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How to Recruit Star Performers—and Boost Your Profits

September 21st, 2012 ::

By Rieva Lesonsky

What HR actions have the highest impact on your small business? A new study by the Boston Consulting Group found it’s not what you think. The study looked at how a variety of different HR functions, such as onboarding, retention and work-life balance, correlate with companies’ revenue growth and profit margins, and found that recruiting was by far the most impactful HR function.

What does this mean to you? While this study focused on larger corporations, as a small business, whom you hire to work on your team is even more critical than it is for a big business with thousands of workers. Here are some ways to improve your recruiting process so you can reel in star performers.

Narrow your focus. How are you currently recruiting for new employees? Do you take out ads on general job websites or post listings on community job boards? Advertising in a general-interest space can lead to too many irrelevant applications from people without the right experience. Instead, focus on niche job sites and boards targeted to your industry.

Get social. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are all great ways to search for quality employees. Often, the best job candidates aren’t looking for work because they’re busily employed somewhere. Use social media to join groups related to your industry or follow people who have smart things to say. Create a relationship and then see if they’d be interested in working for you.

Cast a wide net. Networking offline is another great source of job candidates. Tell everyone you know what position you’re trying to fill and what kind of person you’re looking for. Whether it’s a business contact, friend or family member, or just a workout buddy at the gym, it’s a small world and you never know who might know the exact type of person you’re looking for.

Once you’ve got qualified candidates in the door, take your time with the interview process. Many small business owners rush through this stage due to shyness, inexperience or simply the urge to fill the job ASAP. The time to ensure a good fit is before the hire—not after. Consider having other members of your team join in the interview, having candidates complete real-life tasks they’d do on the job, and having them meet the other people they’d be working with. The more perspectives you get on each candidate, the more informed hiring decisions you will be able to make.

Image by Flickr user Tim Pearce (Creative Commons)

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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