Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference—Robert Frost
The quote from Robert Frost is especially significant for small businesses. Too many struggle to find the people they need to be productive, efficient, and profitable. By taking the recruiting road less traveled, they can experience a huge transformation. It requires small tweaks in thinking that produce huge results.
Many small businesses find recruiting to be a challenge. On their journey to hire the right people, they face obstacles that seem insurmountable. They may follow the recruiting road traveled by others only to find the results they achieve fail to give them the quality team members they so desperately need. This breaks my heart because it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here are five ways to take the recruiting road less traveled that will make all the difference to your ability to hire the top talent you need.
It’s important to be clear about what essential tasks your employee will do and what results they must achieve to be successful. It’s deeper than a list of tasks; it is a list of results or outcomes. Grab a pen and some paper and draw a line down the center. On the left side of the page, list the tasks you need to be completed. On the right side of the page, list why you need them done (the result of the task). Leave lots of space between tasks so you have room to go back and add in more details later.
Take the time to clearly define your ideal employee. A common mistake I see is rushing to hire the first available person in hopes of lightening your load, rather than waiting to hire the best available candidate. Often, this approach costs you more time and money than carving out the time to think strategically about your ideal employee and waiting to hire the right person. Resist getting caught up in choosing the “best” from the first available. It’s better to be understaffed than to have a bad employee who will affect the performance and the morale of the rest of your team.
Even if you’re a small company, you can attract talented employees. Instead of complaining about things that are out of your budget, like high salaries, generous benefit plans, or [insert other cool perks here], focus on what you can offer. In large firms, talented people can get lost in the thousands who work there. In a small business, top performers can work closely with the owners, or upper management, and can be more involved with the heart and soul of the business. High performers get to see results of their work. Creativity, innovation, and calculated risks are encouraged because that’s what keeps a small business growing.
Dare to be interesting and creative. Trash those boring job ads. Write for real people about what the job really is and what it would be like to do that job for you. The best way to attract the right people and reduce the number of unqualified candidates is to write a great job posting. In a world where time is money, most of us lack the time and resources to wade through a sea of applicants to filter out resume spammers and get a manageable number of highly-qualified candidates. Job descriptions are boring, boring, boring! Even worse, most look the same. Catch their eye. Stand out from the crowd; make ‘em go, “Whoa!”
Job seekers are increasingly basing their decisions about where they work on online research and interactions. It’s a tough labor market which requires creativity and thinking differently. Candidates want to be treated with courtesy and respect. Small things like responding to emails, answering questions, and giving job seekers tips and feedback makes interviewing easier for them and helps solidify relationships. Later, these candidates can be your future candidate pipeline. They are also a networking source for future referrals because they received something of value and were treated well. The best relationships are formed when both sides receive something of value. You can help candidates find their ideal job and get valuable connections and referrals from them in return.
I challenge you to change your thinking and take the recruiting road less traveled. Apply these five principles and let me know the difference it makes for you. Of course, you can also ask for help.
If you need some insights to get started, get your copy of The YOLO Principle: The Ultimate Hiring Guide to Small Business. Available on Amazon or at www.theYOLOprinciple.com.
Originally published at yoloinsights.com