I wish I had a magic wand that I could twirl in the air and it would find the perfect candidate for every open role we are working on. I know a few hiring managers who wish we had one too. A startup client just received Series B funding and has been waiting for that funding to hire into twelve new positions. Twelve. Now. We are hiring them all now.
When I first started this business and knew that I wanted to offer recruiting services, I had to figure out how to scale them so that I alone could manage. More importantly, I had to figure out how to find candidates without the budget to spend a lot on advertising on job boards. I needed the recruiting process to be easy and cheap and yet somehow find the right candidates in a timely manner.
Easy peasy right?!?
I have tons of blog posts on creating more proactive recruiting strategies to help scale budgets and resources which you can read here. For the purposes of this post I want to share three quick tips to make your process easier. These may seem like common sense to most, but what we find is that common sense is often known but not executed. If you aren’t utilizing the tips below in your recruiting process make it a priority to implement them as soon as possible.
Get Ahead of It
This is likely the topic I’ve talked about the most. In order to create a truly proactive recruiting strategy you have to stop waiting for the job to be open and recruit for it long before that. Walking through workforce planning activities with leaders can help anticipate openings before they happen. It can also help identify sources and timeframes for recruiting long before you actually need the position filled.
The recruiting process will never be easy as long as it is reactive. For small business HR leaders to ease the burden of recruiting, they have to get ahead of it and anticipate what is coming rather than react to it.
Assemble a Team
In all aspects of HR, leaders have to stop thinking that they have to do it all alone. From handling the day to day HR needs to recruiting, other people in the business can and should help. Hiring managers can share open positions with their network. All employees can share social media posts about open positions. Employee referral programs can be leveraged to supplement applicant flow.
I realize that you may have to take baby steps to make this happen if others aren’t used to helping. One of the easiest things you can do is encourage all employees to share job openings with their networks. Creating scripts they can easily copy into their social networks will make them more likely to do so. Leveraging rewards or recognition for employees who share will also motivate more to do so. Using employee networks to share job openings takes no budget dollars and gives employers the opportunity to get their job openings in front of people who may otherwise never see it. It also lends credibility to the business as a great place to work when employees are willing to encourage their contacts to apply for openings.
Hiring managers can get more involved in the hiring process by being responsible for following up with candidates. One of our startup clients went through a process last year where we trained all hiring managers on how to give real time feedback in the recruiting process. We promised that we would not make anyone do it until they felt comfortable, but they had to agree to eventually be willing to try it on their own. Over the course of several weeks we did role playing exercises and communication training to get managers to a place where they felt comfortable telling candidates in real time where they stood with their candidacy. This simple change has cut the time that HR has to spend following up with interviewed candidates in half. Candidates aren’t flooding their inbox or voicemail asking for an update. Candidates themselves have expressed gratitude about knowing right away and not wondering.
What’s more, hiring managers have reported that having the honest conversation with a candidate about why they are hesitant to move forward has given the candidate the opportunity to rebuttal, which in some cases does change the hiring manager’s mind.
Getting more people in the business involved in recruiting can only bring good things.
I’m not going to belabor this point because I talk about it a lot, but it is always worth mentioning. We live in an amazing age with so much technology available to us. So much of the recruiting process can be automated now. Further, small businesses no longer can use the excuse that they can’t afford technology with so many no cost or low cost options available.
Since this is always a hot topic for us, we decided to host a webinar geared towards helping small business human resource team automate their recruiting process with technology that is readily available to them. And by readily available we mean free or extremely low cost.
We know that small business HR teams are not leveraging technology to the fullest extent and this webinar is going to set them on the right path to do so. It will talk about using employees to share openings as mentioned above, but also cover things like tracking candidates when you don’t have an applicant tracking system and automating responses to keep them informed.
This webinar is perfect for anyone who handles recruiting in a startup or small business setting.
Again, I doubt you read any of this and see anything you haven’t heard or thought of before. Yet, these are the very things we implement quickly when we work with a new client because they often aren’t in place. We know they will help, but actually sitting down to implement takes action we put off for some reason or another.
Recruiting isn’t going to go away and unless we get ahead of it, leverage the team around us and automate the pieces that we can, it will continue to be daunting.