When a small business or startup begins to get bigger, what’s the first thing that happens to grow capacity and revenue? Hire more people.
Hiring — especially the right people — is so important that Jason Whitman, senior vice president of client services for Indeed, says small business owners should be thinking about finding talent all the time, not just when they have immediate hiring needs.
“With fewer HR resources at their disposal, small businesses and startups typically think about recruitment only when it’s time to hire, and that is a big mistake,” said Whitman.
As the labor market tightens and competition for the best candidates ramps up, Whitman suggests that small businesses embrace a “perpetual recruiting mode” to stay abreast of hiring and recruiting trends and to build brand presence among job seekers.
Asked to weigh in on how small business owners can keep up with trends and job-search and hiring tactics, Whitman offers three ways to stay in the hunt for great talent.
1. Find the right keywords
In a recruiting landscape dominated by search engines, keywords are king. Titles, terms and skill descriptions help search engines match qualified candidates to positions that require their particular expertise.
While catchy buzzword titles like “czar,” “ninja,” and even “Jedi,” might attract attention on job boards, they won’t put a job into relevant job seeker search results. For that to happen, you need to know what job seekers are looking for by learning how they promote themselves.
The intervals between hiring activities provide hiring managers a chance to become familiar with the keywords that shape search behaviors in their industries. When the time comes, they will be prepared to craft incisive titles and job descriptions that will attract the right talent.
2. Zero in on soft skills
A more open-ended recruitment cycle also allows small business employers to learn more about candidates and get a better sense of their “soft skills,” including reliability, communication and problem-solving abilities.
A recent survey of small business CEOs conducted by The Wall Street Journal and Vistage found that 90 percent of respondents have difficulty finding candidates with these important skills. By always being open to informational interviews and keeping in touch with interesting candidates, small businesses can get a sense of how responsive a candidate is and how he or she interacts with the team. Every interaction with a potential employee refines your concept of what constitutes the ideal hire.
3. Buff up your brand
In today’s era of search, the best candidates are doing more research on companies than ever before, going beyond job descriptions to get a sense of company culture. Managing and promoting your company profiles on sites like Indeed and Glassdoor ensure that job seekers are getting the best information on your company.
The increase in popularity of search engines for jobs makes ongoing recruiting strategies easier than ever. Whether using search data to understand the job market or passively marketing your small business to job seekers through company web pages and employee reviews, growing businesses can develop a valuable pipeline of talent that will enable them to move quickly when it’s time to add to the team.
Your job? Always be recruiting!