Businesses large and small need quality employees to succeed, though the cost of effective recruitment solutions can sometimes be high. Fortunately, there are strategies even cash-pressed businesses can employ in their efforts to reduce turnover and improve productivity. Here are six tips to creating affordable recruitment solutions for your small business.
1. Get referrals from your current employees.
Who knows the needs of your small business better than the people who work there? Too many entrepreneurs and small business owners fail to bring their active workforce into the search for qualified job candidates. Let employees know about open positions and the type of people you’re looking for. The chances are good that your employees know people with the right combination of experience and interests. To sweeten the pot, consider the tactic used by many businesses — offering a referral bonus to employees (cash compensation or some other type of incentive) who refer a candidate who becomes a member of your team.
Recently hired employees are another valuable source of candidate referrals. These men and women have come to you from other companies, where they likely know individuals looking to explore new job opportunities.
The same principle applies to your own personal and professional networks — as well as your vendors and trusted customers. Little expense is involved in simply reaching out to a wide range of people who might know just the person you’re looking for.
2. Hire from within.
Recruitment solutions don’t have to come from external sources. When that new position opens up, why not first consider the talents and skills of people already on your workforce? Hiring and promoting from within is not only cost-effective, it offers a huge morale booster for others who see that you, the business owner, reward hard work and dedication.
3. Visit job fairs.
Job fairs offer a potentially valuable talent pool of qualified job-seekers. Attending a job fair where candidates are already gathered saves both time and money. You can set up a company booth with information about your business or simply network with attendees, getting names and meeting people whom you can interview further at an appropriate time. Remember to be mindful of unemployed workers, many of whom you could meet at job fairs. There are some excellent candidates available and it’s important not to discriminate based on their current employment status.
Bonus tip: Observe how other businesses attract candidates at these job fairs and modify those tactics to fit your own needs.
4. Connect with job candidates through social media.
How active are your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts? These and other social networks are certainly a part of the typical job-seeker’s arsenal, so why not connect with them there? Better yet, on sites like LinkedIn, serious candidates have assembled profiles detailing their job history and special skills — another time-saving element in helping you assess their eligibility for your open position. Pay attention to both individuals and recruiters who regularly tweet on industry-related topics and reach out to people who impress you with their knowledge and experience. Ask others in your network to offer introductions to impressive candidates.
5. Seek out former employees.
People who left your business in the past may be interested in returning in a different capacity. If you’ve maintained contact with ex-employees, it’s always worth “checking in” and inquiring about their future employment plans. Another option is reaching out to them for referrals. After all, they have firsthand knowledge of your business and may well know an ideal candidate for your open position.
6. Invest in an intern program.
Bringing interns aboard is a low-cost (and in many cases, completely free) strategy for vetting possible future employees. Most interns already come highly motivated and eager to learn. After three to six months, you’ll have a pretty good idea about their potential with your business. Plus, these individuals will know your business at that point, so there’s additional cost savings when it comes to orientation and learning on the job!
At the very least, if and when they move on, stay in touch with interns. You never know who they might refer — or if they decide to apply for a job with you in the coming months and years.
It’s a competitive market out there for quality job applicants. Developing affordable recruitment strategies offers you and your business a competitive edge. Finding the right person for the job at little or no cost means you have more resources available for the tools and training new employees need to help your business grow.