When it comes to running a successful business, finding a highly skilled team of employees is crucial. But it isn't always easy. In a recent survey by RobertHalf, six in 10 (60 percent) small business owners said the biggest challenge in hiring or managing staff is finding skilled professionals for the job. About one in five (19 percent) cited maintaining employee morale and productivity as the chief concern.
The survey was developed by Robert Half, the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on interviews with more than 300 small business owners and managers from a stratified random sample of companies with less than 100 employees in the United States.
Small business owners and managers were asked, "Which one of the following is your company's greatest challenge when it comes to hiring and managing staff?" Their responses:
Finding skilled workers - 60%
Maintaining employee morale and productivity - 19%
Managing difficult employees - 8%
Retaining staff - 7%
Something else - 6%
Human Resources Kit For Dummies®, 3rd Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.) by Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half, can help small business owners enhance their recruiting efforts and position themselves as employers of choice. Following are four tips from the book:
Make your company stand out. Small businesses offer advantages that larger companies cannot match. Emphasize the potential for new hires to wear multiple hats and advance quickly. Also, highlight the benefits of working with a small, close-knit group, which may be less common at bigger corporations.
Have an accurate job description. The description of your open position should be specific and identify the must-haves for the job. If a description is too broad or doesn't adequately convey the position's requirements, you run the risk of receiving an overabundance of resumes from unqualified candidates. It's better to have five applicants who definitely deserve an interview than 100 who don't.
Network. Participate in local professional association or community groups to build your personal network. Also, ask your existing employees to provide referrals. Employees tend to recommend strong candidates, since they don't want to tarnish their reputation by recommending professionals who are unequipped for the job.
Work with recruiters. Professional staffing firms can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to find a qualified applicant. Look for ones that specialize in the field for which you are hiring. For example, if you are hiring an accountant, work with a firm that specializes in filling accounting and finance roles.
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