Talent Acquisition

How to Make Recruitment Work for Your Small Business

When you’re part of a Fortune 500 company with nigh inexhaustible resources, the recruitment process doesn’t seem to be one that really necessitates creativity or strategy. But when you’re a small business owner with a bottom line weighing down every decision of your company, how you decide to go about the hiring process can be one of the most essential strategic underpinnings of your company’s success – or demise.

Regardless of what is at your disposal, the fact is that the face of employee recruitment has shifted drastically in the 21st century. And while the methods that we might be familiar with will continue to be employed, it is important for small business recruiters to consider ways to more effectively target ideal candidates.

On considering traditional mass recruitment methods:

Not too long ago, it seemed that the only way to effectively draw in a large pool of applicants was to either spend the money to advertise your position on a job board and slog through a heap of resumes or rely on a recruitment agency. These expensive and time-consuming options don’t often result in inspiring results. Small businesses that stick with these traditional methods can make it work, but they aren’t exactly ideal for finding the best candidates in a timely, cost-effective manner.

However, there are some ways for employers who want to advertise open positions to the masses to thin out the less dedicated applicants to their recruitment pool and enhance the results of their search. These tips will reduce the work you’ll have to put into sifting through candidates and reduce the odds of letting your search result in a bad hire.

Know how to target their interest:

A generic listing on a job board such as Monster or Indeed might be a great way to gather thousands of resumes and interested jobseekers, but the odds of producing truly knowledgeable and motivated candidates are doubtful at best. The first way to get the attention of those with that you truly want to discuss your position is by knowing how to target them. This can happen in several ways.

If you’re part of a tech company, participating in a job fair on a campus where computer science majors are prevalent can help tremendously. Placing advertisements in areas and online where students of this niche might discover you is another way that this can happen. One of the most effective ways to target your recruitment advertising is by advertising through search engines by buying keywords. If you want to hire people who are good with graphic design, advertising on Google for the phrase “Adobe Photoshop” will provide leads to plenty of qualified applicants.

Require their commitment:

Appearing motivated and qualified can be easy during a single interview, and hiring due to an applicant’s responses during one meeting is more likely to result in costing your company money by wasting resources if things don’t work out. The fact is that a good majority of job board applicants “fish” for a variety of openings without real interest, which is why recruiters who use such avenues to recruit complain about a glut of mediocre, irrelevant resumes and cover letters.

Weed out these entries by being upfront that you expect a higher level of commitment to the opportunity that you have available. Hold an hour-long open house for interested candidates and you might find your talent pool fold in half or less, which helps narrow your search solely to motivated individuals. Be upfront that you’ll be holding multiple interviews in different places and through different people. By taking applicants out of their comfort zone before their first interview and requiring a greater level of participation than typical applications, you’ll be able to more quickly locate applicants with the highest work ethic.

Social media and proactive recruitment:

While technology has influenced the way that small businesses approach recruitment, the cheapest way of recruiting besides word-of-mouth is by using this technology to find talent before they find you. Soliciting positions in your company poses the inherent problem of attracting applicants who aren’t ideally qualified.

With networking sites such as LinkedIn and Brazen Careerist, finding highly competent individuals in your field of choice can be as easy as a query search. It can be awkward and discouraging to reject a hundred applicants whose credentials aren’t even close to what you have in mind; by targeting your recruitment as a search on such sites, you can find talent according to your own criteria.

In addition to social media sites, it can also help to connect with professionals already within your company and outside industry authorities about qualified candidates. Referrals are one of the most surefire ways to reach new talent without wasting time, energy, and most importantly money. While this method results in far fewer applicants for your time and you might have other employers in the shark tank to contend with, this is the quickest way to find the applicants that truly matter.

Author: Amanda Jensen is a fledgling financial blogger and a writer with AAMI. Amanda holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and has spent three years as an administrative assistant.

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