Finding the right fit for a role can be time-consuming According to business coach Jamie Cunningham, many small business owners (SMBs) are wasting both time and money on traditional recruitment methods.
Cunningham suggests the standard advertising and interview approach can be costly and doesn’t necessarily provide the right employee for the role.
“Most of us have gone through the process of sending in a resume, cover letter and having an interview, but too often it simply doesn’t find the right candidate,” said Cunningham.
“Companies don’t realise how costly employing the wrong candidate can be, especially if it’s a small business with fewer than 10 staff. Losing an employee within the first six months can cost a business thousands of dollars, on top of the time and energy it takes to train someone, as well as the hit to staff morale when there’s a revolving door of new staff.”
With some small businesses having a retention rate as low as 14 per cent, Cunningham suggests SMBs need to tweak their traditional recruitment methods in order to attract the right staff for the role.
“You can solve your recruitment woes by setting up a process that ensures business and applicant are the right match every time. It’s important you find someone who is a match on values, beliefs, purpose and skill set.
“Being very intentional about who you want to hire and how you go about your recruitment process can make a big difference,” he said.
So how can your SMB fix your recruitment woes?
According to Cunningham it starts with a unique job advertisement.
“Your ad needs to stand out and connect with people at a heart level. Use it to showcase your values, beliefs and the personality-style of the business. You know you’ve got your ad right when applicants comment on it in their application.”
With many candidates adopting a scattergun approach to job seeking, Cunningham suggests it’s important to weed out the contenders from the pretenders.
“Rather than wasting time on reviewing applications, ask the applicants to answer of series of questions on a phone message. This process alone will weed out around 70% of people who aren’t passionate or serious about the role.”
Cunningham also suggests leaving the interview until the last part of the process in order to only interview candidates who have the potential to be successful.
“You should have a strong sense of a person’s values and skills before you step in to an interview room,” says Cunningham.
Cunningham is also not averse to a trial by fire… and he encourages SMBs to give any applicants a test run to demonstrate their skills.
“You will quickly see if they can perform under pressure,” he says.
Finally, Cunningham believes its vital to pick the right personality for the role. He even goes so far as to suggest potential employees undergo a personality test.
“Understand the kind of person who will succeed in the role – do they need to be direct, supportive, creative or something else. Include a personality assessment for all potential candidates so you understand who they are, their shortcomings and if they are happy to work on them.”
“In small business, where one employee makes up such a large percentage of your operation, it is crucial to make sure you’re finding the right people,” said Cunningham.
“An employee is a multi-year investment, so getting the right recruitment process in place will pay dividends down the track. Taking some simple steps will help you do that.”