1. Vision starts with principle.
2. Vision has patience.
3. Vision makes strategic choices.
4. Vision shows humility.
5. Vision is contagious.
Economists maintain that future demographic trends will contribute to a shortage of high quality employees and small business jobs will go begging. “The labor force is not increasing anymore and will not for the next few years. It will get much more difficult to hire people. Baby Boomers will be gone, and millennials are taking over with different expectations,” says Pierre Cléroux of the Business Development of Canada (BDC).
But that doesn't mean that you should just give up on hiring any new staff because as a small business, you don’t have a chance of attracting high quality employees. All things being equal, there are many people who would prefer to work for a small business. These tips for attracting staff will up the odds of attracting (and retaining) the people you need.
How to Recruit Employees for Small Business
1. Find out what the going rate is for the position and match it.
One common mistake small businesses make when creating a position is to base the salary on their budget rather than on the market realities – in effect making sure that their employee recruitment efforts are going to be unsuccessful. If a retail sales person in a starting position in your area normally makes $10 an hour, why would someone want to accept that position in your company for $9 an hour?
2. Offer an employee benefit program.
In times when employees get to pick and choose, an employee benefit program moves from their wish list to their necessities list.
If you're going to attract high quality staff, your company needs to offer high quality benefits and that means offering employees at least life, medical and dental coverage. If your small business does not have an employee benefits program, talk to your insurance company about setting one up.
One of the advantages of belonging to business organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce, is that they offer more inexpensive insurance, including employee benefit programs, so check with the organizations you belong to first.
3. Make lifestyle part of your employee recruitment offer.
Many employees are just as concerned about the quality of life as they are about the amount of money a position offers. If you’re fortunate enough to be located in an area with great skiing, beaches, extensive hiking/biking trails, excellent golf courses or other attractive features be sure to play them up when you’re trying to recruit employees.
4. Emphasize the benefits your small business offers.
Make your company more attractive to potential employees by offering things such as flexible hours and work at home options. Among the more unusual benefits some small businesses offer are being able to bring a pet to work and allowing employees to power-nap during the day.
5. Be creative with perks.
As a small business, you may not be able to offer the perks large corporate companies are able to offer their employees – but you may be able to offer a reasonable facsimile. For instance, many large companies offer on-site health facilities such as a fully equipped gym.
Chances are good that as a small business, you’re not going to be able to add one of these to your premises, but you could offer employees coupons to use local gym or spa facilities.
6. Offer employees some way to move upwards.
Most employees aren't looking for jobs where they’ll do the same thing for the next thirty years. They're looking for positions that offer opportunities for advancement.
What will the position you're offering offer? The chance to develop new skills? A stepping stone to a position with more responsibilities? More money after a certain amount of time on the job? Whatever it is, in terms of attracting high quality staff, be sure to get the future possibilities on the table.
7. Create an employee incentive program.
Employee incentive programs not only reward good employee performance but give prospective employees something to look forward to if they come work for you. Whether it’s an annual company-paid retreat or a program where employees collect points that they can trade in for cash, employee incentive programs can increase your chances of attracting the people you want to hire.
8. Institute a profit sharing program.
It’s not for every business, but there’s no better way to give employees a stake in a company’s success. For businesses that look like they’re going somewhere, profit sharing programs can be a powerful inducement to come work for you instead of for someone else.
9. Sweeten the pot.
When competition for employees is fierce, a plain old signing bonus may be what’s needed to attract the high quality employee you want and get that person to work for you rather than for some other company. If you choose to do this, there are two things to keep in mind. The signing bonus has to be large enough to matter, and the signing bonus has to be contingent upon X amount of time of employment. (Otherwise, you’ll be running a revolving door as people sign up, take the money and run.)
10. Widen the scope of your advertising.
It’s not enough to place an ad in the Help Wanted section of the local newspaper anymore; your chances of attracting the employees you want will be much better if you broaden your advertising. Place ads in places such as job websites and college/university campus boards, for example. Advertise in other towns or cities. See 7 Easier Ways to Find Employees for more ideas on spreading the word about your employee search and hiring tips.
And if you have other employees, don’t forget to get them involved in the employee recruitment hunt. You can, for example, offer signing bonuses to those who successfully refer a new employee.
Make Yours the Offer They Can't Refuse
There are qualified people out there who can do what you need done – you just need to attract them to the positions your small business is offering. Developing an employee recruitment policy based on the tips above will give you a better chance of attracting the high quality employees you’re looking for. - The Balance
Over two decades ago, Strive Masiyiwa took the Zimbabwean government to court in a grueling five-year legal battle. Masiyiwa had been planning to launch his own mobile telecoms company, but the government, which claimed it held an exclusive monopoly to manage and operate telecommunications in Zimbabwe,was desperately trying to thwart his ambitions. After the High Court ruled in favor of Masiyiwa, the Zimbabwean tycoon went on to build Econet Wireless, a leading Pan-African mobile telecoms company with operations across Africa, the U.K and New Zealand.
Today, Econet Wireless is an investor’s delight. It is easily Zimbabwe’s most successful corporation. It is Zimbabwe’s largest mobile telecoms firm, with a subscriber base of over 6 million. Its profits for the year ended February 2011 stood at over $145 million and the Johannesburg-headquartered company has operations in Burundi, Lesotho, Kenya, Nigeria, Botswana and Rwanda. Econet has a market capitalization in the region of $600 million.
Strive Masiyiwa, the unassuming and soft-spoken founder of the telecoms giant, is the richest person to emerge from Zimbabwe.
You can glean important business and life lessons by taking a close look at what made Strive Masiyiwa a successful billionaire telecoms tycoon.
1. Identify A Human Need And Reach Out To Meet It
According to Masiyiwa, this is the most sure-fire way to succeed in business.
In 1994, 70% of Africans had never heard a Telephone ring. People all across Africa desperately needed a reliable and cost-effective means of reaching out to their loved ones and associates wherever they were in the world. That was a human need. Masiyiwa, as a young engineer set out to change that. He had the technology to do it and access to substantial resources. “We didn’t wake up and say we wanted to make billions of dollars; we said we wanted to extend telecommunications to all the people of Africa,” Masiyiwa stated during last year’s commencement address to graduating students of Morehouse College. If you reach out to meet the needs of the people around you, you will wear the crown.
2. Be Patient And Relentless; Never Give Up
Few people are as patient and as relentless as Masiyiwa. In 1993, when Masiyiwa set out to establish Zimbabwe’s first independent mobile telecoms network, he encountered stiff opposition from the Zimbabwean government. The Zimbabwean Post & Telecommunications Corporation (PTC) – a government-owned entity held a monopoly over the telecommunications business in the country and the corporation was vehemently opposed to granting Masiyiwa a mobile operating license. The Government threatened to prosecute him if he dared to proceed with his venture. Masiyiwa took the battle to court, and the case lingered for close to five years. It was a slow and long process, but Masiyiwa never gave in. Of course the government tried to subdue and frustrate him, but Masiyiwa was resolute. He was determined to challenge the government’s monopoly of telecommunications services in the country and was keen to launch his own mobile telecoms network. His persistence paid off. By 1997, the court ruled in his favour and Masiyiwa was able to launch Econet wireless. Develop a tough skin; be relentless, and be patient. Success hardly occurs in a split second; you need to learn to wait for your moment
3. Work Hard And Stay Focused
This is a no-brainer. Nothing good in this world comes easily, least of all, success. You may have identified a need and possess the most brilliant business ideas. You may even have the praying spirit of Jesus; but if you are lazy you’re doomed to fail. Success requires hard work. Masiyiwa works long hours every day and has cultivated the requisite discipline to be focused. Work Hard And Stay Focused!
4. Pray Hard
“God will do nothing except you pray; and you have to be clear what you want”- Strive Masiyiwa
This might sound like illogical business advice particularly if you’re an atheist. But according to Masiyiwa, a devout Christian, prayers are essential for success in business. Masiyiwa has stated countless times that when he was battling the Zimbabwean government in court for the right to operate a mobile Telecoms license, he prayed fervently. While the court case lingered, Masiyiwa prayed for victory. Even though it took four years, Masiyiwa’s prayers were eventually answered. Employees at Econet and people close to Masiyiwa confirm that the tycoon never takes any important business decision before first going on his knees. Judging by Econet’s raving success, Masiyiwa’s prayers actually work. Prayers may work for you as well.
5. Give Back
What you give comes back to you ten-fold. Masiyiwa is Zimbabwe’s biggest philanthropist. Along with his wife, Tsitsi, Masiyiwa is a co-founder of the Capernaum Trust, a Zimbabwe-registered privately funded Christian charity which sponsors the education of over 28,000 Zimbabwean orphans. Apart from providing scholarships to these children, the organization also provides food packs and healthcare for them. Masiyiwa funds the trust from his own personal resources with support from Econet Wireless. The Universe seems to have rewarded his generosity with brilliant success and a $600 million fortune. - Forbes
Chris Kirubi with Virgin Group's Sir Richard Branson
Chris Kirubi is a complex man. One of Africa’s richest and most successful businessmen, he’s that rare blend of Donald Trump, Jeffrey Sachs, Richard Branson and American music star DJ Khaled, in African skin. In business, he’s got the cunning and clout of Trump, the economic intellect of Sachs, the rebellion of Branson, and the musical inclinations of hip-hop act DJ Khaled.
“One of the most important lessons I have come to learn over the years is that you can't do today's job with yesterday's methods and be in business tomorrow. You must keep learning new methods and ways of doing things to keep abreast with the world's ever changing trends.”
For the best possible people who can fit within your culture and contribute in your organization is a challenge and an opportunity. Keeping the best people, once you find them, is easy if you do the right things right.
These specific actions will help you with recruiting and retaining all the talent you need. Here are ten tips for better recruiting.
Improve Your Candidate Pool When Recruiting Employees
Companies that select new employees from the candidates who walk in their door or answer an ad in the paper or online are missing the best candidates.
They're usually working for someone else and they may not even be looking for a new position. Here are steps to take to improve your candidate pool.
The key is to build your candidate pool before you need it.
Hire the Sure Thing When Recruiting Employees
The authors of The Human Capital Edge, Bruce N.
Pfau and Ira T. Kay, are convinced that you should hire a person who has done this "exact job, in this exact industry, in this particular business climate, from a company with a very similar culture."
They believe that "past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior" and suggest that this is the strategy that will enable you to hire winners.
They say that you must hire the candidates whom you believe can hit the ground running in your company. You can't afford the time to train a possibly successful candidate.
Look First at In-House Candidates
Providing promotional and lateral opportunities for current employees positively boosts morale and makes your current staff members feel their talents, capabilities, and accomplishments are appreciated. Always post positions internally first.
Give potential candidates an interview. It's a chance for you to know them better. They learn more about the goals and needs of the organization. Sometimes, a good fit is found between your needs and theirs.
Be Known as a Great Employer
Pfau and Kay make a strong case for not just being a great employer but letting people know that you are a great employer. This is how you build your reputation and your company brand. You'll want the best prospects seeking you out because they respect and want to work for your brand. Google, who frequently tops Fortune's Best Companies list, for example, receives around 3,000,000 applications a year.
Take a look at your employee practices for retention, motivation, accountability, reward, recognition, flexibility in work-life balance, promotion, and involvement.
These are your key areas for becoming an employer of choice.
You want your employees bragging that your organization is a great place to work. People will believe the employees before they believe the corporate literature.
Involve Your Employees in the Hiring Process
You have three opportunities to involve your employees in the hiring process.
Organizations that fail to use employees to assess potential employees are underutilizing one of their most important assets. People who participate in the selection process are committed to helping the new employee succeed. It can't get any better than that for you and the new employee.
Pay Better Than Your Competition
Yes, you do get what you pay for in the job market. Survey your local job market and take a hard look at the compensation people in your industry attract. You want to pay better than average to attract and keep the best candidates. Seems obvious, doesn't it?
It's not. I listen to employers every day who talk about how to get employees cheaply. It's a bad practice. Did I say, "you do get what you pay for in the job market?" Sure, you can luck out and attract a person who has golden handcuffs because they are following their spouse to a new community or need your benefits.
But, they will resent their pay scale, feel unappreciated, and leave you for their first good job offer. I have seen employee replacement costs that range from two to three times the person's annual salary. Did I say that you do get what you are willing to pay for in the job market?
Use Your Benefits to Your Advantage In Recruiting Employees
Keep your benefits above industry standard and add new benefits as you can afford them. You also need to educate employees about the cost and value of their benefits so they appreciate how well you are looking out for their needs.
Treasured currently by employees is flexibility and the opportunity to balance work with other life responsibilities, interests, and issues. You can't be an employer of choice without a good benefits package that includes standard benefits such as medical insurance, retirement, and dental insurance.
Employees are increasingly looking for cafeteria-style benefits plans in which they can balance their choices with those of a working spouse or partner.
Pfau and Kay recommend stock and ownership opportunities for every level of employees in your organization. I like profit sharing plans and bonuses that pay the employee for measurable achievements and contributions.
Hire the Smartest Person You Can Find
In their recent book, First Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently (compare prices), Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman recommend that great managers hire for talent.
They believe that successful managers believe:
"People don't change that much. Don't waste time trying to put in what was left out. Try to draw out what was left in. That is hard enough."
If you're looking for someone who will work well with people, you need to hire an individual who has the talent of working well with people. You're unlikely to train missing talents into the person later. You can try, but then, you are not building on the employee's strengths which 80,000 managers, via Gallup's research, highly recommend.
The recommendation? Hire for strengths; don't expect to develop weak areas of performance, habits, and talents. Build on what is great about your new employee in the first place.
Use Your Website for Recruiting
Your website portrays your vision, mission, values, goals, and products. It is also effective for recruiting employees who experience a resonance with what you state on your site.
Do create an employment section which describes your available positions and contains information about you and why an interested person might want to contact your company. A recruiting website is your opportunity to shine and a highly effective way to attract candidates today.
Check References When Recruiting Employees
The purpose of this section is to keep you out of trouble with the candidates you are seeking and selecting and the employees you currently employ.
You really need to check references carefully and do background checks.
In the litigious society in which we live (don't even ask me what percentage of the world's lawyers reside in the United States of America) you need to pursue every avenue to assure that the people you hire can do the job, contribute to your growth and development, and have no past transgressions which might endanger your current workforce.
In fact, you might be liable if you failed to do a background check on a person who then attacked another in your workplace.
Conclusion: Start With These Recommendations
Each organization has to start somewhere to improve recruiting, hiring, and retention of valued employees. The tactics and opportunities detailed here are your best bets for recruiting the best employees.
These ideas can help your organization succeed and grow, they create a workplace that will meet both your needs and the needs of your potential and current superior employees. - The Balance