THE BLOG
03/01/2013 12:09 pm ET Updated May 01, 2013

3 Alternative Hiring Approaches for Small Businesses

Companies have traditionally approached hiring in cut-and-dry, inflexible ways. But it may be time to shake up the traditional recruitment model to help small businesses land more efficient hires.

Businesses tend to approach the hiring process similarly: By hiring a recruiter, picking a job board to post their open positions, and tracking candidates. Eventually, they get to interviewing and finally, hiring.

This approach to the hiring process can work for some, but the changing dynamics of today's workplaces and the impact of digital technology means most employers, especially smaller companies, need to be more nimble and direct. Small businesses typically have very specific needs, and they require very specific individuals to fill them. By asking a series of carefully-chosen questions in interviews, companies can determine if an individual is a good candidate, rather than going through the mishmash of hiring tiers that don't actually result in the best hires.

Alternative hiring approaches

1. Job challenges. My company, ShinyNeedle, uses job challenge questions pertaining to a smaller business with a very specific need to jumpstart the conversation towards a new hire. The idea is to create transparency upfront as to whether or not a given skill set matches a business need. This creates bite-sized, relevant content an employer can assess. Think of it as a Twitter-like approach to the job search. If the bite-sized challenge response isn't of quality, the hiring employer can then move on quickly.

2. Video interviews. Another new approach to hiring -- using video to make better hires and save time. HireVue allows employers to email a link with standardized questions to candidates and invite them to record responses via their webcam. From there, employers can easily watch and rate candidates on their own time -- even via smartphone.

3. Green options. Another company revolutionizing the hiring process for small businesses is GreenJobInterview, which is dedicated to making hiring a more eco-friendly process. By helping companies and candidates conduct virtual interviews -- and providing an advanced platform to better organize hires virtually -- the company is reducing candidate travel by a whopping 75 percent, and cutting hours from the recruitment process.

The greater social impacts are clear -- streamlining your hiring process by bringing together new technologies leads to better matches and it's eco-friendly. What's not to like?

Each of these companies are fostering quick, to-the-point job matches that are helping companies learn to hire faster. If small businesses want to succeed, they have to learn to take advantage of new technologies paving the way.

Patrick Richard is the president and founder of ShinyNeedle, a job site that allows employers to submit challenges to job candidates and see how they can impact a business from day one, making the hiring process more interactive. You can connect with Patrick and ShinyNeedle on Twitter and Facebook.

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