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Building your startup or small business is a mammoth task. It's colossal. It's a whirlwind of tasks, to-do lists and decisions. It's a million miles an hour in all directions.
As a team, you're searching for product-market fit as quickly as possible. But you're also brand building, marketing, customer finding, accounting, risk covering and hiring. With an evolving digital ecosystem, there are tools and teams that can help you build effective businesses and save you valuable time.
With 99% of the 5.5m UK businesses having less than 250 employees, these tools and teams are playing an increasingly important role in contributing to the success of your small business. With growth comes a need to hire, and to hire well. As a small business, every hire you make is critical. One bad hire can significantly dent your cashflow and slow your growth progress. As Bill Gates once said, "The key for us, number one, has always been hiring very smart people."
Be clear about the role
When you're being pulled in every direction, it's very easy to neglect seemingly small things like the job descriptions you write to attract new staff. However, the quality of your job description can go a long way and can have a significant impact on the efficiency of the recruiting process. You need world class candidates at the top of the recruiting funnel if you want world class candidates at the offer stage.
List the breadth and depth of the role. Give details. Establish the behavioural competencies you're looking for. Explain how the role contributes to the company's goals. Be passionate about what the company is trying to achieve! Be clear about working flexibility, salary and benefits.
Candidates, whether you hire them or not, are your future brand ambassadors. If their experience is bad, it can be detrimental to your brand perception. So it's important to provide a fantastic experience, from writing amazing, authentic job descriptions, to creating an exceptional interview experience.
Use the right tools during the hiring process
Use Gender Decoder to ensure that your job adverts are worded in a way that encourages diversity and a range of applicants from different genders and backgrounds. To help make your content clear, mistake-free and impactful, Grammarly has a great free plan.
Linkedin Recruiter, Angel List, Stackoverflow, Github, Twitter Alerts, company Facebook Page, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Quora, Reddit, Recruitment Fairs, Company Events and Referral Schemes. Use Buffer for scheduling job posts across your social and professional networks. An applicant tracking system or CRM for managing candidates. If that's too expensive right now, Trello is a great way to manage the recruitment process for each job.
You can use your recruitment CRM or Trello to record your job data and list costs against it. Alternatively, you could use Excel or Google Sheets and record all of the time spent and costs associated with each job hire, recording directly in the sheet or taking data from your accounting system.
Go where the talent is
You've got to figure out where the best candidates for your company hang out. You're looking for the total number of quality applications per source. If you're not measuring 'hiring source activity', you're potentially spending tens of hours unearthing candidates in the wrong places. When you're growing fast, figuring out where to build talent pools is vital. As you scale, you need to know if a hiring source has the ability to scale with you, or if there are a finite number of quality candidates available. Take a look at the matrix below as a guide to help you:
Consider cost per hire
As a startup or growing small business, you have to consider cash flow. Hiring can be expensive, particularly if you have a high employee turnover.
As well as the hiring source above, you should be looking at cost per hire, on a role by role basis and the total average cost. The cost to hire a staff member includes things like job adverts, social media ads, networking event costs and travel costs. It includes the cost of the time spent reviewing applications, phone screening, interviewing and discussing candidates. It includes external agency fees or the cost of an embedded recruiter who will do all of the above for you for your whole recruitment function. Cost per hire will differ depending on the role type and seniority and it's a good idea to segment by these types.
Average cost per hire = total hires / total cost to hire
Hiring for your high-growth startup or small business is critical. Candidates are you future brand ambassadors and so it's essential that you delight them. The candidate experience starts from the very first job ad.To maximise hiring efficiency, you need a healthy source of strong candidates. So you need to test and figure out where the best candidates are. If you get this wrong, you compromise the output of your recruiting process.
Make sure you have the right insurance
Last but not least, don't forget to take out appropriate employers' liability insurance. It's a legal requirement for the vast majority of businesses with any employees - whether temporary, part-time or full-time.
This content has been created for general information purposes and should not be taken as formal advice. Read our full disclaimer.
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