Hiring: Small Business Recruiting Tips that Work

After worries about how to afford health care, concerns about the stability of the local economy, and trepidation about taxation, what are small business owners most stressed about? Hiring. In a recent survey conducted by TDBank, it was notable that a top concern of small business owners is attracting, finding, and retaining good employees.

When it comes to owning and operating a small business, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is essential. As a small business grows, being able to delegate projects to capable employees will help keep your work-life balance on an even keel. But, as a small business or entrepreneurship, how do you entice quality employees to work for you and then, how do you keep them?

Finding Good Employees

Even Uber and Google realize that “hiring is the most important thing you do.” Break away from posting the usual job listings on platforms like Monster and Indeed and consider some new ways to tackle an old challenge:

  1. Recruit your customers. Repeat customers already love your product or service enough to keep coming back, so you know you’ll get an employee who believes in your business. Add some skill and positive personality traits and you’ve got a strong candidate.
  2. Always be hiring. Keep your business cards with you at all times, ready to hand out at an opportune moment. You never know when you’ll meet someone who would be a perfect addition to your team.
  3. Use the cool jobs feature on Facebook. Facebook promises to “take the work out of hiring” with an application that enables you to target people who have the skills you need.
  4. Be creative and authentic with your job listings, especially the headline. Your business isn’t run-of-the-mill, so why should your job listings be? Instead of “Graphic Designer” use “Digital Design Prodigy Wanted.”
  5. Use LinkedIn’s job feature, but also, conduct keyword searches for the skills you want your new employees to have. One company shared that they searched for “cold calls” and found (and hired) a person who had made 232 cold calls in a day.

Attracting Good Employees

If part of the reason you want to hire capable employees involves maintaining a work-life balance, you can assume that job seekers also want a balanced life. If you don’t currently have some of the benefits that bigger companies offer, get creative and determine what you can offer that they don’t. In our e-book, Work-Life Balance for Small Businesses?, we highlight how attracting employees doesn’t have to mean expensive healthcare benefits and higher than average pay.

You can entice today’s employees with time, as in flexible work hours, work-from-home options, paid time off, and sick leave. Culture and work environment is also important to employees who care about where they’ll spend 40+ hours of their life each week. Many people want to work for companies that do good things in the community as well.

When it comes to offering healthcare, which tops the list of desired employee benefits, there are a few things to consider:

  • You are not required to accept a healthcare insurance provider’s first bid. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate.
  • Visit the Small Business Health Options (SHOP) Marketplace to find out if you qualify for tax credits.
  • Consider funding a tax-friendly Health Savings Account (HSA) and/or offering a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). Both offer lower costs, flexibility, and less effort on your end.
  • If you can’t pay the entire premium for employee healthcare insurance, pay some. Employees may agree that cost sharing is better than no coverage at all. Moreover, if you pay at least 50% of the premium, you may qualify for tax credits to ease your financial burden.

Retaining Good Employees

You’ve put so much effort into finding and hiring your ideal employees. How are you going to make sure they stick around? High employee turnover can turn out to be the biggest expense for your business. It doesn’t have to cost a lot to keep good employees. It does need thought and effort. Here are a few nuggets to consider:

  1. Create a “tribe mentality.” Making your employees feel that you’re all in it together creates a bond and a sense of investment into the business.
  2. Invest in training. People typically want to evolve, learn more, and hone their skills. Encourage your employees to attend free community seminars, online webinars, and other free training events. Don’t forget to train within.
  3. Recognize excellence. Whenever your employees perform above your expectations and show a desire to master their role, acknowledge them. Small rewards like gift cards go a long way.
  4. Communicate. Letting your employees know what your expectations are creates a sense of security. Give employees a sense of ownership by keeping them informed about business performance.
  5. When you can, pay more. Money makes living life a little easier.

Don’t let the hiring process intimidate you. You can make it work for you by taking a creative approach. You can read more about retaining employees in the Valpak e-book mentioned earlier.

Be proactive and think about how you will rally your team and keep your best performers. The benefits you’ll reap, including a healthy work-life balance, is worth the effort invested into hiring and retaining quality employees.

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