Your small business or nonprofit organization is your passion, so it’s no surprise that you want to hire caring, hard-working, and smart team members. However, if you have limited hiring resources, you might be wondering how to attract fantastic talent to help grow your business. 

Well, look no further — we’re here to help! Whether you own an indie bookstore, run a dance studio, or manage a start-up nonprofit, we have the hiring tips you should use when looking for new team members. 

Putting more effort into hiring from the beginning can save a lot of time and money later on. In fact, did you know that high employee turnover lowers overall morale, decreases productivity, and costs your business money? All of these challenges can be avoided by designing an effective hiring process. So, when hiring for your small business, you should: 

Remember — the hiring process goes beyond the job posting and the interview. You also need to consider questions related to onboarding, retention, and employee well-being. Giving attention to each of these categories will help you increase employee engagement and satisfaction, which makes for more effective employees. 

Hiring for your small business doesn’t have to be a headache. With the right preparation and evaluation method, you can find the perfect team members to help move your business forward. Let’s get started!

1. Write a great job description. 

Imagine you’re on the hunt for job opportunities. You’re well-experienced and are excited to start working for a passion-driven company. Like many other prospective employees, you’re scouring the internet for job descriptions to catch your attention. You’re looking for a company that aligns with your values, offers growth opportunities, and is transparent about its operations. 

Okay, now back to being an employer. This candidate seems like a great fit, right? Well, this person will be looking for a position with a job description that reflects their values. Although employers hold the power to offer a position, qualified employees must first feel like they’d enjoy working at your company. 

To attract the best candidates, you need to write a great job description. Your job description will likely be the first touchpoint that potential candidates have with your organization, and it tells candidates a lot about your organization’s brand and what you stand for. 

Here are a few tips you can use to knock your job description out of the park and connect with the right people: 

Overall, be as clear as possible in your job description. Candidates want to know what they’re getting into, so be transparent about your values, expectations, compensation, growth opportunities, and other aspects of your business. 

2. Evaluate experience and character.

While every small business wants to hire experienced candidates, previous experience isn’t the only indicator of success. 

For example, going back to our dance studio example from the beginning, let’s say you’re trying to start your own studio and are looking for teachers. You receive two applicants: one from a young dancer without much teaching experience and the other from a seasoned dancer who has been teaching for the past two decades. 

You might think the hiring choice would be a no-brainer, but let’s take a closer look. You bring both in for an interview. The young dancer is very excited to be there, talks openly about her passion for dance and building connections with others, and asks you several questions about your teaching career and what brought you to start the studio. Conversely, the experienced teacher gives you short, curt answers, seems bored, and doesn’t ask you any questions. Now, the right choice may not seem so obvious.

For this reason, you should evaluate a candidate’s experience and character in your interview. Just as an experienced candidate may not be excited about a position, an excited one might lack the necessary knowledge to complete the job. Ideally, you’ll find a candidate who has the right balance of experience and passion. 

One way you can assess a candidate’s potential for success is by asking about their hobbies outside of work. For instance, do they write books? Do photography? Enjoy hiking? Think about how other skills they use — like perseverance, attention to detail, or drive — translate to their personality and work ethic. You may even find some hobbies you have in common!

Use the interview as a chance to see if you click with the candidate. If your personalities work well together and they have the right amount of experience, you may have found the candidate you’re looking for.

3. Create a clear onboarding experience. 

After you hire your ideal candidate, you’ll likely be eager to put them to work. However, just because your new employee signed their job offer doesn’t mean that the hiring process is over yet. 

In addition to creating a great hiring experience, you also need to onboard your new employees effectively. Organized and detailed onboarding is essential to set your employees up for long-term success with your company. 

Here are a few tips for creating a great onboarding experience: 

A clear onboarding experience ensures that new employees feel prepared to take on the job while also creating an environment where they aren’t afraid to ask questions. Ideally, by the end of onboarding, your employees will be self-sufficient enough to carry out their daily tasks, but still know they can come to you if needed. 

4. Focus on employee retention right away.

After onboarding, the main aspects of hiring are over, but you should never stop looking for ways to improve. This is where employee retention comes in. Hanging on to great employees requires frequently evaluating ways that you can improve their experience at your company.

Here’s how you can improve employee retention: 

Employee retention is a continuous process that requires a dedicated strategy. By checking in with your employees regularly, giving them a chance to have a life outside of work, and investing in their career growth, you can create an environment in which employees feel fulfilled. 

Great team members not only push your organization forward, but they can also create a positive work environment that you enjoy participating in every day. Investing extra time into your hiring, onboarding, and retention strategies will only help your business grow.