Archive for February, 2020

Hiring Talent in a Tight Labor Market

February 12, 2020

Lagging behind in hiring while still enjoying similar growth reported by larger domestic and foreign companies small businesses are also finding it hard retain top talent. The tight labor market makes the competition even more frustrating as the boom cycle continues with little signs of ending. Indeed, 73% of surveyed small businesses indicated they thought 2020 would be a better year than 2019.

To ease the recruitment strain, here are some ideas for hiring in a tight labor market:

  • Ask current employees for recommendations and consider incentivizing referrals.  Current employees know the company culture and more or less what is entailed to succeed.  You are likely to get a better hire as employees are advocating for someone they know.
  • Consider job sharing.  It appeals to qualified workers that want to work part-time.  This pool of talent might include young or returning to work mothers, retirees, gig workers, among others.

Some alternatives:

  • If the position is not critical to your business, the slot is only needed for a project, and/or the expertise is hard to recruit for consider outsourcing to a professional services group or having a trusted partner fulfill the need.
  • Consider deploying the ‘temporary to hire’ tactic to test out the skills, performance and fit of an individual before making the employee full-time.

To promote the work opportunity:

  • Make a clear job description outline the position responsibilities as well as the skills and experience required.
  • Use your own online resources, such as your business website and social media to promote job opportunities.  Remember to always to show your business in a positive light and show the advantages of working with your company; this will also build your online profile.
  • Utilize free listings on job boards with schools, religious organizations, associations, plus job sites such as Indeed, Glassdoor, Google for Jobs, among others.

When recruiting, remember:

  • Follow-up with everyone, to leave the best impression; this will build your brand.
  • Plan the interviews you make and remember the interaction is two-way discourse to determine whether the candidate is right for the position available.  Usually the first call is for screening. The second is a more detailed discussion, again over the telephone or via video call.  Finally, bring in the finalist candidates to spend time with the hiring manager and colleagues.
  • Don’t settle.  A bad hire is worse than leaving the position open and/or continuing to recruit.  You can always resort to one of the above alternatives.

Hiring and starting:

  • Put your offer in writing.  Include expectations with measures.  Consider putting in a trial period.
  • Onboard and develop your hire to ensure s/he succeeds.  Send information additional information in advance of the start date.  Welcome the first day.  Have regularly scheduled review meetings.

Hiring employees is critical to the ongoing success of your small business.  It may be harder in a tight labor market, so put your best foot forward, hire critical employees, and build your brand in the process.