Recruitment Tactics for Small Businesses

Recruiting top talent is critical to the success of any size of company. However for small companies it is even more important to get it right first time. A poor hiring decision can in some extreme cases cause businesses to cease trading.  However many small businesses with little or no recruitment experience fail to approach the process in a structured manner. In doing so they increase the risk of making a poor hiring decision which in turn can set the company back months or even years. I have listed below a number of pointers which I hope will be useful.

Have a clearly defined Job Role – The danger for small businesses is that they go to market with the view to simply getting another pair of hands to help turn the wheels. The need for candidates to be flexible is a given for small companies, however it is very important to have clearly defined job roles, so the candidate is clear about what they will be responsible for delivering. This will also give the candidate a positive impression that you are taking  the recruitment process seriously, which in turn will reflect well on you as a professional company.  More importantly it will be a solid basis for creating structure within the company for future growth and hiring activities.

Structure your Interview Well – It is tempting to invite candidates in for a free flowing chat to assess the fit. However you will benefit greatly from having a structured approach and having set questions to ask. This will also ensure the interview process is fair to all candidates. It will also give you the chance to compare candidates on an even playing field.

Take Notes – Make sure to record some brief notes from the interview. They will be useful later on when reviewing candidates and discussing with other colleagues. It is courteous to make candidates aware that you will be taking notes at the start of the interview. If there are two of you interviewing, it can be useful for one to ask the questions whilst the other takes notes. This will minimise any delays or distractions.

Adopt a Competency Based Interview approach – To ensure as accurate a match as possible, it is good practice to use competency based interview techniques. Your job description should clearly state the core competencies that you are looking for in the role so it should not be a shock to the candidates that you will ask for evidence of their level of competency, around these areas. Examples of competencies include flexibility, creativity and ability to multitask. Although many candidates are not very keen on the process, they should be impressed by your structured and professional approach.

Sell the Vision – To attract talent to your organisation it is especially important for small companies to get candidates excited by your vision for the future and be clear on where they might fit in the grand scheme of things. Many candidates will consider smaller companies on the basis they can see the growth potential and the presence of the skills and abilities within the company, to make the vision a reality. Think carefully about how you deliver this message in a clear manner backed up with some tangible evidence.

Work with a Recruitment Agency that can add Value  – Be selective with the partner you choose to work with as not all recruitment agencies are created equal. Making sure that the recruiter is experienced and open and willing to provide free advice around the process can be very useful if you need support.  Also make sure to negotiate attractive commercial terms and have a rebate structure in place should it be required.

If you are interested in this subject, careerz offer a complimentary eBook, 12 Ways to Attract and Retain Talent. Please click here to register for your copy.

Careerz Limited, based in Canterbury, offer specialist recruitment services across Kent, London and the South East.

For further information, please call John Adams on 01227 656 888 or or 0208 0990 888 or visit


Image courtesy of Renjith Krishnan /

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