Great Ideas for your Small Business:
Cast a Wide Net to Attract Good Employees
One of the greatest challenges for small business owners is to recruit, train, and retain good workers. It’s very tough for a small company, especially in the bootstrapping start-up phase, to compete with bigger companies when it comes to offering competitive salaries and attractive benefits.
But it’s essential to focus on hiring the best people from the very beginning. Hiring mistakes are costly. A big company can afford a few duds on the payroll, but a small business doesn’t have the time or financial resources to waste on a poor hire.
Here are some low-cost ways to recruit good workers:
- Tell your customers and vendors that you’re hiring. They know your business and can tell you the kind of people they would like to work with.
- Call other small business owners and ask if they’ve interviewed any good people they haven’t hired. This isn’t as strange as it sounds. Many times people wish they could hire someone but they don’t have the budget or the timing isn’t quite right.
- Consider hiring older and younger workers. Students and retired people are a tremendous resource for small businesses. Contact your local business school, community college, or even high school to find a competent student. Students have all sorts of talents and are eager for real-world job experience. I found a terrific research assistant through the job board at a nearby journalism school. Inquire about internship pro- grams that offer students class credit for work experience. Sometimes students are willing to work for free if they can get school credit for the job. If not, a good intern is worth paying well. Retired managers and executives not only have tremendous experience and knowledge, but also are often willing to work at a lower rate of pay. Contact your trade or professional association or local chamber of commerce, and rely on word- of-mouth.
- Advertise in the local newspaper or in trade publications before you spend a lot of money on advertising in major papers. If you want to launch a national search, the Wall Street Journal and the National Business Employment Weekly are good places to start. Advertise in trade journals or week- lies serving your industry.
- Contact your state Employment Development Department. The state can help you find job candidates in many fields. The state also offers training programs and tax incentives for hiring new people, so check out what’s available.