tips on hiring for small businesses

How to Hire Big Talent for Your Small Business


  • Hiring requires the same level of commitment as the rest of your business activities.
  • Target your hiring announcements to the right audience and on the right platform.
  • Never settle for a warm body; you will shortly regret it.

Finding the right talent to integrate into your small business is no small matter. If the big corporations have trouble finding the right employees, what’s a small business owner to do?

There may be options you haven’t considered that can help you find and attract big talent to your small business.

Hiring Issues Specific to Small Businesses

The challenge for small businesses is to play like a big business without paying big business costs.

Here is a breakdown of the difficulties most small businesses face when it comes to attracting great hires:

  • A small business typically lacks brand recognition, important for drawing in qualified applicants.
  • Most small business owners are inexperienced in the hiring process.
  • You may not be able to offer competitive pay due to a tight budget.
  • You are short on time. You have a million things to do; analyzing a stack of resumes or applications gets lost in the shuffle.

Yet, you can’t afford to hire an unqualified or unsuitable employee. It’s time to stop leaning on want-ads, announcing openings on a piece of paper in the window, or begging your Facebook friends for help.

Tips and Techniques for Finding Top Talent on a Budget

Partner with local small businesses.

Find other small businesses in your industry to join you in hosting a joint recruitment event. A Canadian technology business was growing rapidly and wanted to hire the right people. Time was short, so it found other local tech companies to host an event at the Shopify office in Toronto. The group promoted the event to the surrounding Waterloo area, and had great results.

Use Micro-Internships.

A micro-internship is a method of hiring a promising college student or new graduate for a short-term project. You will draw people looking for a full-time job, unlike contractors and freelancers who run their own businesses.

You can check for both cultural fit and capability before offering the individual employment. What’s more, if there is a question of whether you actually need someone in the role, it’s a way to determine whether it will pay for itself before committing to creating a permanent opening.

Leverage LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is the perfect social media network to announce your openings.

  • Set up a company page and clearly state what your company does and what it’s about.
  • Ask all your current employees to link their LinkedIn profiles to your company page.
  • Advertise job openings on your company page and ask your employees to amplify the openings through their accounts.
  • Check out LinkedIn Recruiter and LinkedIn Recruiter Lite.

LinkedIn was developed for helping business people connect. What better place to find the right employee than a platform designed to showcase talent?

Create Your Own Talent Pipeline.

You may be small, but you may have mighty talent already working for you just itching for a chance to broaden their horizons. If you can, nurture the talent you have and cultivate each employee to enhance their professional experience.

When you need someone to fill a role with more responsibility, promote someone who already knows the business. Then you can backfill their position with someone new to groom for advancement or lateral movement.

Don’t Limit Your Options, and Never Settle.

If you only advertise your openings to local or hyper-local candidates, you are missing potential employees outside your area. Don’t underestimate the willingness of some people to relocate for good work. Depending on the type of business you run, you could consider offering remote positions that can be filled by anyone in the country.

Never settle for a warm body just because you want to get someone in there. Therein lies the madness of high turnover and low job satisfaction. Even if it causes discomfort, hold out for a worthy, qualified candidate. No success finding one? Try one of the above methods to refine your recruiting process.

Hiring is full of risk. It’s too important to rush or leave to chance. Treat recruiting and hiring as your most important task. Target your recruitment as carefully as you do your marketing, and you will find a candidate that can help you take your business to the next level.

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