3 Steps to Finding Quality Employees

two entrepreneurs networking over coffee

Source top talent for your business by learning how to create a recruiting funnel.

Recruiting is a challenge for many entrepreneurs. Finding the right talent isn’t easy, and it takes an excellent recruiting strategy to find and hire quality candidates. 

Whether you’re just starting to expand your team or looking to add a few talented employees to your roster, learning how to recruit well is important not only for filling job vacancies, but also helps prevent costly hiring decisions. And when it comes to recruiting, sourcing the perfect candidate is the most critical part of the process. 

What does it mean to source candidates?

As a small business owner, you’re constantly competing for talent. With today’s economy and job market, experienced and talented candidates will have many options. To ensure your company pulls in quality applicants, you need to do some of the legwork. Think of sourcing like marketing and the overall recruiting process like the sales pipeline. The sourcing process is all about marketing to active and inactive candidates.

Sourcing can be challenging, as a small business you’re running a lean operation. This means that you need candidates with the necessary skills to make an impact in your organization, but you’re competing against organizations with more resources at their disposal.

How do you ensure that you get the best people to join your team when you can’t match the same salaries and benefits as larger companies? It starts with building a powerful talent acquisition strategy and process.

How to build a process for your sourcing funnel

The sourcing process can be difficult, especially if you are casting a few hooks into the water and waiting for a nibble from a few job seekers. To find good, qualified candidates, it’s not as simple as posting on a job board. Instead, you will want to put in the work to go out and find them.

A majority of potential candidates– the people you want to hire– aren’t even actively searching for a job. So, to avoid letting a majority of potential candidates slip through your radar, you need to seek and go after ideal candidates aggressively.

While larger businesses may have professional recruiters to seek out applicants, you might not have the resources to hire outside professionals. So here are six tactics you can use to start sourcing quality candidates.

Job Boards

The first place people look for candidates is on job boards. Sites like LinkedIn, Indeed and CareerBuilder are still commonly used by recruiters and job seekers alike. And while thousands of jobs are posted on these sites, there are ways to get your post to stand out.

Job Descriptions 

Job boards are filled with thousands of openings, and one way to stand out is with a quality job description. Think of your job description as your elevator pitch for prospects. The same effort going into your company marketing copy should go into job descriptions because, for many, this job description might be the first time someone hears about your organization.

In the description, you’ll want to clearly outline the role as well, desired experience, and qualifications, but you also may consider adding the vision and the excitement for growth opportunities within the organization.

Post on Niche Job Boards

In addition to utilizing big job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed, you can also find smaller job sites dedicated to only one type of job or industry. By niching down, you’ll gain access to a community of job seekers and recruiters who have a specific interest or skill set for the role you’re looking to fill. You can find niche job boards covering everything from the retail industry to construction.

Tap into your network

Networking is a great candidate sourcing tool. Often networking is viewed as a way to generate more leads to sales, but it’s also a great opportunity to connect with inactive candidates. When networking and talking with your sphere, you can use a specific need to plant the seed. For example, “Who do you know with experience in X, Y, or Z?” 

By using needs, rather than just looking for someone in a specific role, you can begin to narrow down an ideal fit.

And once you narrow down your ideal fit, networking is one of the fastest ways to grow your team. In addition to your own network, you can utilize your team’s network to widen the scope and bring in even more quality candidates. To do this, you just need to clearly communicate who you plan to target so your team will have an active hand in helping you source for the company.

Groups 

Outside of job boards, you can join Facebook groups and other online forums to connect with potential candidates. You can also be more proactive by leveraging industry trade shows, attending conferences, or joining networking groups in your city. By going out into these groups, you can put out feelers and networks to identify potential candidates.

Subcontractors 

You can view subcontractors as a way to test drive a potential candidate, even if you have to pay a referral fee. Temp to permanent is a great way to see if that individual fits your organization. Additionally, they may know additional prospects in their network.

PR & Marketing 

Don’t forget your company’s reputation. The publicity and reputation your organization receives in the news media, in print, on television, on the radio, and online, is tremendously important for recruiting.

Often people aren’t just looking to join a company. Many people are actively or passively looking to find their next job on social media sites like LinkedIn or Instagram. You can use social media strategically to not only post openings but showcase your company culture. 

Find Passive Candidates 

Sometimes the best candidates aren’t looking for a new role. By identifying and reaching out to passive candidates will show that you are truly interested in their talent and will be sure to grab their attention. Using sites like LinkedIn or personal connections will help you identify these potential candidates as well as raise awareness for your company.

You can develop a plan for contacting the ideal people you find through these and other channels systematically and regularly. Use it as an opportunity to always be qualifying recruits. You can also use the WIIFM statement, or “What’s In It For Me? You can build a compelling case for why they should join you if you can answer this question for your recruits.

Once you’ve identified a few tactics that fit your company, you’re ready to start building your funnel.

Building Your Funnel

Your recruiting funnel is so important in creating a successful business. More efficient hiring saves time and leads to qualified and happy employees.  

Here are three steps you can take in establishing a funnel.

1) Start by creating a recruiting plan just like you would a sales plan: 

By taking a proactive approach and building a recruiting plan in advance, you can save time and money and make sure your team doesn’t find themselves short-handed down the road.

Building a recruiting plan includes breaking down metrics from names to the application to interview to hired. Over time, you will figure out your conversion ratios, and you will be able to plan your recruiting needs more accurately.

A recruiting plan should take into consideration a starting point in the interview process that helps plan out the activity you need to ensure you get the right hire.

Everyone’s interview process will be different, but they will often include these three steps.

    • Initial Screening
    • Phone Interview
    • In-person Interview

By identifying your steps, you will start to identify the conversion rate for your process, and you’ll learn how many people you need to interview before making a hiring decision.

Then, once you’ve identified how long it will take to complete your interview process, you will need to work back even further to plan time to dedicate to your recruiting tactics.

2) Spread the word through multiple avenues.

First, make a well-written job description and push it out through multiple avenues. Choose at least 3-5 job boards to start, then, start to utilize the source channels listed above. Treat recruiting like you are advertising for revenue.

3) Preselect specific attributes for each role.

Many owners who are new to recruiting, struggle with deciding on what is most important to their business. When it comes to hiring, they end up gauging the candidate on personality and if they believe what they say. 

Without a plan or clear guidelines, you have no measuring tool for hiring the right candidates.

Before you call candidates, read their resumes, or interview them take the time to think through who the perfect candidate is and what the top 3-5 attributes they must have to qualify for this role. From there, create a scoring system of 1-5 (3 being average) and know what they must score for each attribute to move forward. Don’t ever waiver from your scores if you scored them below your mandatory attribute requirement and then move on to the other candidates.

This tool can help you design a tailored recruiting process to attract the right talent. You’ll use behavior analysis through the previous experience-based questions to help you turn hunches into well-formed opinions so you can rest assured your final pick is truly the best person for the job. 

You don’t need to be a recruiter to build a successful recruiting plan for your business. If recruiting isn’t your strong suit, and you don’t know where to start, you don’t have to go at it alone. Schedule a free two-hour session to dig into your business and develop a plan.



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