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How to Hire and Recruit for Small Businesses

When you are a business owner or manage small business, it can be tough to dedicate time to hiring and recruiting. Most of the time, you would rather spend your hours with customers and making sure you deliver an exceptional product or service. Even here at CareerPlug, a company that makes hiring and recruiting software, we would rather spend time growing relationships with our clients than hiring for our company.

Even though hiring for your small business might not be at the top of your priority list, it is important to dedicate time to the hiring and recruitment process. Really at the end of the day, it’s great people and great experiences that bring customers and clients back. That means to keep those people coming back, you need to hire great people.

At CareerPlug, part of what we offer are resources and guides so you can take the guesswork out of hiring and recruiting. So, we put together a guide to help offer recruiting strategies and tips to organize your hiring process so you can master small business hiring, and get back to running your business. Because let’s face it, running your business is the best part.

Our 7 Keys to Being a Pro Recruiter

1) Assign someone in your office as your recruiting administrator

This could be either someone that works for you, or if you’re an even smaller company it could be you. Whoever you decide on, you need to make sure that this person checks all of your applicants every day. They also need to be the person to reach out to all applicants and schedule phone and in-person interviews with candidates for the hiring manager. In most cases, we recommend that the business owner is not holding this role.

2) Post your jobs to online job boards and social media (and utilize employee referrals)

Make sure all of your job posts are on all of the major boards and social media sites (here’s a blog for where you should be posting). If you want to fill a position, you need to attract candidates. The best way to attract the most candidates is to get as many eyes on your job as possible. The more people that look at your job, the greater the chance for more applicants.

In addition to posting your job to multiple places, make sure you are capitalizing on employee referrals. If you have great people working for you, ask them to see if they know anybody who would fit your opening. Great people tend to hang out with other great people, so don’t miss out on this potential stream of applicants.

3) Contact all candidates within 15 minutes of applying

If you work at a small company or are a business owner, chances are you can’t afford the resources that a large company can. That doesn’t mean you can’t recruit and hire just like the big businesses do. Make sure you reach out to candidates as soon as you can after they apply. You could do this through phone, text, or email.

Candidates are usually most engaged after they apply. If you can move quickly, you can probably beat out those bigger businesses that take longer to reach out to their job candidates. Even if you don’t have time to conduct a full interview you can at least get them on the phone to see if you want to move forward. When unemployment is low, speed to contact is king.

4) Consider using text recruiting

Most businesses reach out to job applicants via phone or email. In today’s job market, however, text recruiting can be considered an even better way to reach candidates. On average, 90% of texts are opened within 3 minutes of being sent. Where’s email you ask? The average email has a response time of 90 minutes, or 30x slower than text.

When it comes to entry level or hourly jobs, you should definitely consider texting your candidates to set up interviews, if you aren’t already. Most of these candidates are usually fishing for jobs and will take the first one that responds.

5) Always be recruiting

Plan 30-60 minutes per day to focus on recruiting and hiring. This time can be a combination or what your recruiting administrator and hiring manager do. You might not need to hire someone today or tomorrow, but you never know when a great employee might leave.

By always recruiting you can have great people ready to go if your business grows. Being proactive about hiring helps you anticipate your hiring needs. It’s like keeping your fridge stocked for the week.

6) Use candidate evaluation tools to hire superstars

Make sure you go into your interviews with a plan. A strong hiring process leads to consistent results and can help you hire great people. Look up interview guides and scorecards, find out how to conduct a reference check and background checks. Consider using personality and aptitude assessments like the ones used by CareerPlug clients. Have other employees sit in on interviews.

The more resources you have at your disposal, the better you and your team will be at interviewing candidates.

7) Hire your candidates, fast

Unemployment is currently at under 4%. As mentioned earlier, when unemployment is low, speed to contact is king. Reach out to your best candidates early and keep them engaged.

Think about the time you could save if you were able to reduce your hiring process down to 7 days. You could get back to running your business and focus on business growth strategies instead of recruiting strategies. You didn’t become a business owner or a manager to worry about the hiring process. If you’re having trouble putting together some of these hiring processes, consider using software. Most applicant tracking software, or hiring software, have tools included like interview guides, scorecards, a hiring workflow, and more.

Need More Help?

Download our two-page guide below. It’s a cliff notes version of our 7 keys to being a pro recruiter, plus it has a flowchart on when to move on to the next step in the hiring process. If you would like to consider using a software to help better manage the hiring process, contact us and we help show you how CareerPlug helps over 10,000 clients.

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