How to Reduce the Headache of Filling Job Vacancies At Your Small Business

Business owners wear a lot of different hats: CEO, HR director, supervisor, salesperson — and, sometimes even, janitor, too.

Given these diverse demands, it’s no surprise that entrepreneurs work 63% more than the average worker. During longer days, business owners have to tackle extra responsibility with persistent dedication and hard work.

There’s one responsibility that takes up a lot of their time: filling job vacancies.

Of all the different hats business owners wear, being a hiring manager can be the most challenging. It’s really hard to find the good workers — employees who give more than they take from your business. These stand-out employees are the minority, and finding them takes a lot of time.

Given the headache that filling job vacancies usually causes, we decided to identify a quick and easy way to hire the best talent:

Tap into Referral Networks

Employee referrals are the best way to find awesome workers. Because your current employees have pre-vetted these candidates, they’re much more likely to be a good fit for your business.

So, next time you have a meeting with all of your team members, ask them to actively recruit for you. If they hear of a hardworking friend who needs a job, tell them to bring in a resume. This method is so successful that 88% of employers agree: referrals are the best source for quality candidates.

In fact, research from the Institute for the Study of Labor in Germany indicates that referred workers are less likely to quit and more profitable than other employees. Think about encouraging referrals into your company tapping into your networks. Talk to friends, family, and current employees, and ask them to keep your business in mind.

Create an External Bench

As you develop strong referral networks, something unexpected and extraordinary will happen. People will start lining up to work for your business. Before you know it, they’ll be reaching out to you about working for your company.

Rather than turn them away, take coffee meetings with interested professionals and talk to them about their goals. Getting to know people in your community and even taking on a mentorship role builds relationships with talented professionals. This way, you naturally create what hiring managers call “an external bench.”

When you have an opening, you’ll have a bunch of people you can reach out to directly for interviews. Setting up a strong foundation by making connections (even when there’s not a vacancy) makes it easy when you do have to fill a recently opened role.

Mentor Current Staff Members

Just as you can create an external bench, consider building an internal bench of future leaders at your company. When a manager steps down or moves to a different company, you can swiftly replace them with someone who is ready and excited to take the helm.

Preparing your employees for potential promotions starts with regular opportunities for professional development. You don’t have to invest a ton of money to see a positive impact. Talk to each worker about their short and long-term goals, and help them to identify the skills they need to advance.

For example, if two employees want to be supervisors but they have never managed anyone, give them an opportunity to train and mentor new team members. Over time, build out their skills, so a promotion feels like an exciting (but manageable) jump rather than a scary, overbearing prospect.

By promoting your own staff, you keep them engaged and present at work. As Xpert HR summed up: “Opportunities for promotion should be part of a wider policy to develop all employees, so that they remain motivated and have the chance to develop, ensuring the future success of the organisation.” Employees will know the more they invest in their jobs, the better it will be for their careers.

Ask a Manager to Take the Lead

After you have incorporated these three ideas into your hiring strategy, consider passing some of the responsibility to a manager. Ideally, you shouldn’t have to handle the nuts and bolts of the hiring process. It’s more efficient if you make higher-level decisions while leaving the rest in the hands of a capable employee.

Next time you review resumes and interview candidates, ask your most qualified manager to join you. Train your managers to find the key signs of an awesome hire — work ethic, experience, and reliability — and to tease out the candidates best suited for each job.

After a year of assisting you with hiring, these managers will be more than capable of managing the transition. They can help you by screening candidates, negotiating salaries, and onboarding new team members.

This extra responsibility frees you up — if you want, you can sit in on an interview and give your input into the ideal hire. Other than that, you can focus on more immediate tasks. Handing off hiring responsibility is especially important as you scale your business. The more you grow, the more you need to delegate to managers.

These four ideas complement each other to make filling job vacancies a seamless part of your day-to-day. Rather than bogging you down, hiring new employees can be a fun, easy process that brings out the best in you and your team.

How to Reduce the Headache of Filling Job Vacancies At Your Small Business