Newsflash: size does not matter. Small businesses have a huge impact on the economy and account for 80% of all jobs in the United States. But because we have fewer employees, our success often depends on their talent, dedication and greatness.
Maybe in multinationals with 100,000 employees, it will not hurt if some people fall asleep at work. And maybe bad people are not going to put the company on their knees. As the owner of a small, sophisticated advertising agency, I can tell you one thing: each of my employees has (and does) all its weight.
One person who agrees with me on this topic is Ed Nathanson, a man with 20 years of experience in talent and the founder of Red Pill Talent. I recently worked with Ed to find his brain and together we developed five tips to help small businesses get better jobs.
1. Define role, including title and future prospects
If a candidate is really great, you want him to persevere for years. And one of the best ways to find this person is to clearly define the role before you start recruiting. It also means that he gets a fully realized title (which the candidate can proudly display on his business cards and his LinkedIn profile) and the career path and path to advancement he leads.
Most small businesses have not understood this, but they should. There is a long way to go when you compete with big companies for the best talent.
If you follow a clear career path, you can create a flowchart and work backwards, but it’s worth it.
More importantly, Ed says small and medium-sized businesses need to consider the impact of the role for both the company and the candidate. Because when they come from a multinational corporation, they need a heavy reason to downsize.
If you know what you are proposing, you can tailor your campaign to candidates who have the knowledge and skills required, and who are ready to offer you a tempting offer to interest them.
2. Develop a recruitment plan that eliminates prejudices while maintaining your unique appeal
If you have a small team, especially if it is already working at or near capacity, the idea of developing a complex recruitment process can be daunting. It can be difficult to hear, but suck it. You need a plan, which includes finding non-negotiable facts, conducting screening tests, determining desired features and maintaining them. Work hard, yes, but incredibly interesting.
Having a clear structure before seeing candidates helps to maintain a consistent and fair recruitment process. If you are small (and busy), it may be tempting to hire the first candidate who will suit you with sympathy, skill and culture.
But using the time and effort to really listen to the candidates and find out who is in line with the essential qualities you are looking for is paying off – you get the best person for the job and you limit the unconscious bias in one go.
But Ed warns that small and medium-sized businesses are not too routine in their recruitment process. If your multi-step and tested interviews are almost identical to the big companies your candidates are used to, they are not motivated to leave.
This does not mean that we get involved again in an instinct. Instead, focus on selling your corporate culture throughout the process, from job description to on-site meetings.
Emphasize your size and what it means for your team’s efficiency, your good working relationships, the absence of tangled dies or all that.
3. Consider potential beyond experience and qualifications only
It’s easy to be confused by a stellar summary. 10 years in this high-level enterprise, qualifications of this prestigious school … Wow. But remember that brave newcomers with a resume brighten the recognition of names exactly what your business needs. Do not count them yet.
Finding candidates who are making progress rather than going down can greatly improve your talent pool, Ed. In search of passionate and hungry candidates, this is the kind of fire that will fuel your business in the years to come.
4. Decide who in your team will do what during the recruitment process and will stay with this structure
Unless you have a dedicated internal recruiter, it’s tempting to target work-related tasks to those with bandwidth without thinking about the whole process. This leads to bias and only distorts the process in the long run, eventually leading to misalignment and loss of time and money.
Instead of crawling, sit down and discuss with your team the roles to fill. Create a standardized process where everyone is gaining weight. Ed suggests making sure recruitment is a priority and should be integrated into their daily work. He also notes that working with agency providers can be beneficial before you can recruit your own recruiter.
If the Executive Director is the primary recruiter, you must ensure that as many candidates as possible are considered. This helps candidates to get an idea of how the company executive is practical and how committed they are to success.
A standardized process also helps to reduce distortions. In my company, one of our methods is to divide our interview panel into groups, with each group spending a certain amount of time with each candidate. The groups remain consistent among the candidates for a given position and, after the interviews, each interviewer completes a dashboard centered on five characteristics. No opinion can disproportionately affect our decision: the numerical average determines the day. It is a process that we are proud of and which has led many highly qualified employees.
5. Show what’s special in your business
You are not a big company. So do not try to compete with big companies in terms of benefits and compensation, because you are unlikely to win.
Stop and take stock of the specificities of your business. Remember that something has attracted the candidate to a large company – and the candidate certainly knows that your benefits and competition will not be competitive, so do not sweat. Think about what you can offer them instead.
Instead of focusing on what you do not offer, Ed encourages you to talk about what you do. Maybe it’s early equity. Or maybe it’s an opportunity to work closely with an inspiring CEO and learn directly from them. Anyway, put it in value during your negotiations.
You also want to do your homework, what the candidate really wants. If you learn this at the beginning of your interviews, it can lead to your negotiations and help you conclude the deal. Regardless of what is important to the candidate, emphasize how your business responds to this need – use your own motivations as a magnet.
Remember that pay is always important, regardless of the size of the business. Candidates no longer want to feel under the market. So good deal. And if your entire product has significant capital or other benefits, you need to explain what’s going on and clearly indicate how it differs from the offers of larger companies. Everyone is not aware of it and if they believe it will cost a rent.
Following these five tactics does not guarantee success. But this will put your small business in a better position when a job will be open. Do not be afraid to aim high, you deserve these extraordinary candidates as well as a huge company.