THE BLOG
05/14/2014 09:00 am ET

Hiring For Small Business -- Overcoming Challenges And Tips For Success

According to the most recent ADP employment report, small businesses added 82,000 jobs to the U.S. economy in April. Also, according to the Small Business Administration, small businesses provide more than half of all jobs in the U.S. But, as every small business owner knows, each and every one of these individuals within your business makes a difference and has the opportunity to move the needle depending on whether that individual is the right fit for the business.

We interact with small business owners every day to help make that right hire that is so essential to the bottom line. It's clear that not having the right person in an open role can make or break the future success of your small business. But hiring that perfect talent for an opening is not always something that small businesses feel well-equipped to tackle.

Often, small business owners feel a lot of similar pain points, which typically fall within three major areas:

Time is of the essence for a small business owner looking to hire talent. In contrast with a larger company, where hiring managers do workforce planning, have some flexibility and often can afford to be patient when hiring, small business owners can't. Typically, if they don't fill an "empty seat" quickly, the work to be done accelerates in a ripple effect, seriously increasing the workload of the rest of the employees.

Many small business owners aren't familiar with online recruiting. Almost always, they also aren't seasoned experts in the field of hiring, because it's not their full-time jobs. While larger companies can afford to have HR and recruiting experts in-house that utilize hiring technology to recruit on a daily basis, a lot of small business owners may have never hired before, or in the past have hired by posting a "help wanted" sign in the window of their business. A lot of small businesses also do not have a website of their own where they can post job openings.

Small businesses don't have a lot to spend on hiring. As with any other major decision within a small business, budgets need to not only be kept small, but smart. Since they can't afford to spend a fortune on the process of listing a job, interviewing candidates and filling a position, small business owners seek to really tackle their candidate searches in an efficient and effective manner that keeps costs low.

What's important for small business owners to realize is that they are not in this process alone. While the internet may seem a daunting landscape to search for a qualified candidate, it can be a valuable tool to find viable candidates with a small budget and on a short timeline, if you go about the hiring process in a strategic way. Small business owners should keep the following tips in mind:

Put your business' heart and soul into the job posting. By this, I don't mean that you have to invest years of blood, sweat and tears into crafting a job posting -- rather, work to grab job seekers' attention by being open, honest and forthcoming about what your business stands for. The internet is an advantage for businesses looking to hire, as it puts them in front of millions of job seekers -- but in order to gain their interest in your open position, it's important to stand out by communicating your businesses' mission. Online hiring is a competitive exercise and an SMB needs to stand out. This also guarantees that those that are applying are interested in what your business stands for, which makes them a great candidate for your company!

Tailoring your content to your ideal candidate. One of the biggest struggles for SMBs is crafting the content for their job listings. What's important to understand is that all job listings should match a potential job seekers' search with the content. For example, if you're looking for a sales representative, you aren't going to attract the right candidates by simply listing the job with the title "Sales Representative." However, a listing with the title "Pharmaceutical Sales Rep -- 5 Years Experience" is much more relevant and will deliver more targeted job seekers. Avoid internal jargon, and keep it precise -- too much content can make a job posting just as challenging for a job seeker as not enough content.

Using tools available to develop quality content. What may be the most effective title for your job posting? Try using Google Trends to compare the popularity of job titles and phrases. You can also use Indeed Job Trends -- a free tool that creates performance reports to test which titles and descriptions receive the most traffic and produce qualified candidates. And don't be afraid to poke around at other job postings (whether for direct competitors, or for other similar job openings). This can give you the opportunity to review the job content of others and pick up on their strengths and weaknesses when crafting a job description or title of your own.

As part of the Small Business Administration's Small Business Week initiative, they cited that, "More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year." It's crucial that we recognize how important small businesses are to our economy, and help small business owners really hone in on and master online recruiting and hiring so that their companies can strive and continue to create growth within the economy.

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