People seeking to upgrade their employment appreciate how the low unemployment rate has expanded their job opportunities. Small business owners, however, are not as thrilled. Many are experiencing the hiring challenges of an ever-shrinking pool of talent.
Business owners who solve their hiring problems have a better chance of thriving in any economy.
The Most Common Hiring Problems For Small Employers
Let’s discuss the most common employee hiring challenges. Then we’ll list 8 steps any business owner can take to improve their recruiting processes.
1. Lack of Recruiting Expertise
Organizations who don’t employ HR professionals are at a disadvantage. Many small businesses fall into this category. The owner has a long list of skills, but recruiting is not usually one of them. With the exception of employment agencies, professional recruiters aren’t typically entrepreneurs.
When you wear all the hats, how do you find the time to improve recruitment skills?
2. Finding Best-Fit Candidates
This problem builds on the previous one. When you lack recruiting expertise, you are less able to find the most effective candidates. And even if you have some recruiting experience, you don’t have much time to spend on talent acquisition.
Employers who are short-staffed understandably want to fill positions quickly. When you feel pressured to hire ASAP, you take chances with less-qualified applicants. You cross your fingers and hope that the new hire will work out.
3. Inefficient Recruiting Processes
Many hiring methods cost too much, take too much time, and don’t achieve the best results. This isn’t just a problem for employers, it hampers your ability to attract applicants.
Candidates don’t have the patience for clunky application processes. If it takes an applicant more than 15 minutes to fill out an application, you may lose 9 out of 10 interested candidates! Did you know that an application that takes from 3-5 minutes to complete can result in 300% more responses?
4. Competing With Larger Employers
Small businesses can’t offer the perks of larger companies—but that doesn’t mean there aren’t benefits to working at a smaller business. It’s a challenge to identify what your company has to offer and convey it to job seekers
Fix Your Broken Hiring Process
Fixing hiring problems requires a change in processes and tools. The first step is automation.
1. Use An Applicant Tracking System
An applicant tracking system (ATS) allows you to reach far more candidates and track them through the hiring process with smart automation.
The software manages postings in multiple venues, receives and filters applications, parses resumes, and store applications for future openings. Since preliminary screening is automated, it narrows down applicants to a small pool of promising candidates. An ATS is a smart investment for any small business owner who is serious about competing in today’s job market.
An applicant tracking system doesn’t just make your life easier. It is an important tool for attracting top talent and onboarding them when they are hired.
Did you know that desirable candidates will probably find a job within two weeks? If your application system takes weeks, you are losing quality employees to companies with modern, efficient systems. Job seekers have plenty of options. The best applicants will move on if your recruiting system is antiquated.
2. Rethink Educational Requirements
Many employers have discovered that real-world experience can be more valuable than a degree. In a tight job market, you can’t always get college grads. Consider candidates with tech certifications and applicable work history.
3. Fine Tune Job Descriptions
Enlist your managers and employees to write accurate, detailed job descriptions. These don’t need to sound like they were written by a professional headhunter.
Include the salary range. Many applicants don’t waste their time applying when they don’t know what the job pays. Save yourself time by weeding out candidates who are looking for a higher salary.
When creating job descriptions, lessen the emphasis on qualifications the candidate must possess. Consider what your company can do for the employee. Candidates who respond to a benefits-first approach are often the most ambitious and competent.
You can create, store, and update job descriptions with recruiting software. Centralized access makes it easy for teams to collaborate.
4. Update (and Shorten) Your Applications
Only the most desperate candidates will struggle through a lengthy application. Carefully-designed applications contain only the essentials. Recruiting software has templates to get you started.
5. Define Your Hiring Criteria
Answer the following questions: 1. Who must sign off on the hire? 2. What specific qualifications are necessary? 3. What is the deadline for making a decision?
6. Treat Applicants Like Customers
We’ve all had bad experiences job hunting. These include automated “we received your resume” emails (or worse) no notification that the company even got your application.
Be clear about the timeline. Keep candidates informed during the entire process. Your hiring methods reflect on your company. Respect your applicants as if they were your customers.
7. Formalize Your Interview Process
Create an interview script and make sure managers follow it. Ensure that it meets anti-discrimination requirements. Workforce management recruiting software helps you create and manage interview scripts. Update the questions as job roles evolve.
Good interviewers don’t dominate the conversation. They let the candidate do most of the talking. Pay close attention to the questions the candidate asks. They will yield valuable insight into the job seeker’s priorities and personality.
8. Monitor Employee Reviews
Have you read the online reviews from current and former employees? Smart employers take them seriously and make changes when necessary. Evaluations by actual employees can carry far more weight than your website. Good job candidates do their research. Negative reviews hurt your hiring chances.
By Liz Strikwerda