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Top five tips on attracting talent for small businesses - James Caan

Top five tips on attracting talent for small businesses - James Caan
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Okay, we all understand the importance of having great people working for us.  With a talented and motivated team on board, your business is far more likely to be successful. I think recruiting and obtaining the right people in your business is just as vital as managing finances and generating sales.  So here are five steps that I believe can help you attract and recruit the best people in the market.

1.  Review your company’s approach

Before you start thinking about attracting new candidates, it’s a good idea to first make sure you’re not actually losing your best people . It seems obvious, but I often see this in my other companies, people forget the fact that when one company is recruiting candidates, another business is losing them. You have to make sure your company is not doing the latter. I would always ask myself are my staff  really happy? Am I promoting them, training them and rewarding them properly? Is my company’s culture positive or negative?

2.  Develop your company culture

If you get this right then the next step is to communicate what you’re doing to keep your employees on board.  Identify and develop your company’s brand and make sure yours is an ‘employer of choice’.

This happens by word of mouth and through the recruitment industry. Get your internal culture right – and get your business model right – and you’d be surprised just how quickly word gets around that your company is the place to work. And don’t think you necessarily have to be in a glamorous media-centric industry either.

3.  Clearly define the job role

Assuming you have no internal candidates you want to promote or consider for the job then you have to go ‘outside’. The first step is to think carefully about your job description . Be clear, accurate and very focused on what you want – but also on what you are going to offer.

Make sure you point out the opportunities for training and progression and ‘sell’ the job and the culture of your company. Any good advertising agency knows that a bad brief leads to a bad job – it’s the same with recruitment. If your advert or job description lacks something, is inaccurate or just plain bad - then it simply won’t attract high calibre candidates.

4.  Specifically target potential candidates

To reach the right people you’ve got to find out where they are: which websites they are on, which media they ‘inhabit’. Some software programmes can help you find your target audience by seeking them out through their favourite websites. There are plenty of specialist organisations that can help you do this. Remember, a good ad in the wrong place is going to be pretty ineffective.

5.  Refining the interview process

Assuming you’ve created and posted a really good advert and job description in the right place – one which attracts the right people who are motivated by what you say - then who are you going to assign to run the interview?  It’s amazing how many companies spend time and effort to draw up candidates and then blow it all with badly prepared interviewers. I’ve seen it dozens of times; suddenly there’s an interview and the manager runs around trying to find someone who’s not too busy to do it.

Good candidates are no dummies – and they know when they’re being given a bad or a sloppy interview. Being busy is no excuse, and being badly prepared is even worse. Put your best people in front of the candidates you want. They are selling your company by everything they do and say, and by the way they act.  If I’m a confident and ambitious candidate I’m going to have other opportunities on the table, so you need to woo me.

Get these five points right and you’ll be much more effective at hiring the talented people.

 

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