A company is only as strong as its people and that’s especially the case with startups and small businesses who rely on a modest band of workers. With limited resources, you need to be able invest in the right people who share your vision and have the right skills to drive growth. This is why it’s so important to recruit efficiently and effectively to make sure you get the best hire through your door.
Here’s the inside scoop on what you need to know about hiring smart for your startup or small business.
Recruiting the perfect candidate can take a long time
It can take a while to attract the right candidate and you’ll need to invest your time into this process. From creating a desirable job description to distributing this online through a variety of social and recruiting platforms. The best people are worth waiting for – don’t just snap up the first person you interview – and bear in mind that the average notice period is four weeks so you might need to wait to get your chosen candidate through the door.
Recruiting is an investment
With your eyes firmly on your finances, you’ll want to make sure every spend is well invested. That means working out the true cost of your hire, which isn’t just a case of focussing on the salary. You should take into account the costs of advertising your role and the indirect cost involved in the time taken away from your other responsibilities during the recruitment process (from drawing up a job description to conducting interviews and even training, there’s a lot to do). You can set the cost of all of this against the returns you’ll expect from a new employee when they start work. Check out our guide to working out the ROI on your recruitment efforts.
You may need some help
Don’t expect to carry the heavy load of recruiting by yourself. Whether you have one employee or ten members of staff, make it the whole company’s responsibility to source and hire the right candidates. After all, everyone will need to work as part of a team. Once a new candidate joins, this ethos may help them settle in as the existing team will already be invested in their success. Your employees can be great ambassadors for the company – and useful contacts to help you find further recruits.
Be proud of who you are
At this point in your career, with the urge to expand your company, you might well feel that you need the new employees more than they need you. But, that doesn’t mean you should be timid. To attract some serious candidates that are right for the role, you’ll need to make your company and the job offer, desirable. This doesn’t mean you have to offer benefits you can’t afford or give promises that are way beyond the capabilities of your small company. It simply means you’ve got to be positive, honest and ambitious. Clearly outlining your company’s brand and culture will help you to attract people that this chimes with. Ideally, you want people who are passionate about the same things that you are and that means being proud of who you are and what you stand for.
You may need extra insurance
Depending where you are in the world, you’ll more than likely need employers insurance. For example, if you’re an employer in the UK, it’s a legal requirement to have Employers’ Liability Insurance if you have one or more people on your books. This includes contractors, part-time workers and those on zero-hour contracts.This is an extra cost you’ll need to consider before you commit to investing in recruitment.
Be prepared to get social
It’s time to spread the word about the upcoming prospects of joining your company. One of the most effective ways to do this is to use social media as well as traditional forms of paid advertising (within your budget). How you go about this might depend on your industry and who you’re looking to hire. For example, if you’re looking for a top-level position for your finance company you may wish to advertise on LinkedIn rather than Instagram. You will need to put the time in to share and socialise your posts as feedback doesn’t always happen overnight. On Twitter, use localised hashtags to target professionals in your area. On Facebook and LinkedIn, join relevant industry groups, get involved in discussions and become apart of the community. You’ll more than likely get more shares and referrals if you’re well known in the community (showing the benefits of networking in general).
You’ll want to brush up your interview skills
So, you’ve done the legwork, you’ve advertised your job description online and attracted some potential candidates. After narrowing down the CVs you get to the exciting bit, the interviews. Remember you’re in control of the situation so you’ll want to guide and help the candidates so that they can showcase their talents through a well-prepared process. Don’t scrape a set of template questions from the internet’s bargain bucket, spend time shaping the questions to the specific job role and what you want and need in a new recruit. It’s always beneficial to study the candidate’s CV beforehand. Note down any interesting elements of their previous experience that you want to know more about. This will help you understand their skill set and how they will fit into the existing team. Don’t be afraid to ask them some non-work related questions to help you gauge their personality. Your first employees will be the building blocks of your company in the vital early stages. This is why it’s so important to hire someone who is multi-skilled and qualified over a cultural fit.
The process isn’t over once they’re through the door
The recruitment process doesn’t stop once your new hire has signed on the dotted line. With training and a probation period to consider it can take some time before you’re fully seeing the benefit of having your new staff member on board.To make sure this process runs as smoothly as possible, create a training plan with goals that the candidate can work towards and focus on while they find their feet.
From calculating your ROI to screening CVs and training someone new, recruiting can take a long time.This is why it’s so important to get right. Here are some key takeaways you should remember before committing to hiring:
- Define your employer brand: be honest and open and communicate your company’s best qualities to candidates.
- Skills and personality: don’t just hire someone on the back of a list of qualifications on their CV – make sure they have the skills and personality to fit your team and requirements.
- Utilise social media: use hashtags, join groups and get sharing.
- Recruitment is an investment: put your time and money into this process – and calculate your expected ROI from getting the right candidate in the door.