Small businesses are experiencing a hiring crisis. According to a national survey, 42% of small business owners were having trouble filling job openings in the first quarter of 2021. Over 90% of small business owners who were seeking new employees reported that they had received few if any qualified candidates.

If you are a small business owner looking to recruit employees, you know how hard it is to attract good job candidates. This article will provide some best hiring process practices and tips to help you find the right employees to fill those vacant spots on your company's roster.

Build Your Business Brand

In a competitive job market, you need to do everything you can for your business to stand out. If you haven't focused much attention on company culture and branding, now is the time to step back and build your business brand.

Job seekers today care about company culture. They want to work in an environment that matches their values. For example, 96% of job seekers say it's important to work for a company that embraces transparency. After salary and perks, the top questions job seekers ask surround a company's mission, vision, and values.

If you want to up your recruitment game, start by asking yourself why a potential employee would want to work for your company. All things (e.g., job duties, pay, benefits, and location) being equal, what do you offer that would make someone jump at the chance to be your next new hire?

One of the great benefits of being a small business owner — and possibly one of the reasons you started your own company or firm — is the control you have over your work environment. Now, use that autonomy and control to create a work environment that will attract good employees.

Is your workplace fun and irreverent? Do you want to project a family-like atmosphere? Do you want to be known as the place where great employees are encouraged to grow and prosper? Figure it out and then create an environment that projects your brand. Revise your mission statement, your company vision, and your core values and publish them on your website, on your marketing collaterals, and in your recruitment materials.

Optimize Your Company Website's Career Page

While you are revising your values, take some time to update your website careers page by describing your open positions for search engine optimization (SEO). Here are some SEO best practices to keep in mind:

  • Divide text into small chunks with lots of white space to break it up
  • Use bullets and titles that incorporate relevant keywords
  • Don't overload the text with jargon or stack keywords, but organically make use of terms that prospective employees are likely to search
  • Use videos, images, and infographics that convey your company culture, your office space vibe, and your team

Leverage Social Media to Find the Right Candidates

Social media provides great opportunities for promoting job openings. In fact, almost 80% of job seekers use social media when conducting a job search and a reported 75% of job seekers between the ages of 18 and 34 actually found their last job through social media. If you're ready to explore social media as a recruiting strategy, try these tips:

  • Post job openings on your own LinkedIn page. Ask your current employees and professional network for referrals and encourage them to share the new job posting on their own social media pages. You can also join professional interest groups where the potential job applicants you seek are likely to be active. LinkedIn also offers opportunities to purchase more sophisticated searchable job postings, including the very robust LinkedIn Recruiter option.
  • Search for Twitter templates online to help you craft the perfect job post tweet. Be sure to use all the relevant hashtags. Call out the position by name, mention the location, and include a call to action that will direct interested candidates to your website careers page and/or job board listing.
  • Find your next candidate on Facebook, another social media site that is worth leveraging for recruitment. Along with posting your job ad and asking your network to share — be sure privacy is set to public — you can join professional and job-related interest groups to spread the word about your opening.
  • Don't be afraid to get creative. Depending on your job candidate demographic, you can try posting job ad videos on Tik-Tok and Instagram. Make them entertaining and they may even go viral!

Work the Job Boards

There are dozens of job boards just waiting for your posting. Some of the more popular job boards are:

  • Craigslist lets you post fee-free classified job listings throughout the U.S., except for certain areas in California. You can repost your job every 48 hours, which is a good idea as your ad can get buried pretty quickly.
  • Glassdoor offers you the opportunity "to attract candidates with your authentic brand story." You can create a free employer account and, if its bells and whistles turn out to be worth it, you can upgrade to a premium account once your trial period ends.
  • Google Jobs is one of the search engine's enhanced search features, collecting, organizing, and displaying job listings from various job boards and careers pages. While you can't list your job on Google for Jobs per se, Google offers a help page that shows you how to get your job noticed.
  • Indeed, with over 250 million unique visitors each month, is the most popular job site in the world. It offers both free and paid options for job ads and many companies do remarkably well attracting new team members with their free ads. Start with the free option and you can always upgrade to a sponsored posting later if necessary.
  • SimplyHired, which was purchased by Indeed's parent company, lets you post jobs and review resumes for free. Your job ad makes its way to the site's 100-plus network of job boards. If you find a candidate you like, you can move forward after paying a fee.
  • ZipRecruiter also promises to send your job ad to 100-plus sites. You get a free posting for one five-day period. If you want to extend your listing after that, you will have to sign on to a paid plan.

Write Killer Job Ads

Selecting the right job boards and social media platforms to push out your job ad is important, but if you don't have a great job ad to begin with, you aren't going to attract the quality of candidates you need. Take the time to create a great job ad for each position you need to fill. Some tips for writing killer job ads include:

  • Know the job market and how you stack up
  • Craft a clear headline
  • Write for the right platform
  • Bring the job description to life

Know the Job Market and How You Stack Up

Spend some time searching online for the same type of job you will be advertising. How are your competitors describing the position? What kind of salary and benefits packages are they providing? Is their company culture apparent from the ad?

Now, look at your own internal pay and perks structure and ask yourself if what you are offering is competitive. Think about your company culture and what makes your business unique and inviting to workers.

Once you have taken a serious look at how you stack up, decide if adjustments to pay scale or other company policies are warranted. If you like the way a competitor is positioning the job, don't be afraid to adopt some of their points and incorporate them into your own ad.

Craft a Clear and Specific Headline

You only have one chance to make a first impression. Be clear and specific and make your headline meaningful. It is okay to be a bit playful, but avoid cliches and hype. Instead of inserting hyperbole, use descriptive job title terms that will resonate with your target audience. Examples are "Experienced Accountant With Book of Business," "Entry-Level Software Engineer," "Recent Grads Encouraged," or "Frontline Salesperson — Genuine Growth Potential."

Write for the Right Platform

Keep the platform in mind as you craft your message. If you are writing for a professional association jobs platform, you want to keep the prose rather formal and you need to make sure that you are following the platform's formatting rules. If you are crafting a tweet to attract candidates to your careers page, by all means, make it lighthearted and even buzz-worthy. There is a time and a place for all sorts of messaging. Research the best practices for where you are posting your ad and write accordingly.

Bring the Job Description to Life

Your job ad copy should leave the job seeker with a sense of what your company can offer them, whether or not they are qualified for the position and whether they would be a good fit for your culture. Describe what a typical day might look like for a potential candidate once they are brought on board, what they can expect to accomplish during their first days, weeks, or months on the job, and what your company will do to help them succeed.

Save Time With Skynova

As a small business owner, you spend a lot of time with human resources functions like hiring, retention, onboarding, and training. You're also in charge of the time-consuming task of managing the daily accounting and recordkeeping tasks associated with running a small business.

Skynova's business software and templates can relieve much of the burdens of keeping up with the financial aspects of your business, leaving you with more time to find, nurture, and grow your business with the best employees out there. Sign up today to try Skynova accounting tools for free.

Notice to the Reader

The content within this article is meant to be used for general information and may not apply to your specific situation.