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The UPS Store Small Business blog
  • 14 July 2023
  • Public Relations

Top Hiring Tips for Small Business Owners to Recruit and Keep the Best Employees

As a small business owner and hiring manager, you understand the importance of finding and retaining the best people for your team.

Small business hiring employees

Top talent can push your company toward success; so planning how to properly recruit, hire and retain these individuals should be a priority. In this blog post, we’ll explore some tips on how business owners can find remarkable employees while taking measures to make it more attractive for them to stay with your company in the long term.

We’re going beyond the typical HR advice – let’s delve into what current leaders recommend to make sure your organization retains talent who have the potential to drive business growth. Whether you’re ready to hire your first employee, an independent contractor, or continue building your team, here are the latest interview and hiring strategies used by progressive businesses today to recruit and keep top talent.

Create an inclusive and inviting company culture

It is vital to create a company culture that potential new hires want to be a part of will be critical to actually attracting top talent to your business.

To do this, think about your company’s mission, values, and work environment.

Creating a company culture that potential employees want to be a part of is crucial for small businesses. A great place to start is by reevaluating your mission statement and values to ensure they align with the type of environment you want to create. Next, take a look at your small business hiring process and make sure you’re attracting job seekers who align with your company values.

Once new employees are on board, make sure they are supported with a work environment that fosters growth and embraces open communication. Ultimately, when new employees feel valued and invested in the company culture, they are more likely to stay and contribute to the success of the company.

Make sure job descriptions are clear and concise

When it comes to job descriptions, it's important to explain them in a way that helps job candidates understand what the job entails and if they're qualified for the position. By taking the time to write a clear, concise and compelling job description, you can help ensure that you are attracting qualified job candidates who are a good fit for the role.

Elements to Include in a Job Description

All descriptions share common elements that let a possible candidate know if they’d be the right person for the job and help them decide to apply or wait for a better opportunity. Here are the elements every job description should include:

Job title

The job title is the first thing a person sees when browsing through various job listings. It is important to have a clear and concise title, as it can attract the right candidates to apply for your job opening instead of a position elsewhere. Moreover, a clear and concise title might attract more candidates when they do a simple Google search.

A title should accurately reflect the position and responsibilities, and it should be easy to understand. Avoid using vague or generic titles and vague job descriptions that may not give a clear indication of what the position entails.

To come up with a clear title, consider the main responsibilities and duties of the position, as well as the qualifications and skills required. Use keywords that are relevant to the position and industry to help potential candidates find the listing in their search results. It may also be helpful to research similar positions and see how they are described in job listings.

Having a clear title can also help with internal organization and communication within the company. It sets clear expectations for the position and ensures that everyone is on the same page when it comes to roles and responsibilities.

In summary, a clear and concise title is essential for attracting the right candidates and ensuring that responsibilities and expectations are clearly defined for the position. Take the time to carefully consider the title when creating a job listing to set your business up for success in finding the best candidates.

Main responsibilities

After the job title, the main responsibilities of the position should be clearly and specifically outlined within the job description. This section provides potential candidates with an idea of what they will be doing on a day-to-day basis and gives them an opportunity to determine if they have the skills and experience necessary for the position.

Laying out the main responsibilities also helps promote transparency and trust between the employer and the potential candidate. When employers are upfront about the job requirements, job seekers are more likely to trust that the company values honesty and fairness in their hiring practices. This can ultimately lead to higher retention rates, as employees who feel misled or unprepared for their role are more likely to leave.

For the business, clearly listing the main responsibilities of the job can also lead to increased productivity and effectiveness within the company. When prospects have a clear understanding of what is expected of them, they can better focus their efforts and work toward meeting those expectations to become a truly great employee.

Additionally, a job description with specific tasks and responsibilities can help prevent misunderstandings and miscommunications about duties and expectations.

Moreover, by outlining the main responsibilities in detail, small businesses can better attract the right person for the role. This can save time and effort in the hiring process, as employers are more likely to receive applications from candidates who are qualified for the position and have relevant experience.

In conclusion, laying out the main responsibilities of a job in a clear and concise manner is essential for both candidates and small businesses. It promotes transparency and trust, increases productivity, and helps attract the right candidates for the position. By taking the time to create a thoughtful and detailed job description, business owners can set their company up for success in finding and retaining top talent.

Required qualifications

Required qualifications are an essential element of any job description. These are the non-negotiable skills, experience, and education that a candidate must possess to be considered for the position. This is especially true for positions that must abide by state and federal laws. They serve as a benchmark for evaluating what a new employee should expect and help ensure that the person hired is capable of performing the job at a high level.

It is important to note that the required qualifications should be realistic and relevant to the job. Including qualifications that are unnecessary or unrealistic can discourage qualified candidates from applying and may ultimately result in a less qualified candidate being hired.

On the other hand, if the qualifications are not robust enough, the person hired may not have the necessary skills to perform the job effectively.

Meeting the required qualifications is important for candidates because it gives them a better chance of being considered for the position. It demonstrates to the employer that they have the skills and experience necessary for the job and can perform the required tasks effectively.

Candidates who meet most or all of the required qualifications are more likely to be considered for the job and ultimately hired. This is because they are viewed as a better fit for the position and are more likely to be able to handle the job responsibilities from day one.

For employers, including required qualifications in a job description can help streamline the hiring process. By outlining the necessary qualifications, they can quickly determine which candidates are qualified for the position, saving time and resources in the recruitment process.

It also helps ensure that the person hired has the necessary skills to perform the job effectively, which can lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction.

Required qualifications are an essential element of any job description. They provide a benchmark for evaluating candidates, help ensure that the person hired is capable of performing the job at a high level, and can streamline the hiring process.

By taking the time to carefully consider the required qualifications when creating a job description, small business owners can set themselves up for success in finding and retaining top talent.

Design an attractive benefits package

A good benefits package is an essential component for a small business hiring employees, but it’s also a great way to retain the people already on your team. In today’s highly competitive job market, offering competitive wages and benefits is crucial to stand out from other employers. A well-designed employee benefits package can also help to retain employees, as it can demonstrate your commitment to their well-being and job satisfaction.

To design an attractive benefits package, you need to understand what your employees value most. Common benefits a new employee might expect include health insurance, retirement plans, worker’s compensation insurance, overtime pay, paid time off and professional development opportunities.

However, there are also other benefits you can offer that can set your small business apart. These may include flexible work schedules, remote work options, wellness programs and bonuses or incentives based on performance.

When listing your benefits package in a job description, it’s important to be specific and highlight the unique advantages of working for your small business. Instead of simply listing the salary and benefits, consider the value they provide to your employees.

For example, instead of saying “we offer retirement benefits,” you could say “we offer a competitive retirement plan with matching contributions to help you plan for your future.”

Furthermore, it’s important to remember that a benefits package is just one part of an overall compensation package. Even the most generous benefits can’t make up for low pay or a negative work environment. When looking for the right fit, employees think about what they’ll make and how much income tax they'll have to pay, if they’ll be able to afford healthcare for themselves and their family, and how much flexibility they’ll have in their schedule to prioritize hobbies and self-care outside of work. Therefore, it’s important to offer a fair and competitive salary along with your employee benefits package.

In addition to attracting and retaining top talent, offering a good benefits package can also have other long-term benefits for your small business. A study by the Society for Human Resource Management found that companies with comprehensive benefits packages experience higher employee morale, greater productivity and lower turnover rates.

In conclusion, offering a well-designed benefits package to full-time employees can help your small business attract and retain top talent. By understanding what your employees value most and highlighting the unique advantages of working at your company, you can set yourself apart from other employers. Additionally, offering a competitive salary and benefits package can lead to higher employee morale, productivity, and retention rates.

Post job opening in multiple locations

When it comes to posting your job opening, it’s important to utilize multiple outlets to reach a diverse pool of candidates. Social media and online job boards such as Indeed and LinkedIn are common options and can be effective in attracting top talent. However, don't forget about traditional options such as local newspapers and community bulletin boards.

There are several reasons why it’s important to post listings on multiple outlets. First and foremost, it expands your reach and increases the likelihood of finding the best candidates. Different candidates have different preferences when it comes to job searching, so by posting in various locations, you can target a wider audience and increase your chances of finding the perfect fit.

Posting on multiple outlets can also help to increase brand awareness and attract candidates who may not have previously been familiar with your company. This is especially important for small businesses that may not have as much name recognition as larger companies. By posting your job opening in different locations, you can promote your brand and showcase what makes your company unique.

Finally, posting on multiple outlets can help to optimize your recruiting efforts and save time and resources over the long term. By targeting the right job boards and in-person locations, you can focus your search on qualified candidates, rather than sifting through resumes that don’t match your needs. This can save time and lead to a more efficient and effective hiring process.

Additionally, you can use your social media channels to connect with your already established audience to find employees fit for the position. This can be an excellent way to bring on a candidate that is already acquainted with your business.

Posting listings on multiple outlets such as social media and online job boards is an essential component in finding and attracting top talent to your small business. By expanding your reach and promoting your brand, you can increase your chances of finding the right candidate, optimizing your recruiting efforts. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and try a variety of outlets to find the perfect fit for your team.

Create a structured interview process to allow candidates to showcase their skills and abilities

Your candidates are likely engaging in many interviews and fielding job offers, so it’s important to create a strong first impression. Creating a structured interview process is an essential step in finding and hiring the right candidate. By establishing a clear and consistent approach to interviewing, you can ensure that all candidates are evaluated fairly and thoroughly before extending a job offer.

Additionally, a structured interview process allows job seekers to present their skills and abilities in a way that aligns with the requirements of the job. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to create a structured interview that allows candidates to shine.

Step 1: Define the Job Requirements

Before conducting any interviews, it’s important to establish a clear understanding of the job requirements.

This includes identifying the necessary skills, experience and education that a candidate should possess in order to succeed in the role. Review the job description with the hiring team to identify the most important competencies for the position.

Step 2: Develop Interview Questions

Once you have a clear description of the requirements, it’s time to develop the questions that will allow candidates to showcase their skills and abilities. Avoid questions that are too general or superficial, such as “What are your strengths?” Instead, focus on specific competencies that are required for the role and identify what additional capabilities might set them apart from other candidates.

For example, if the job requires strong communication skills, you may ask questions such as “Can you describe a time when you had to communicate a complex idea to a non-technical audience?” By asking specific questions, you can better evaluate a candidate’s ability to perform in the role.

Step 3: Establish a Consistent Evaluation Method

It’s important to establish a consistent evaluation method for all candidates. This means that each candidate should be evaluated using the same questions and criteria. This allows for a fair and objective evaluation process.

To establish a consistent evaluation method, create a rubric or scorecard that lists the competencies you are looking for in a new employee and how each question is scored. This will help ensure that all candidates are evaluated in the same way and determine how much value they would bring to the team.

Step 4: Plan for Follow-Up Questions

As candidates respond to your questions, it’s important to listen carefully and ask follow-up questions when necessary. This allows you to get a deeper understanding of their competence and their thought process.

When planning follow-up questions, consider the specific competencies you are evaluating and think about what additional information you need to make an informed hiring decision.

Step 5: Set Expectations with Candidates

When inviting candidates for an interview, it’s important to be clear about the interview process. Let them know what to expect in terms of the structure, length and evaluation methods.

You should be as transparent as possible about what will happen next in your hiring decision so your new hire knows what to expect, whether it be the potential start date or if your small business will conduct background checks. You may also want to provide the potential employee with a sample question or two beforehand, to support them in their preparation for the interview.

Step 6: Train Interviewers

If you have multiple interviewers, ensure that all interviewers are trained on the interview questions and evaluation method. This helps ensure that all candidates are evaluated fairly and consistently.

During the training, review the competencies being evaluated and explain how each question is scored. Provide examples of strong and weak responses to each question to help interviewers calibrate their evaluations.

Creating a structured interview process that allows candidates to showcase their skills and abilities is essential to finding and retaining top talent. By defining job requirements, developing specific interview questions, establishing a consistent evaluation method, planning for follow-up questions, setting expectations with candidates and training interviewers, you can conduct a fair and thorough evaluation of each candidate.

With a structured interview process, you can select candidates with the right skills and abilities, setting new employees and your business up for long-term success.

Be mindful of diversity when recruiting

Diversity and inclusivity are crucial when bringing on employees that fit in with your small business. A diverse workforce brings a range of perspectives, experiences and ideas, which can promote innovation and creativity. Additionally, it can help to create a positive and inclusive workplace culture, where employees feel valued and supported.

Research has shown that diversity and inclusivity can provide numerous benefits for small businesses. For example, a study by McKinsey & Company found that companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% and 25% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.

Similarly, most businesses in the top quartile for gender diversity are 25% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians. Having a diverse workforce can also help small businesses to better understand and serve their customers.

For example, if your small business serves a diverse customer base, having a new hire who comes from different backgrounds can help you to better understand the needs and preferences of your customers.

When it comes to hiring, it’s important to actively strive for diversity and inclusivity. This can include sourcing candidates from a variety of backgrounds, providing unconscious bias training for hiring managers, and creating job descriptions that are inclusive and welcoming to all candidates.

Having a team composed of individuals from various backgrounds can offer more unique ideas and innovation. A homogenous team might contribute to a negative workplace culture, where employees may feel uncomfortable or excluded.

In addition to promoting diversity and inclusivity in hiring, it’s important to continue to support and develop a diverse workforce. This can include providing mentoring and leadership opportunities for employees from underrepresented groups and promoting a culture of inclusion and respect.

In conclusion, promoting diversity and inclusivity in your hiring decision and throughout the workplace is critical to attracting and retaining top talent for your small business. By actively promoting diversity and creating a welcoming and inclusive workplace culture, you can build a team that is innovative, productive and aligned with the diverse needs of your customers.

So, if you’re a small business hiring new employees for your team, hopefully these tips and words of advice will help you when you’re ready to welcome new hires to your business.

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