Recruiting and onboarding for small business

3 min read

Recruitment and onboarding, plus retaining talented employees, is just as important as it sounds. Employees form the very skeleton of businesses and employers should value hiring the right people.

A good hire could see your business soar. The wrong person could spell doom for it.

So as a smaller business – with less resources to spend on recruiting and onboarding – you have both the most to gain from a great hire, and the most to lose.

What should be considered when recruiting and onboarding new employees? Read on for our best recruiting tips.

What is recruiting? 

Recruiting is the art of identifying, selecting, interviewing, and employing key talent necessary to run your business.

What is onboarding?

Onboarding is the process of getting your new employee organised, integrated, introduced and up to speed with your business and their role.

1) Keep recruitment and onboarding in-house

Big companies will think nothing of giving their full time HR manager a bag of money to throw at recruiters who profit for months after placement.

Small businesses, though, don’t have bags of cash and a full time HR department. However, recruitment and onboarding can be an inexpensive affair if done right.

Ditch the idea of recruiters or outsourcing on this one, especially if you have a small team. This one’s on you!

Of course, you should be looping in key members of your staff and sharing the load – especially senior people and those who will be directly working with, or affected by, the new employee.

2) Beg, borrow and steal

Nobody needs to reinvent the wheel and you shouldn’t start your hiring process from scratch. Look around for things to beg, borrow and steal.

First up is your job ad. Go and find a few existing roles from LinkedIn or Seek. Read a bunch of them and find the common denominators and keep an eye out for your favourite ad which matches your own requirements. Now simply use the best one you find as a template to populate your own ad, subbing in details and keeping the parts you can.

What about pay and conditions? Again, simply find similar jobs and discover the going rate – or at least the range of these salaries. When recruiting, our best tip is to find that middle ground and match the industry standard to ensure you attract quality candidates.

3) Lean heavily on LinkedIn

How are you advertising your roles and scouting for candidates? Recruiters are out, which means LinkedIn is your saviour.

LinkedIn is a critical tool in modern day recruitment and it’s a good idea to start there. Even professional recruiters use LinkedIn to scout for talent, so just cut out the middle-man and go there yourself.

Not only can you post and target recruitment ads – you can also scan for and poach staff by sending personal messages to those who look good. With LinkedIn you have an incredible view into a candidate’s full profile and work history, which you don’t get from a job site like Seek.

To be attractive to the potential employees, another good recruitment and onboarding tip is to make sure you set up a detailed LinkedIn page of your company.

4) Make yourself attractive

Many people may avoid smaller businesses because they don’t feel the same security, money, perks or development opportunities are available. Prove them wrong by making your small business extremely attractive to prospective talent.

  • Make sure they have a path to higher responsibility and rewards
  • Make employee benefits real
  • Have an active employee social calendar
  • Make your equipment and tools as top notch as you can afford
  • Build an attractive brand with attached values
  • Be active and searchable on social channels

5) Be open about challenges

This one of the most salient recruitment tips. Small businesses have different challenges and opportunities compared to a large company. Many employees will be more central to the success of a small business, as you’ll have a tighter team with heavier responsibilities. Pitch this as a positive to attract employees with zeal and a thirst for responsibility.

It’s best to be transparent with potential job candidates (without giving away proprietary details, of course) about the hurdles you believe will impact them most in that role. They aren’t ‘hurdles’ though – they’re challenges to be owned and overcome.

These challenges could be a small advertising budget if you’re hiring a marketing manager, or the fact that your website and logo need serious re-brands if you’re hiring a designer. The best employees—the ones you really want to recruit and onboard —will welcome challenges and look forward to finding solutions.