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A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Hiring

small business hiring

As a business owner, you know that your employees are a key ingredient to your business’s success and growth. For small businesses, each new hire will have a huge impact on the company’s culture. It is important that your new employees are hard-working, engaged, and fully committed to your company’s mission. We compiled a list of recruiting best practices to help you find and hire the right employees.

Finding New Employees

Employee Referrals

According to a 2013 hiring survey by CareerXroads, one of the best ways to find and recruit new talent is through your existing employees. The study found that almost a quarter of new employees come from employee referrals. These candidates move through the hiring process over 50% faster than other types of candidates. More importantly, 46% of referral candidates stay for three years or more, opposed to only 29% of those hired through career sites.

It’s clear that employee referrals are extremely effective, so ask your current employees to spread the word about new job opportunities. To encourage employees to participate, you can even offer bonuses or other incentives.

College Recruiting

If you’re looking to fill entry level positions, you should consider recruiting on college campuses. New college graduates are not only looking for jobs, but they also have an up-to-date skill set and can help your business stay with the current trends. Many college graduates are looking for small business opportunities because they offer something that large corporations cannot – an entrepreneurial culture and the opportunity for fast growth.

Another great way to recruit new talent is through internships. An internship is a great way for current students and college graduates to get their foot in the door. It can also give you the opportunity to fill a more permanent position down the road.

Online Advertising

In today’s digital age, there are a variety of online channels where you can advertise new jobs. Online Job Boards are one of the most popular online recruiting channels. At no cost, you can use job boards such as SimplyHired or to reach a wide audience of candidates. There are also a variety of paid job boards, such as, and GlassDoor. With these job boards, you can pay to boost your job openings and ensure that your posts reaches the candidates that you are looking for.

Social Media is another great online channel to spread the news about your job openings. Social media has become more popular over the past few years because it provides a low-cost way to find, recruit, and stay in touch with potential candidates. On Facebook and LinkedIn, you can even create targeted campaigns around your job openings to reach a specific audience. You can narrow this audience based on industry, previous jobs, education level, and even specific interests. To learn more about Facebook advertising, read our Guide to Facebook Advertising Post.

Selecting the Right Candidate

During the recruiting process, it is important that you select candidates that are both qualified for the specific job and are a good fit within your business’s unique culture.

Before the Interview

To make the most of interviews and learn all the necessary information to make your hiring decision, it is important that you prepare in advance. Before the interview, you should develop a specific interview process that allows you to evaluate candidates for their skills and company fit. Below is a great list of questions that you should consider asking yourself to prepare for interviewing candidates:

  • Will we prescreen candidates? If so, how?
  • What style of interview/s will we conduct?
  • What questions will we ask?
  • How will we evaluate or score candidates?
  • Which team members will participate?
  • How will we check references?

During the Interview

One great approach to the interview process is to ask behavioral interview questions. Behavioral interview questions ask candidates to discuss how they performed in specific situations, with the premise that this will demonstrate how they will perform in the future. According to a recent study, Behavioral interviewing is said to be 55 percent predictive of future on-the-job behavior, while traditional interviewing is only 10 percent predictive.

You should also make sure to tell the candidate what to expect at the beginning of the interview. Listen to the candidate throughout the interview, and leave time at the end for the candidate to ask any questions they may have.

After the Interview

When the interview ends, it is important to evaluate the candidate for the position you’re hiring for now, as well as a position in the future. As a recent guide published by ZaneBenefits encouraged, “hire for future managers now.” Ask yourself the following questions: will the candidate grow with the company? What part of the company can they help build or develop? Consider candidates who are willing to truly invest time in building your business.

While a candidate’s skills and experience are important, remember that it is just as important to consider their attitude and willingness. If you consider their desire to learn and grow, you’ll be able to determine whether the candidate will be able to grow and mold with the company.

Your employees are key to your small business’s success. Whether you’re hiring your first or your 50th employee, this guide will help you find and hire the right employees that will best fit your business.

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