We've been hearing from business owners across the country that one of the biggest challenges they're facing is finding employees. Believe it or not, there are currently over 11 million open jobs in the U.S. This concern is coming from businesses of all sizes, but it's hitting the smaller businesses harder. Not having enough staff can cripple any business, but if you only have a few workers, you may have entire shifts going uncovered.
If you've been struggling to hire and you want employees that will fit, we've got some ideas that can help. These are updated techniques that we've seen work for other small businesses who are hiring in the midst of the "great resignation."
A sign in the window is a great idea, but you'll only reach those walking by. These days, most job seekers are turning to their favorite online job platforms. This may start with a Google search or they may stick to one specific job-finding platform like ZipRecruiter, Indeed, or LinkedIn Job board, all of which have millions of new listings added monthly.
Of course, you want your listing to stand out from all those being added. Below are some tips for success on those platforms.
Many skilled job-seekers skip over job posts that aren’t detailed enough, so do your best to sell the job to them. Include benefits, pay, scheduling, employee satisfaction, and some of the perks of working with your company.
Your listing is a great place to discuss some of the successes of your business, including:
If you’re worried about it being too wordy and applicants not reading the listing, remember that they can easily scroll through to find the information they want. Keep everything organized with bullet points and format the content in an easy-to-read manner. The right applicants will take the time to look over your material.
Start the screening process by making your qualifications abundantly clear. For example, you can add “Bachelor’s degree required” or “minimum 5 years experience in a related field” in bold text if you want to get the message across. Keeping the qualifications section toward the top will also ensure that most readers will see it and move on if they aren't a good fit.
If you have any particular certifications required or preferred, experience type, or any special requests for applicants, list them in the job application as well.
Here’s where things can get tricky. Depending on the volume of applications you’re expecting, it may make sense to leave an application for workers to fill out or to leave your contact information. An application is easier to screen, but if you want to open a line of communication, you can always ask for an email with their resume and cover letter.
Generally speaking, it's not always a good idea to post a personal phone number online, as the average job listing receives up to 250 applications. Nobody wants to change their cell phone number every time they post a job!
Here’s how to begin weeding out those who are less qualified for the position you're hiring for at your small business.
On some platforms, you can ask applicants questions like, “Do you hold a degree in a related field?”, and it will automatically reject them if they answer “no." Take advantage of the tools on the platform you're using to streamline your candidate pool.
Alternatively, while reviewing online applications, you can use CTRL+F to find the information you’re looking for in the qualifications sections.
Take notes as you read through their applications and find relevant questions to ask. For example, you might say something along the lines of, “It says that you attended Boston University, but it wasn’t clear if you obtained a degree. Could you clarify?”
Early follow-up can help you screen applicants and gauge interest from prospective candidates. If they seem qualified on their application, then it would be a good time to ask for an interview, references, and any other questions you may have.
On paper, somebody may seem great. However, it’s always recommended to ask for personal or professional references to get an idea of someone's work capabilities.
Use these resources to ask more specific questions about what you’d like to know most about the applicant, such as their strengths, weaknesses, and best work traits.
Interviewers should always be as prepared as the interviewee. Write out a list of every question you think is pertinent to the job you're hiring for. Create a spreadsheet or system to log this information as you reach out to candidates.
Good questions to ask about include previous work history, past successes, struggles, and expectations for the position in question.
Now that you know how to find and screen the best applicants for the job, why wait? The sooner you create a stellar job post, the sooner you can fill your positions.
Stay up to date with our latest tips for your business and feel free to contact us with any questions or for help with your business growth needs.