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The Small Business's Guide to Hiring

Hiring isn't easy. But these four strategies can help you strengthen your recruitment process.

5 min read

You've been in business for a while, but suddenly the days are flying by. Keeping up with current clients feels challenging — and new leads arrive every day. Before long, you're working nights and weekends to keep up. 

Sound familiar? These experiences all signal one thing: It's time to grow your team. 

Still, hiring new employees is easier said than done. Most companies don't hire year round, so hiring can seem disruptive to daily tasks. 

If you want to improve your recruitment process, start by addressing four key areas:

  • Classifying roles correctly
  • Advertising job opportunities
  • Designing an efficient interview process
  • Nurturing your recruitment pipeline

Read on to learn how addressing these four areas can improve your hiring process. 

Classify New Employees' Roles Correctly

The first step to hiring a new employee is defining the new role. In truth, you might be open to some negotiation. But candidates want to know you've thought about the details ahead of time.

For candidates, the salary, benefits and your goals for the role are all top of mind. Candidates also seek roles with growth opportunities. Let them know you've charted a course for future growth within your organization.

Above all, it's crucial to classify all roles correctly. Most positions fall into one of three categories:

  • Full Time Employees: According to IRS guidelines, full time employees work 30 hours per week, or 130 hours per month. Full time candidates typically expect a regular schedule and benefits. Your business is also responsible for withholding payroll taxes.

  • Part Time Employees: The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) doesn't distinguish between full and part time employees. This means it's up to your business instead. Check your local and state laws to make sure you're offering appropriate compensation and benefits. You'll also need to withhold part time employees' payroll taxes.

  • Independent Contractors: This may be one of the most challenging relationships to define. If you hire someone to complete a task, but don't interfere in their day to day process, the IRS considers that worker an independent contractor. Independent contractors are responsible for reporting income and filing taxes. But if you misclassify a full time employee as an independent contractor, you could land in hot water.

Not only can misclassifying employees sow confusion — it can also put you on the wrong side of the law. When in doubt, consult an expert. 

guide to small business hiring

Advertise Your Job Openings

Letting the world know you're hiring is the first step to finding your next rockstar employee.

Thanks to online job boards, you're no longer limited to candidates in your area or social circles. With a few clicks, you can advertise opportunities to your industry's top candidates.

Try posting your job listing on a mix of job boards, such as:

  • LinkedIn
  • ZipRecruiter
  • Glassdoor
  • Indeed
  • CareerBuilder
  • Industry-specific job boards

Once you've posted your job opportunity, it's time to put your digital marketing skills to good use. Promote your job board posts by leveraging:

  • Social networking sites
  • Industry newsletters
  • Alumni groups
  • Personal outreach

By spreading the word, you'll increase the pool of candidates you can choose from. That means you can spend less time recruiting and more time building your company. 

hiring guide

Design a Great Interview Process

The interview process works both ways. To hire fresh talent, you have to persuade candidates to choose your company, too. The interview process is your chance to make a great first impression.

Want to deliver a great interview experience? Start by deciding two key things: what you need to know and who makes decisions. 

Employees should go into interviews with a clear sense of what they need to learn about a candidate. This essential information makes it easier to compare candidates later on.

Assigning a clear, authoritative leader also streamlines the recruitment process. While it's important to gather feedback, someone needs to have the final say. Disorganized decisions by committee can lead to delays. (Worst case scenario: This gives competitors a chance to hire your favorite candidates.)

For candidates, other recruitment must-haves include:

From the first phone screen to the final offer, strive to deliver a transparent, efficient interview process. 

Nurture a Healthy Pipeline of Candidates

Finally, it's never too early to start preparing for your next hiring spree. Even if you're not actively hiring, keep in touch with great candidates you meet. 

Of course, growth isn't the only reason you'll need to hire. Eventually, your current employees might leave for greener pastures of their own. 

When that happens, keep the door open. You never know who might send a great candidate your way. Plus, former employees already know your company's goals and culture inside out. 

With time, you'll accumulate a contact hub of potential candidates you can tap for future openings.

Hiring is never simple. But with these four strategies in mind, you can improve your recruitment process — for your team and future candidates.

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