SMEs and Hiring: Why You Should Renovate Your Hiring Process


As a small business, you are probably not too concerned with the hiring process. In fact, much smaller-scale operations are known for having a rather laissez-faire recruitment process. The desperate need for staff, fewer resources, and a lack of HR departments may result in a rather haphazard selection of candidates.

If this is something your company is guilty of, you definitely need to change the way you do things. After all, it is only by hiring the right candidates that you will be able to ensure the success of your small business. If you don’t have the proper individuals supporting you and your venture, it is unlikely that your company will get all that far.

If this alone isn’t enough to convince you, then some of the points below may highlight your recruitment problems.

What a Bad Employee Can Cost You

Most employers aren’t aware of just how much an ill-fitting employee can cost you. Well, here’s a shocking number for you: a bad hiring decision can end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars! This alone should be enough to make you want to think twice about the manner in which you hire people. After all, it makes much more financial sense for you to pick the right candidate the first time around.

There is also another lesser known result of a bad hire. That is the fact that one poor employee can disrupt the current system that is in place. Negativity or a lackluster work ethic can easily spread to the rest of the team, driving productivity down even further. With enough time, this can affect your revenue and even your working relationships with business partners and clients. Therefore, it really does make sense to take the necessary precautions to avoid such a scenario.

The Candidate Landscape Has Changed

One of the biggest reasons to change your hiring process is due to the fact that the candidate landscape has changed drastically over the last few years. These days, most companies will be hiring millennials and in the next few years, you will probably be selecting candidates from the Generation Z population.

So, why should this be something that you need to be concerned with? Well, for starters, these younger generations are looking for vastly different qualities in their employers. This includes a sense of purpose, belonging, appropriate company culture, social responsibility, and more.

Although you may not realize it, your selection and recruitment process will go a long way in exhibiting these characteristics. So, if your hiring process doesn’t match up with what these candidates are looking for, they may turn you down as an employer.

However, by updating your interviewing process, you will be putting your – and the company’s best foot forward. You will be able to show potential employees just what you are about and how seriously you regard a particular position. In turn, you will be able to ensure that people are actually eager to work for your organization.

Vague Job Descriptions Are Too Far-Reaching

Here’s an exercise to try – look at an older job description and compare it to one from a more “desirable” company. With just a single glance, you will be able to see precisely what the difference is. Once, companies tried to keep job descriptions as minimalistic as possible. Then, only when the company was certain about a particular candidate did they actually offer more details about the position.

Well, although that may have been a suitable tactic before, it is certainly not going to be very useful now. This is because more and more candidates are realizing the importance of a good fit between the person and the job. Thus, they will carefully look at the requirements for a position before applying. If the description is too vague, there is a good chance that you will not be attracting the best possible candidates for the job.

Outdated Methods Aren’t Giving You the Right Information

Most older hiring tactics involve just one or two interviews. Earlier, hiring managers simply looked at the resume, spoke to the candidate, did some background research, and then made their decision. Now, while there is a small chance that this might work, there is a greater chance that a fewer number of interviews will end in disaster.

It is important to remember that you need to get to know a candidate before you can be confident they will excel in a particular position. Of course, it can be virtually impossible to get a feel for someone by meeting them once or twice. You need to conduct several interviews if you want to be sure.

Now, there is no ideal number of interviews to hold for each candidate. Rather, you need to think about the job vacancy and just what type of skills and personality that it requires. Based on this, you will be able to identify just how many interviews to conduct.

You should also not be afraid to switch it up a bit. For instance, you can start off with a phone interview, move onto a face-to-face meeting, and then finally have a panel interview. You should only move a candidate to the next stage if you really feel like they are suitable for the position. Otherwise, focus on narrowing your candidate pool down as efficiently as possible.

Limited Selection Committee Lacks Accuracy

Most small business interviews tend to take place between the top employer and the candidate. This is due to the fact that the employee pool is a lot smaller in these companies. Well, if this is something you are still relying on, then it is time to change things up.

In particular, you need to include more people in the interviewing process. This is something that you should do, even if you aren’t setting up a panel interview. Why? Well, just think about it for a moment. Is it more important for a candidate to get along with you or the team that they will be working with in the future?

That’s right, it is imperative that a potential employee be a good fit for their particular department or team. This is why you might want to invite the head of the team along once you are further along in the selection process. Since these individuals are aware of just what will constitute a “good fit”, they will be better suited to make this decision.

Newer Reference Checks are More Accurate

Now, older selection methods have rather limited reference checks. In fact, most of them simply involve reading through reference letters. This is yet another feature that needs to evolve to match modern times. So, you are going to need to be a lot more thorough with your research.

To start with, get more background information on the individuals you are hoping to hire. Fortunately, this is easy enough to do with all of the search websites available these days. So, make use of them and check on credibility, accreditation, and criminal history.

The whole deal with social media checks is a bit contentious for many. Some individuals believe that prying into such platforms and accounts is too much of an intrusion. However, companies that rely on their digital reputation may need their employees to have a spotless social media record. Therefore, in regards to this, it is up to you to determine just how far you should go.

Another thing to do is to actually speak to the references provided by a particular candidate. You shouldn’t only rely on the letters they provide. By having an actual conversation with their previous employer, you will be able to get a better feel for how they are as a person and an employee.

Modern Testing Has Advantages

Another thing that modern hiring processes include is tests. Companies will now provide candidates with all types of questionnaires, examinations, and more. These are often used to deduce intelligence, personality, and even skills.

If you are looking for an individual with a particular set of skills, then such a tactic may be an appropriate move for you. This way, you will not have to take their word regarding their capabilities. You will actually be able to see how well that they hold up.

Once again, though, this does depend on the type of company that you run and the number of candidates that you are interviewing. For instance, if you have a large pool to select from, these tests are a good way of thinning the group. At the same time, it is important to check that the test actually measures the skills or traits that you are looking for. Otherwise, they will be of little use to you.

If you do want to use tests as a part of the selection process, it is a good idea to reduce the number of other interviews as well. Otherwise, you may find that your candidates feel overwhelmed and may begin to lose interest in the position.

As you can see, there are quite a few reasons why you may want to switch up your hiring process. If you really do want to hire the best possible person for the job, you should consider making the necessary changes.