3 Ways For Small Businesses To Find Qualified Candidates

The ability of a small business to find good team members can make or break the business. A poor hiring decision will cause decreased productivity at best and outright chaos at worst. These team members have a huge impact on the business, yet many business owners invest a meager amount of time and resources in sourcing good candidates.

There’s a reason for this. Finding A+ players isn’t easy. These top-tier employees are in high demand. Businesses that fail to put in a good effort to find them will fall behind companies that are actively seeking these quality candidates out. A meager recruiting effort will only leave you with the lower quality employees that failed to land a job at the company that just hired the top-notch talent that you want on your own team.

You don’t have to invest a tremendous amount of resources to find great team members. You just need to be smart about your process. Here are 3 surefire ways to find strong candidates to fill the openings in your team.

Employee Referrals

One of the most difficult parts of the hiring process is making sure that the candidate that you’re interviewing will actually be a good employee. It may be that they’re just really good at interviewing and are actually a terrible employee. On the other hand, there are plenty of people that are great employees that are terrible in the interview process.

Candidates that were referred by a current employee have the great advantage of a personal recommendation from someone on your team. Your team members know what the job expectations are. They know what the corporate culture is like. They likely know the person much better than you can probably ascertain through a series of formal interviews. For these reasons, an employee referral is almost always the best source of candidates.

Recruitment Agencies

When you’re not able to source the candidates that you need through employee referrals, you should reach out to recruiters and let them know what you’re looking for. Start with agencies that focus on your specific industry. For example, if you run an engineering firm, you’ll want to reach out to a firm that specializes in placing engineers. They likely have candidates in their pipeline that are qualified for your position. Being in the industry, they should have a good understanding of the skills necessary for a candidate to be successful in the position that you are trying to fill.

There are some recruitment agencies that offer a broader pool of applicants and will place people wherever they can. These can also be good, but before you go this route, try using a hybrid of the two. Some companies, like the Kelly Services staffing agency, work with several different industries, including engineering, education and healthcare. They’ll have a wider pool from which to choose, but won’t be as wide as the “all purpose” firms so you know you’ll be working with recruiters who really get what it is you need.

They, of course, charge a fee for their services. This fee is typically a percentage ranging from 15% – 30% of the candidates starting compensation. Keep in mind that this fee is usually worth it since you are saving your own time and resources by using their services. Additionally, most recruiters offer a guaranty where at least a portion of the fee is refundable if the candidate doesn’t work out.

Local Job Boards

Another often overlooked source is local job boards. The rise of the internet over the last decade drew people to these massive online job search sites. The problem is that their popularity led to the sites being filled with low quality candidates or outright spam. That means that it takes a tremendous amount of time to sort through candidates to find one that is even qualified to come in for an interview.

Local job boards like Craigslist and others provide the same service, but without the massive amounts of unqualified or fake candidates. One key to ensuring that you are only receiving high-quality responses to your posting is to make the candidates follow a very specific process when applying. This weeds out those that are applying to every posting and those that can’t even follow simple directions.

By taking advantage of employee referrals, utilizing recruitment agencies and implementing a smart process on local job boards, you can find top-tier talent for your team.

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