How to Build a Recruitment Process to Hire Top Talent for Small Businesses?

Small businesses do not have an extended budget to dedicate to hiring for every new employee. Hence, the key is to have a robust recruitment process.


A company is called unique when it has an exceptional idea or concept and extraordinary people working by its side. And to get the exceptional people, a strong recruitment process is mandatory. But, recruiting a right talent for the right position at a right place is a challenge for any size business. Each and every person has a set of roles and responsibilities that helps a company to grow further.

To build a pool of talent in any company, the Human Resource department is initially set up. It is then the core responsibility of a Human Resource department to hire the talent for the respective department. This hiring process involves everything from identifying, attracting, screening, shortlisting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and onboarding employees.

The recruitment teams can depend on the size of a company. Moreover, in a sized organisation, recruitment is typically the responsibility of a recruiting manager. On the other hand, many companies outsource their recruiting needs from the third party. And some rely mostly on advertisements, job boards or sites, and social media platforms to recruit talent for their new positions. Some companies also prefer recruitment software to fulfil their hiring requirements.

Before starting a recruitment process, set out a few goals. Allocate a budget for your candidate, pre-plan things in advance so that you get the best from the process. According to a report, it is estimated that, on average it takes 36 days to fill a given position and it costs over $4,425. Many of them will agree that small businesses do not have an extended budget or that kind of time to dedicate to hiring for every new employee. However, this can be done by improving their efficiency and effectiveness of the recruitment process. Before moving ahead, here are few guiding tips that will help you in building a strong recruitment process to hire top talent for small businesses.

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There are many companies, which are luring their existing employees to share referrals for the desired positions in the company. In exchange, companies offer referral bonuses

Ways to make recruitment process efficient

Describe the Job in Detail

Describing the job in detail is not actually a part of recruitment strategy, but it is a quick way to improve your recruiting success. Hiring a top talent means you need to attract elite candidates. If you want your company to stand out in a crowd, then this is the best way. The best job descriptions are specific and clear. They outline what the job entails and what actually they are looking for in a candidate. Try to keep your job description clear and precise so that applicants feel comfortable reading through it entirely. It can be beneficial to ask your team to help write the job description so it is as accurate as possible.

Place an emphasis on writing reasonable job descriptions. Some companies ask for significantly too much or too little in their job descriptions. A company looking for an entry-level employee may ask for three to five years of experience in a role, which may not be a reasonable request given the volume of recent college graduates applying for entry-level jobs. Other companies may use broad phrases like ‘seeking someone with an entrepreneurial spirit,’ which is ambiguous and subjective. Write specific and reasonable job descriptions. Be fair about what you are asking for, and make sure the qualifications you want are specifically addressed.

Simultaneously, it is important to be detailed and reasonable in your job posting. Sometimes job postings ask for too much and plenty of qualified people drop from the listing because they feel they can’t do the job. Make sure that you put down the actual things that are required for the job. Don’t put 10 years of experience as a requirement when someone can do it with just two years of experience.

Using Social Media For Recruitment Process

Social media is an important tool that can set your business to new heights. On the same side, it can help the company to recruit new talents. The company can use its social media accounts to give its potential employees a sneak peek of its work or what it is like to work for its business. Social recruiting also known as social hiring and social media recruitment is a method of using social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook to advertise jobs. This tool also helps in finding new talents, and communicating with potential recruits about company culture. These platforms also help a company in making a job post much more interesting than just bullet points on a page describing duties.

Using Personal and Professional Contacts

Sometimes personal and professional contacts can be of great help. Spreading mouth-to-mouth information can attract the right candidate. There are many big organisations, which are still following this process. This method takes a little more effort, but believe me it is well worth. Use your own contact list to search for potential employees or for people who may be able to refer someone. Find potential candidates either in your personal contact list or in your professional contact list. You just have to filter your contact list to find the right source, who can help you get in the right person.

Other Job Listing Sites for Recruitment Process

These days there are a huge number of jobs listing sites that can take all your responsibilities in hunting for a perfect candidate. Similarly, local trade associations offer a great resource for a pool of talent and people who are passionate about the type of work they do. You will probably be able to post jobs for free in their bulletins or newsletters. Like if looking for an entry level position then local colleges, universities and junior colleges generally have career centers. These centers are of great help, they welcome job postings and they can share with their students and alumni. In the same way, if you are looking for someone in mid senior level, business colleges and specialty schools cater to people going back for advanced degrees. Contact their career centers or the departments that most closely relate to the position you are hoping to fill. If a person is out of a job then that doesn’t mean that he/she is incapable or not talented for that particular position. There are unemployment offices, which also help unemployed people to get jobs.

Narrowing Down the Resume via Comparison

Become more efficient with your interviewing processes by narrowing your job requirements down to only those skills that are really required to do the job. Compare your job requirements list to the resumes you receive for the job and find places, where you might be able to compromise. You won’t be the first one to compromise on the original job requirements to allow a talented employee to join the organisation. In fact, 52 per cent of recruiters tell us they compromise to be realistic when a resume doesn’t match a job description. Before you discount a candidate’s application, consider how their skills might fit into your organisation and make sure you aren’t looking for the elusive purple squirrel.

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Write specific and reasonable job descriptions. Sometimes job postings ask for too much and plenty of qualified people drop from the listing because they feel they can't do the job

Recruiting Process Through Referrals

There are many companies, which are luring their existing employees to share referrals for the desired positions in the company. In exchange, companies offer referral bonuses. It is a serious perk for employees, who want to help their friends find employment. And in return for job seekers, this informality immediately breeds confidence to reach out and acing the interview. While this fits under the social media umbrella, you could also encourage your employees to post on their own. It stands to reason that there’s a higher likelihood someone will fit in with a company’s culture if they already get along with at least one person.

Offer a Well-rounded Benefits Package

A growing number of employees, particularly millennials, are these days willing to moderate their salary expectations in favour of a well-rounded, balanced work environment. By offering such perks as flexible schedules, rewards cards for business expenses, health insurance and retirement packages, you can make your company seem compelling and pleasant, even if you don’t pay the highest rates around. Wise investments in employee benefits may offset costs because they’ll allow you to retain top talent without having to issue exorbitantly high pay checks.

Multiple Layer of Zeroing In

The churning out process varies from company to company and role to role. In a standard interview process, candidates must go through a phone screen, onsite interview, reference checks, and the offer stage. The initial phone interview is typically conducted by the recruiter for the role. However, for high priority candidates it can help to have the hiring manager take the call. The purpose of a phone interview is to make sure that you advance appropriate and qualified people to the next stage.

The onsite interview is perhaps the most make-or-break moment of the entire recruitment process. This is when you get the information you need to say goodbye to a candidate or extend them an offer to become part of your team. Therefore, it is important to structure your interview process. Establish what you are looking for in a candidate before they come in. If you are deciding between two candidates, you can reduce the effects of unconscious bias with an objective framework for evaluation. You can evaluate different areas such as culture fit, behavioural fit, skills fit, etc. Similarly, it is important to collect interview feedback quickly. When one person is in charge, you can be a lot more confident that great care goes into each and every hiring decision. The responsible stakeholder can’t shrug off a poor hire as just a group call. In a way, hiring managers are more likely to act as advocates and make sure new hires are successful when they feel direct responsibility for the final say.

If, in case, you are ready to make an offer. Resist the urge until you have done thorough reference checks. The cost of hiring a mediocre performer into your organisation is great, and it is ultimately in your team’s best interest to take reference checks seriously. But to make reference checks worth your while, make sure you are asking the right questions. It is hard to get the full picture from references unless you do some digging.

Emphasis on Diversity in the Recruitment Process

Building a diverse team enables you to be more innovative. If everyone you work with has the same work experiences as you, then how can you get different, creative ideas? A diverse team is important to growth and brings out more creativity. So, make sure your job descriptions aren’t limiting your candidate pool. Avoid using pronouns in your job descriptions. You can initially ask some basic questions through email, or conduct an initial interview by phone before meeting in person to avoid judging a candidate based on appearance. Consider candidates from diverse backgrounds, who possess core competencies and transferable skills. They may bring a fresh perspective to your team.

Preeti Verma
Preeti Verma
An alumna of IIMC, Preeti writes on global and domestic business, life cycle of a business and its stages. Her fourteen years of stint includes The Economic Times, Business Standard, Financial Express, Tehelka, Businessworld and Times Internet.

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