8 Effective Ways to Improve the Hiring Process For Your Small Business

Natalie Redman avatar
on October 31#best-practices

As a small business, recruitment isn’t something that you want to get wrong because it can be quite costly. It’s also important that you’re attracting the right candidates and that the process itself is productive in finding the right person for the job.

Whilst you may not have all the resources that a big corporation would have for recruitment, there are certain methods that can help improve your hiring process. That way, every time you need to recruit a role, you’ll better your chances of finding someone who is perfect and not someone who’ll leave after six months.

Remember that detail is key for job descriptions

On average, each vacancy costs a company $500 a day. It’s a cost that for some businesses, they can’t afford to waste. That amount might not be as much for small businesses but it’s still a financial impact to some degree.

One of the first mistakes that a business can make when it comes to hiring is that they’re not detailed enough when it comes to the job description. The job description is what first introduces the company to them and so it’s essential that you leave a good first impression.

Whilst detail is important, you also don’t want to overcomplicate it with too much that it becomes offputting. Consider what the role is and the core skills and experience needed. It’s essential that you’re not asking too much of the role that stops the right candidates from applying. 

The job description should make it clear to the candidate whether or not they’re right for the role. It shouldn’t cause any confusion or mislead the candidate in any way.

Get your team involved in the journey

As a small business, it’s likely to be a more tight-knit group that works together, rather than a big corporate job where there’s hundreds of staff in one building. This makes it even more important to get a candidate that is going to fit in with the company culture and gets on with everyone in the company.

It’s not just your existing employees that feel company culture is important but job seekers too. 46% of job seekers say that company culture is very important when picking a job to apply to, according to Built In.

So with that being said, discuss the role with the team. Ask them what they want from a colleague not just in relation to the job but to fit within the company culture. There may be certain personalities or attitudes that will work better with who exists in the company currently.

Speak to your colleagues or those who will be working closely with the applicant about what they’re looking for. You could also involve them in the interview process to get a better insight on whether you’re picking the right candidate or not.

Be wary of where you post your open roles

Whilst it may be productive to post your open roles all over the internet and offline in some newspaper publications, it will likely draw in candidates that you’re not looking for. It’s better to go niche with your job role, even if it’s a receptionist role. 

For example, if you’re a design company, then you may want to approach more job agencies and boards online that are specific to the creative industries. If it’s more corporate, then you may want to think about what job websites are showcasing more corporate roles than anything else.

As much as you would want the pick of a bunch, you don’t want to end up with hundreds of applications to sift through. As a small business, that could end up taking a lot of time and effort for those responsible for recruiting the role.

Filter down your applicants in the most efficient way

When you have all your job applications and the open role is closed, the most time-consuming part is sifting through all the applications in order to find the right ones for interviewing. On average, the typical corporate job offer attracts over 250 resumes. That’s a lot of job applications to go through. 

With that in mind, there are going to be certain methods that you might find more useful when going through the applicants. You may find it easier to focus on specific sections of resumes that are most important or you could be ruthless by culling any resumes that go beyond two pages.

Some businesses might outsource an agency to filter through all the applicants so that you can save some time on your part. One of the most popular ways of filtering down your applicants though is through pre-employment tests, otherwise known as screening candidates.

Screen your candidates

Screening candidates is a great way of finding the best applicants that fit the job description. A customer service skills test can be a great way to do this or by giving them certain scenarios related to the job itself. 

Checking references is another way of understanding the character of the applicant from previous employers. Whilst an applicant might look good on paper, they could always be misleading when it comes to their resume. Did you know that 33% of individuals, according to a survey done by Checkster, had listed achievements on their resume that they didn’t?

It’s key to do background checks and to screen your candidates to ensure what they’ve said on their resume or in an interview, rings true. 

Be sure to involve your HR department in order to get clarity on what screening you should be doing and what might not be appropriate. After all, it’s important to do everything by the book and not invade the personal privacy of the candidate intentionally or by accident.

Create a structure to your interviews

The interview process is one that you really want to get right before you start interviewing candidates you’ve selected. Adding a structure to your interviews will be important for your candidates to understand what’s expected from them. 

Back in 2016, 56% of recruiters said they couldn’t make good hires because of lengthy hiring procedures. If you decide that several interview stages are needed, then you should expect some candidates to refuse the interview. The candidates might not find the job opening worthwhile to waste their time going through several interview stages.

For some specialist and high-ranking jobs, it may warrant having three or four interview stages However, for lower management or low-level roles, it’s not necessary to have so many. Figure out how you want the hiring process to go and make sure this is cemented before you go offering interviews.

You’ll also want to consider the questions you’ll ask and how long you want to interview to last.

Remember to do a personality check

Personality is an important one because if you’re simply going off the requirements for the job itself, then you might end up with the wrong person. The candidate needs to fit in with the rest of the company, which means asking some personal questions, rather than keeping them all professional.

Here are a few question examples that you could present to your candidates in order to get to know them more personally:

Tell me a bit about where you’re from

What are your hobbies outside of the workplace?

What are some of your strengths and weaknesses?

Why did you leave your last job?

How would your friends describe you in three words?

Do you work better as a team or on your own?

What are you looking for in a job?

Personality questions can really help you understand the candidate and whether they’re going to be the right fit for the company, so ask them!

Ask for feedback

Many candidates who don’t get a job offer or an interview, will often be left in the dark. At most, they may get a blanket email sent out to all those who’ve been rejected. However, in order to improve the experience of future candidates, it’s worthwhile asking for feedback.

In return for that feedback, you could provide a bit of feedback for the candidate, which benefits them too. Whilst this might be time-consuming, it’s something that could easily be constructed in the form of a feedback form or survey. You could incentivize them to fill it in by offering feedback on their interview, in return.

Feedback can go a long way in understanding the weak points in your hiring process. It’s good to improve upon your hiring process because ultimately it can lead to a positive boost in your reputation as a company. The last thing you want is to be seen as a business that has a poor approach towards recruitment.

Be detailed in your hiring process

As a small business, more attention to detail is needed for any hiring process you go through. It can help ensure your budget is spent well and that you end up with the right person for the job.

This article is a guest blog written by Natalie Redman. To contribute a guest post to Workast.com, please complete the expression of interest form here.

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