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6 Ways to Improve Your Small Business Hiring Practices

As an employer, it’s always important to hire only the cream of the crop. Good employees can make your company run more smoothly, increase profits, and contribute positively to team morale.

So, how do you go about attracting amazing, new talent to your company – especially when you’re limited to a small business budget? The first step is looking at your current hiring practice and overhaul it so you’re more likely to get great people.

We’ve outlined some tips below to beef up your recruitment process to find the best people:

1. Use your network to find people

A great way to find candidates for an open position is to use your network to find new applicants. Post about your company’s open role on social media and reach out to clients or customers. This is an important step to take before turning to places like Craigslist or Monster to post jobs.

2. Offer bonuses to current staff for new employee referrals

One way to incentivize your current employees to recommend great people is to offer a bonus. However, make sure you set a date the new hire must work through before the employee gets the money — in case the new hire doesn’t work out.

3. Institute a shadowing program

If you work in a small business, it’s even more important to make sure that a new hire will fit in. One great way to see if an applicant will complement the current team is to have applicants shadow an existing employee.

4. Use background checks for applicants in final stages

One way to make sure applicants are who they say they are? Use a pre-employment credit check. A background check that includes a credit report can help you verify a person’s identity and it can guide you toward making a sound hiring decision.

For example, if you’re hiring for a finance position and an applicant has red flags in their credit history or has large debts, this may be a sign that you should consider other candidates instead.

Keep track of your candidates by using apps or websites like ApplicantStack or BreezyHR.

recruitment process

5. Use social media, but be wary

70 percent of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process and about 43 percent will check current employees’ social media as well.

Most of the time, managers check on social media because they want to ensure a candidate will fit in with a company and get some insight into an applicant’s personality.

Here are some reasons why you should skip a person:

If the job candidate:

  • Posted inappropriate photos or texts
  • Posted about drinking or using drugs
  • Posted discriminatory comments about race, religion, etc.
  • Lied about qualifications
  • Posted negative information about a former employer
  • Lied about an absence

These are all red flags you should consider during the hiring process. Note: While it isn’t illegal to use social media to screen potential employees, there are some legal risks involved. Some states have passed laws that disallow employers to ask for social media account access. It is against the law to use information from social media regarding race or health condition, for example, to discriminate against a potential employee.

6. Create an airtight interview process

An interview is critical in the hiring process. Why? It’s your first chance to get a candidate to open up and get to know him or her on a personal basis. With that said, it’s important to ask the right questions to open them up.

Remember to focus on asking open-ended questions that require more than a yes or no response.

Here are some sample interview questions that encourage a candidate to talk more about themselves and what they’re looking for in a position:

  • What are you looking for in terms of company culture?
  • Who inspired you growing up and why?
  • If you could invite any three people to dinner, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What are your greatest professional strengths?


When you need to hire more staff, that’s an exciting sign because it means more growth. Finding the right people, however, can be a bit of a puzzle.

When you’re filtering through applicants, it can be difficult to find the right person for the job. However, with a little care and consideration — and by incorporating the tips we’ve outlined above — you’ll be on your way to finding an amazing fit for your company. Happy hiring!