability to solve and overcome problems - all qualities which are extremely desirable in an employee. When you next come to review CVs and invite candidates to interview, consider interviewing those who might not look that great on paper – they might surprise you!
3. Interview Stage - Value Passion Over Skill
When it comes to interview anyone can list off their achievements to date and explain why they’re good for the job. The key question is; are they actually passionate about what they do? You will always get more out of an employee who enjoys their job, than one who does not.
In this video, Mark Zuckerberg CEO and co-founder of Facebook, shares his secret to hiring the best employees:
"People can be really smart or have skills that are directly applicable, but if they don’t really believe in it, they’re not going to work hard and they’re not going to care enough to develop their experience to succeed"
It would seem that passion is certainly more profitable than skill and experience, so you need to adapt your interview style to reveal if someone really is enthusiastic about the role. For example, if you’re looking to hire content creators ask them:
Do you create content in your spare time? Do you have a blog? How often do you write?
Asking questions of this sort should provide you with the answers you need to gauge whether someone is honestly and truly excited by the role, or whether they’re just looking for whatever job comes their way.
When you invest in an employee, you also invest in your business’ future, so make sure you give your recruitment strategy the due care and consideration it requires. If you can fine-tune how you select employees using the industry insights discussed, you should be able to build a profitable team and successful business.