This is the first in a three-part series on how your small business can hire the best employees. Part 1 discusses how to reach your ideal candidate by targeting both active and passive candidates. Part 2 will focus on creating a highly-effective interviewing and selection process. And part 3 will go over creating a new employee onboarding experience that immediately engages your new team member.
Are you struggling to find qualified candidates? The tight labor market makes it hard for any business to hire. The difficulties for small and medium-sized businesses are reaching a critical point. Too often, small businesses limit their efforts to free or low-cost job boards like Craigslist or Indeed that can harm your ability to hire the best employees.
The answer is to expand your recruiting efforts to reach both active and passive candidates.
You might be wondering what a passive candidate is. You’ve likely heard this term a lot recently. In tight labor markets, passive candidates are often where you find the best employees. These candidates are working somewhere else. They may be mostly satisfied with their job but are open to learning about other opportunities. While some of these candidates are using job boards, most never visit them or upload a resume.
On the other hand, active candidates are just that. Active. They are frustrated or unhappy with their current position, These candidates, use job boards, ask friends if they know anyone hiring, network, use, social media, and are highly focused on finding a new position.
Reaching these two very different types of candidates is essential for effective hiring.
Here are ways to reach both.
Active candidates are on job boards and may have uploaded their resume to be more visible to recruiters. It’s still not a cake walk to reach them. The tight labor market means they can be picky. And most are. They want a job that aligns with their personal values where the work is interesting, engaging and fulfilling.
To make them take notice of your job posting and be interested enough to apply, you need to create a job posting that allows them to see themselves working in your company. This means writing a candidate focused job posting. Trash that boring job description that hasn’t been updated since you found it on the Internet years ago. Instead, write a job posting that piques interest and creates excitement. One way of doing this is by asking questions. Here are a few starters you can use.
- Are you tired of wasting time in endless meetings that go nowhere?
- Are you an innovative thinker ready to solve real business problems quickly and effectively?
Of course, you want to make sure that you hold productive meetings and allow your team to solve problems without a lot of bureaucratic red tape. Create a realistic preview of your jobs (both the good and the less than perfect). Your candidates will find your honesty refreshing and you will attract better quality candidates.
Passive candidates are those who reasonably happy where they are yet are open to exploring new opportunities. These candidates are not looking at job boards and reaching them requires a little more creativity. This is where you might want to ask for help and where a little marketing comes in handy.
In marketing, you build an awareness of a product and generate interest in learning more, so that you lead a potential buyer to a purchase. You are doing the same thing with a passive candidate. You’ll want to identify what’s unique, special, and awesome about your company and that’s what you market.
If you are not a marketing genius, no worries. You can do this. Freelancers are a great way to get some marketing skills without busting your budget. Fiverr and Upwork are two good sources. Other sources could be your local Chamber of Commerce or small business association.
Now that you have your marketing plan, where can you find passive candidates? The good news is they are everywhere! They could be your customers, your neighbors, the waiter at your favorite restaurant, the Uber driver taking you to the airport, or the receptionist at your salon. You can also find them in online forums for industry groups or hobbies. They may belong to user groups for software, MeetUp groups, or attending events on current industry topics and trends.
Hiring the Best
You’re ready to hire the best employees. Next, you’ll want to interview one or more of the candidates you’ve reached. Stay tuned for next week when we’ll talk more about the ways you can streamline your hiring process to be fast and easy for both you and your candidates
If you need some help from an expert. Click this link to schedule a complimentary Insight session. It’s an investment of 15 minutes of focused coaching that will pay huge dividends.
Do you prefer a do it yourself approach? I’ve got you covered. The YOLO Principle helps you hire the best employees. Grab your copy of The YOLO Principle: The Ultimate Hiring Guide for Small Business. It’s packed with tools, templates, and step-by-step instructions. Purchase your copy here or on Amazon.