Recruiting After Covid: Hiring Tips For Small Business Owners
The last two years have been tough on small businesses. Businesses scrambled to alter their business models to accommodate the “new normal” of the pandemic and struggled to keep their doors open. As workers lost or left jobs, unemployment skyrocketed close to 7% (almost 10 million Americans). And a shifting patchwork of local, state, and federal regulations made it difficult to know what rules to follow and what assistance may be available.
Then something remarkable happened. As businesses adjusted and Covid receded, the landscape changed into something never before seen. Employers needed workers, and workers found themselves with new priorities and leverage. Workers now had newfound power and could hold out for jobs with the pay and benefits they wanted rather than required.
While larger companies can more easily adapt to this new reality thanks to their existing infrastructure and benefits partners, it has been much more difficult for small businesses to make the necessary changes to keep them attractive employment opportunities. How can small businesses attract the quality talent they need while meeting the demands of a labor pool holding more power than has been seen in recent memory? Here are some small business hiring tips on how to attract and recruit employees in our current competitive market.
- Utilize (And Compensate) Employee ReferralsNo one knows your company better than your current employees. That makes them the perfect recruiters and evangelists for your business when jobs at your company become available. However, simply asking them to tell their friends about open positions may not be enough. Setting up a formal referral program with benefits tied to the new employee’s performance or length of employment with your company is a powerful motivator.When you encourage your employees to bring people they know and trust to work at your business and reward them with cash, a gift card, or another perk, you give them a direct stake in your business’s success. And speaking of perks…
- Offer Non-Monetary IncentivesEmployers should always pay employees fairly for their work, which goes beyond simply an hourly rate. Incentives that add to (not replace) what comes on a paycheck can go a long way in making your small business an attractive destination.Offer flexible hours for work that doesn’t need to be done between 8 am and 5 pm. Give employees the option to bring their pets to work to help attract workers reluctant to leave their furry companions at home all day. Regular feedback sessions (one-on-one or group) can ensure that employees feel like valuable team members and allows them to critique and engage management. And if you can’t set compensation at a competitive level due to your bottom line, offering additional vacation time instead is an attractive offset.
- Go Remote and Expand Your Applicant PoolAny position you’re hiring for can probably be done remotely unless face-to-face customer service is required. If an open position job can be done remotely, your talent base just widened significantly. Small businesses often make a mistake by restricting their applicant search to their city or town, even when the job they’re hiring for is a remote position. Entrepreneurs can extend their search to their entire state or even nationwide – though they should investigate any potential tax consequences of expanding their search too wide.It is easier than ever to make individual positions within or your entire business remote. Tools like Zoom or Microsoft Teams ensure that you can meet face-to-face no matter where you are. Electronic faxing eliminates the need for a fax machine and dedicated line to send documents securely. Collaboration tools like Slack can ensure that you can keep a running conversation going in real-time despite hundreds of miles separating participants. And a virtual phone system like AccessDirect’s can ensure that your callers can reach you and your team no matter where you are.
We hope that these small business hiring tips have given you some ideas on how to work within this new labor market reality. If you’re interested in more advice, or just want to see how you can improve how your business communcates, contact us today! Our small business phone experts will listen to your specific needs and can help create the perfect system for your company. Whether your team members are across the hall or the country from each other, we can ensure that your callers will always be able to reach the person they need quickly and efficiently. Give us a call or chat with us if you’re curious about how we can help you and your employees impress your callers and sound more professional!