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15 Tips to Win the Small Business Talent and Staffing Battle

The last 18 months have been challenging for everyone, especially small business owners.

Unpredictable health guidelines, supply chain issues, changing consumer behavior, and much more, have wreaked havoc on our lives and businesses.

You’ve weathered the storm and are ready to get back to what you do best — providing amazing products and services to your customers.

However, most small businesses are now seeing a new, unexpected challenge: Recruiting and keeping the necessary  staff to keep your business running.

With the right strategy, you can win this battle too.

Here are our top tips to hiring:

Transparency and clarity is key to your job posting.

  1. Keep the job posting simple, descriptive, and relevant.

  2. Avoid using lofty jargon and run-on sentences when clear statements will do.

Wrong: “Candidates will use excellent customer communication skills including active listening to assess, respond to, and meet the desired needs of customers.”

Right:  “Our teammates are great listeners and act quickly to provide amazing customer service.”

  1. List the compensation in the job posting.

  2. Don’t be afraid to list the difficult things which will be expected of the job. If nights and weekends are required for some employees, make that clear in the job description.

Once the job posting is live, be prepared to act quickly.

  1. Before you post a job opening, ensure you are fully prepared to act quickly on any applications. If you don’t have the time to call applicants quickly, hold off on placing the job posting until you do.

  2. Set up notifications to let you know when you have received a new application.

  3. Call viable applicants within the same business day, if at all possible. The sooner you put a human voice to the process, the more likely you are to stand out among the other options applicants have.

  4. Schedule interviews within 24 hours, and same-day if possible.

Be prepared and consistent in interviews.

  1. Have a defined set of topics to cover with all applicants.

  2. Have a list of 10 questions, and a scorecard to determine how well the candidates answer the questions.

Don’t be afraid to make real-time offers.

  1. Too often we see small businesses lose terrific talent because they wait too long after an interview to make an offer. Sometimes it is an oversight. Other times it is a lack of preparation. Many times you force yourself to keep interviewing “just to see who else is available” when the perfect candidate was right in front of you.  If you are prepared and are consistent with your process you will know the right candidate when you meet them and should not hesitate.

  2. Be prepared to make firm offers within 24 hours, and even at the time of the interview.

You’ve hired the perfect candidate — now make sure to perfectly onboard them.

  1. Set start dates as soon as reasonable. Many entry-level workers are in a hurry for their next paycheck. Don’t lose a perfect candidate because you put their start date too far out and they choose another job which starts sooner.

  2. Make sure their first day is amazing. Have anything they need for their job ready for them at their desk. Show them you cared enough to be prepared.

  3. Have a casual 1:1 with them at the end of the first day. Sure, talk about how the work went, but mostly just get to know them as a person and show they are not just a number to you. That personal connection can keep many new hires invested during what can be a stressful new time for them.

Recruiting and keeping those new recruits is more challenging than ever.

These tips can help you set yourself apart from the competition and make your company the go-to place to work.

If you have any questions, or need some more guidance, feel free to reach out to mark@webware.io.


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