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How to Tackle Top Small Business Hiring Challenges


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LinkedIn surveyed 1,000 small business owners to learn their strategies for tackling their biggest hiring challenges and winning over top talent. We wanted to see: Who are companies hiring to fuel their success? What are the most effective hiring resources? Which stage of recruiting is costing the most time and money?

Join Anita Campbell from Small Business Trends and Alice Bredin from Bredin, Inc. for a discussion about our research findings and learn how small businesses are attracting and hiring top talent. You’ll discover how to make quick, meaningful changes to the way you recruit candidates and plan for long-term success.

In this webinar, you'll learn:

How the fastest-growing small businesses expand their talent pools and hire efficiently
Tips for avoiding common recruiting time sinks
Strategies for winning over candidates against larger, name-brand companies
Characteristics of great recruiters – how much they spend on hiring and where they find candidates
Watch the webinar video in full here:

Published in: Recruiting & HR
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How to Tackle Top Small Business Hiring Challenges

  1. 1. January, 2019 How to tackle top small business hiring challenges
  2. 2. Before we begin 1. Reminder: Your microphone is muted 2. Submit questions (Q&A to follow) 3. Share feedback in survey after session 4. A recording of the webinar will be shared via email
  3. 3. Meet your speakers Anita Campbell CEO, Small Business Trends Over 26 years of entrepreneurial experience across various industries, providing management consulting and support for small businesses Alice Bredin President, Bredin Over 25 years of experience in the small business market, providing strategic advice in books, columns, radio, and online forums American Public Radio Emily Sullivan Recruiter, LinkedIn Talent professional with experience in campus and full-cycle recruiting, and in integrating vision, mission, and values into the employee lifecycle
  4. 4. Today’s agenda 2. Tips for avoiding common recruiting time sinks 3. The characteristics of fast hirers 1. How SMBs will scale in 2019 4. Q&A
  5. 5. In a small business, the impact of even one poor hire is greater than with a large enterprise. Think of it this way: If just one person on your team of 10 people is not up to the task, that’s a full 10% of your workforce underperforming. Anita Campbell CEO, Small Business Trends “ ”
  6. 6. How? Online survey Methodology Who? 1,000 principals of U.S. companies with ≤200 employees (3% +/- CI) When? October 30 - November 13, 2018
  7. 7. How small businesses plan to scale in 2019
  8. 8. Who are small businesses hiring in 2019? Close to 40% of small businesses plan to hire full-time staff in 2019 Planned hires 20% 22% 30% 20% 8% 39% 13% 30% 15% 3% 1–4 employees 5–9 employees 10–19 employees 20–49 employees 50+ employees Full-time Part-time
  9. 9. Poll: What do you use the most to recruit talent? Referrals (former employees, colleagues, advisors, friends & family) Online job sites like LinkedIn A recruiter or temp agency Local newspaper or “help wanted” sign
  10. 10. Recruiting talent: How do small businesses do it? Business owners rely on a mix of tools for full-time and part-time hiring Referrals from current or former employees: 49% Referrals from advisors, investors, or partners: 36% Personal network referrals (friends and family): 40% 49% 36% 40% People Online job sites: 38% Social network: 18% Company website: 13% 38% 18% 13% Internet Colleges, trade or grad schools: 41% Industry trade group: 23% 41% 23% Community Recruiter: 42% Temp agencies: 17% 42% 17% Temp agencies Local newspaper or business journal: 30% “Help wanted” sign: 24% 30% 24% Print
  11. 11. Tips for avoiding common recruiting time sinks
  12. 12. Thriving small businesses say they find the best people quickly and affordably by using a combination of traditional and modern hiring tools. Businesses that don’t do this may fall behind their competitors. Alice Bredin President, Bredin “ ”
  13. 13. The top small business hiring challenges causing the biggest time sinks Biggest recruiting time sinks Evaluating successof candidates post- interview Finding enough qualified candidates Asking the right interview questions Finding the best place to post jobs Having enough time to spend on the hiring process Competing with larger, brand name companies for talent Attracting a diverse candidate pool Ensuring candidates meet all HR requirements EngagementSourcing Assessment Productivity
  14. 14. Biggest recruiting time sinks over the course of 1 week Interviewing candidates Searching for candidates Reaching out to candidates Vetting and background checks Regulation and best practice research 7hours 6hours 6hours 6hours 5hours
  15. 15. Sourcing
  16. 16. 84% of small businesses struggle to find enough people to interview and hire Interviewing Searching Outreach 7hour s 6hour s 6hour s Related recruiting time sinks
  17. 17. Online resources Expand the reach of your job post beyond your local community by promoting on sites like LinkedIn. Give candidates a sense of your company culture by sharing photos, videos, and text updates on social networks. Networking and referrals Attend industry events and reconnect with former candidates to build your pipeline. Research your network’s network. Design an easy-to-navigate employee referral process. Print advertising Engage candidates who aren’t online by complementing your digital reach with newspaper and magazine ads. Note: Retail and wholesale industries win with this. Utilize a mix of resources to keep your candidate pipeline full Tech + referrals + print = a consistently full pipeline
  18. 18. Engagement
  19. 19. 73% of small businesses are challenged with competing with better-known companies for talent Interviewing Searching Outreach 7hour s 6hour s 6hour s Related recruiting time sinks
  20. 20. Know your company story and articulate why you do what you do Emphasize the benefits of working with a small company • Collaborate cross-functionally and take on variable responsibilities. • Have a meaningful impact on company’s success. • Have open, transparent communication with management. 1 2 Learn why employees like working at your company • Encourage employees to share what they like about the company, job, and its people. Potentially connect them with candidates for a more personal touch. • Encourage employees to vocalize their praises with people in their network looking for a new job. • Take feedback as opportunities for improvement. 3 Use social media for emphasis • Make sure your company is discoverable online to candidates searching for you. No digital footprint equals no impression to make. • Showcase (don’t tell) your company culture. Photos, videos, employee stories help. • Remember: Your social media feed is not a job board.
  21. 21. The elements of a good company story Passion What do you care about? Protagonist This is your company (but the story shouldn’t end there). Antagonist What’s the issue or challenge you’re solving? Revelation Share something unexpected. Transformation What’s your impact?
  22. 22. Assessment
  23. 23. 3/4 of small business owners are unsure a candidate will succeed in the role, even after the interview Interviewing Vetting 7hour s 6hour s Related recruiting time sinks
  24. 24. Start with a descriptive, discoverable job posting • Use titles each candidate would use to search for the role. Avoid gimmicky titles. • Highlight the goals of the role and its most important responsibilities. • Convey necessary qualifications and experience in a detailed but concise way. Ask the same or a similar set of questions for effective interviews • Prepare all interviewers before meeting with a candidate with a list of questions that dive into various areas. • Use a mix of behavioral and situational interview questions to assess candidate’s experience, soft skills, and work ethic. • Consider collecting feedback from candidates to improve the process. Assess candidate fit with a standardized interviewing process
  25. 25. Productivity
  26. 26. 38% of small business owners use online job sites like LinkedIn to speed up hiring 7hour s 6hour s 6hour s Related recruiting time sinks 6hour s Interviewing Searching Outreach Vetting Researching 5hour s
  27. 27. Optimize manual areas of the hiring process by using online job sites Spend less than $3,000 on each hireRely on referrals, recruiters, schools, and online job sites Are less likely to use temp agencies, trade associations, or posted signs Collect candidate info to determine fit and personalize outreach • Research candidates to personalize outreach, capture their attention, and ask more informed interview questions. • Dive into a candidate’s website or portfolio to build a more holistic profile. Did you know that fast hirers… Shorten time to hire by expanding reach with multiple networks • Post roles on various job sites to complement your active recruiting and widen your candidate pool. • Leverage a mix of job sites to access candidates who may not be on all networks.
  28. 28. When we asked SMBs which online job sites they have used or plan to use for hiring, the top five choices were: 56% 50% 46% 41%64%
  29. 29. How to avoid common recruiting time sinks Tech + referrals + print = a consistently full candidate pipeline Know your company story – articulate why you do what you do Productivity Sourcing Optimize manual areas of the hiring process by using online job sites Assessment Assess fit with a standardized interviewing process Engagement
  30. 30. LinkedIn for small business Share your job and access 150M+ candidates all over the US. Build key relationships and bolster your employer brand with a company profile. Engage your online professional network to attract new business, get advice, and hire top talent.
  31. 31. Q&A
  32. 32. Read the LinkedIn 2019 small business hiring report in full
  33. 33. Birchtree Global is pleased to partner with LinkedIn to support the educational achievement of global human resources professionals Dr. Janet L. Walsh CEO and President, Birchtree Global, LLC Globalizing strategy, business, and employees since 1999.
  34. 34. Thank you! Anita Campbell CEO, Small Business Trends Alice Bredin President, Bredin Emily Sullivan Recruiter, LinkedIn Learn more about how LinkedIn can help grow your business Visit: Contact sales: 1-855-655-5653
  35. 35. Additional resources
  36. 36. Interviewing best practices Do your research on candidates. Come prepared and read through candidates’ LinkedIn profiles and resumes to understand areas where you have questions you’d like to cover. 1 2 5 3 4 Prepare your interview panel. Give interviewers an overview of the different areas you’d like for them to cover, and provide a list of example questions to help them get the conversation started. Be an active, enthusiastic listener. Make sure you’re really listening to what candidates are saying to determine their potential for success in the role. Also, strive to cultivate a comfortable interview environment during these crucial minutes you have together. Assess candidates’ soft skills. In addition to vetting candidates’ technical skills, use a mix of behavioral and situational questions to understand how they’ll succeed in the role. Stay in touch. Don’t forget to keep candidates in the know on their progress in the hiring process – even if you decide to move forward with another candidate. Try to follow up in at least a week.
  37. 37. Sample interview questions Examples of behavioral interview questions: Tell me about a time when you felt you led by example. What did you do, and how did others react? Describe a situation where you needed to help someone understand your perspective. What steps did you take? What were the results? Tell me about a time when you had to confront a colleague or manager for inappropriate behavior. How did you handle the situation? Q: Q: Q: Let’s say you had to juggle several projects from multiple managers at the same time. How would you organize your time? Tell me how you would deal with an upset customer from one of our least-valuable accounts. Walk me through your process for building out the team in Springfield over the span of a year with a million-dollar budget. Examples of situational interview questions: Q: Q: Q:
  38. 38. Checklist: Are you a fast hirer? ✓ Take less than a month to hire ✓ Spend less than $3,000 per hire on the whole recruiting process ✓ Rely on these tools to make full-time and part-time hires: • Online job sites like LinkedIn • Referrals from current or former employees • Referrals from investors, advisors, or business partners • Referrals from their personal network (ex: friends and family) • Recruiters (aka “headhunters”) • Colleges/trade schools/gradschools (ex: career fairs and job boards) • Local newspaper/city business journal (ex: job ads and classifieds) See LinkedIn in action Search, connect with, and manage your top candidates in one place. Learn more here