The job market has been difficult in recent years, with many business owners and hiring managers having trouble competing for and hiring the best employees that fit their open positions. Ensuring your business has the right HR policies and strong hiring practices in place will help make a noticeable difference in recruiting and acquiring top talent. In this guide, we will cover how you can make the right hiring decisions in all steps of the process so your small business in central Illinois can hire the best employees for your open positions.


How can your business improve its recruiting?

When hiring new employees, it is not as simple as just filling a position with any candidate. An employee acts as a face of your business to the outside world and should also fit well with your team. How can you effectively recruit the right employees? You will need to start by defining your needs for the role and the criteria that an ideal candidate would have. Think through everything from desired skills and qualifications to the necessary culture fit and attitude. A well-rounded employee can make a difference in your organization.


Ensure candidates fit your business plan and goals

What are your company's core values? Ensure your new hires are candidates whose skills and attitude align with the goals of your business.

Defining and understanding your business goals in a measurable way will be a key step before you can properly know what qualities you will need in an ideal employee. What are your business’s core values? Having your employees all on the same page in this regard will help equip you with the right expectations for your next hire. Also, what are the profit goals that your business needs to hit? Considering this question will help you determine what you should look for in a potential addition to the team so you can accomplish what your business is setting out to achieve. Ensure your candidates are competent in the areas that your business can currently improve upon so you can take the next step in the growth of your company.


How can you improve your job postings?

To attract the right candidates to fit your business’s needs, it all starts with the job listing itself. You can think of your job posting in a similar way that you would think of a marketing campaign. Having the right message and personalization is important to help your opening stand out among the rest.

When you think about your business, what qualities stand out to you that would be appealing to a potential job seeker? Be sure to list and elaborate on these areas in your job posting so you can properly communicate why candidates should want to work for your company. You will want to highlight the strengths of working for your business but avoid overpromising on perks that you wouldn’t be able to fulfill. Attractive qualities can expand beyond the compensation package as well. Think of how flexible the job schedule is, vacation and personal time that is offered, and work from home possibilities.

Once you have your listing prepared and published, you can explore ways to attract candidates to the listing and build awareness about it. Email marketing and social media channels can play a role here, as well as offering incentives to current employees to make referrals in their own network.


How can you find top talent and ensure candidates are properly qualified?

Build an interview process with the appropriate steps for ensuring your new employees are the right fit for your needs.

As you begin receiving applications for your job openings, it will be important to make sure you are advancing the right candidates through the hiring process. You will want to be able to compare all candidates equally, so keeping a consistent process will be key. Evaluate all resumes with the same criteria and utilize the same skills tests and interview questions for every candidate that you decide to advance.

Depending on the role, you can ask candidates to provide examples of their work when applicable. This could include positions that may involve writing, art, reporting, or skills in a specific software program. You could ask candidates to demonstrate their skills by preparing a new example based on a prompt of your choosing if you would find that more valuable than seeing a previous piece.


What questions should you ask when interviewing candidates?

Keep in mind that the purpose of the interview is to collect information that you will need to properly determine the candidate’s ability to perform the functions of the job. Here are some example questions that you could include in your future interviews:

  • How has your professional experience prepared you for this position?
  • Tell us about a professional achievement that you are proud of.
  • What is an example of an obstacle that you have overcome at work?
  • What are examples of big decisions that you have made at your job?
  • Tell us about a time you encountered failure at work and how you dealt with it.
  • What are qualities about you that would make you a good employee?
  • What is your relationship typically like with your manager? What do you look for in leadership?
  • How do you handle stress in your job?
  • Give me an example of your experience working with a team to complete a project.


Consider your onboarding process following a successful hire

Onboarding and any necessary training are steps that you should not overlook when planning how you can effectively prepare and retain your new hires.

Once you have found and hired the right candidate for your open position, you will need to have a plan in place for how you can provide a warm welcome and give them everything they need to effectively perform their duties. This can even play a part in employee retention, which is just as important as effective hiring.

Documentation is key here, so work with your team to prepare a written plan to cover what a new employee’s first few months on the job will look like. Rather than bombarding your new hires with too much information in a handful of days, spread out learning and integration activities over time so they can properly digest and retain what they will need to know.

If your employee will be working on-site, have a member of the team give them a proper tour of the office. Providing new hires with a welcome package is a great practice as well, so they can have essential materials at their fingertips out of the gate.

Training is an important component of onboarding for many roles that you could be hiring for. You can prepare a training program that can last anywhere from one week to three months, depending on how the employee’s experience aligns with unique knowledge they will require to be effective for your business specifically.


Reach out to your local business experts for help

Flanagan State Bank works with local small business owners to help them achieve their goals with appropriate financing. Have questions about how we can help you grow your business? Contact a member of the Flanagan State Bank team today or visit your nearest branch location.