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7 Strategies for Finding Good Employees for Your Small Business in 2021


According to Business Victoria, “On average, it can take 10-16 weeks to recruit a new employee when someone exits the business.” That’s a long period of business disruption, especially if you’re hiring for a business-critical position or your new hire is a sales representative or other worker with a direct impact on revenue. Because the cost of turnover can be so high, it’s essential to find employees that have the right skills and mindset for the job (as well as employees who are likely to be good long-term fits for your company. It’s equally as important to make sure you meet Australian laws when recruiting and hiring employees. In this guide, we will explore seven strategies that can help you find strong employee candidates that will help your business grow.

Why should small businesses prioritise finding good employees?

Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to the costs of employees who are a bad fit for the organisation. The exit of a single employee represents a greater percentage of your team, especially if you have departments with just one or two individuals. Because small businesses are constantly evolving due to new technologies, new service areas, and changes in processes, your organisation may be relying on employees with legacy knowledge instead of fully documented standard operating procedures. The best way to protect your business’s long-term stability and growth is by investing in employees that will be part of your team for years to come.

Here are our 7 strategies for finding good employees for your small business:

1. Offer the right incentives.

Offering a competitive salary is a strong tactic for appealing to top-performing workers in the market for a new job. But competition with the salaries of larger companies isn’t always possible. Instead, consider other benefits and incentives you can offer that employees care about, including:

  • More flexible scheduling
  • Holiday benefits
  • Leave loading
  • Remote working options
  • Discounted health insurance
  • Discounted gym and other memberships
  • Additional superannuation payments/options
  • Educational resources and opportunities for career growth

By focusing on non-traditional benefits that your company is flexible enough to offer, you can attract top-tier talent.

2. Work with a recruiting company.

Trying to manage a job search on your own may not be the most cost-effective use of your time. Juggling interviews, job boards, and background checks can add too much to your to-do list, which ends up stretching out the time it takes to find and train the right employee. Partner with a recruitment agency that can help you work through the checklist of requirements and find either a small handful of skilled, interested candidates or even a final pick so you can focus on your business.

3. Stay actively looking.

If you know you’ll need employees in the future, start building pathways to find them easily. This can include internships, recurring openings and a bank of past applicants that are a good fit for your organisation, and more. By staying on the lookout for professionals that fit your organisation’s needs, you can drastically shorten the window of missing an essential employee in your workplace.

4. Know what employees you need before you need them.

Similar to the point above, planning out your future hiring as much as possible is an excellent strategy. If you are going to start hiring because of business growth, you can choose the right month or quarter to begin that search so it doesn’t interfere with your busiest season.

Planning ahead of time also gives you more time to put together a well-thought-out job description. Instead of choosing a template description, you can get insight from your team about what they really need from future employees. You can also more proactively plan out your hiring practices if your current employees feel comfortable giving you advanced notice of their termination. This brings us to building up your company culture. 

5. Build a strong company culture.

Job searchers are increasingly more distinguishing in their final choice of employer. They investigate benefits, opportunities for career growth, the atmosphere, the attitude of the owner or manager, and even the community-based causes and initiatives of a business. Focus on building a strong company culture of respect, honesty, and fun. This spreads positive word-of-mouth for your business, especially through current and former employees. The right company culture can even minimise the amount of turnover your business experiences in the first place.

6. Stay active on LinkedIn and other professional sites.

Just like individual workers stay active on LinkedIn to foster connections, learn about job trends, and see what opportunities are available, employers should devote time and effort to their LinkedIn presence. If you own your own business, add contacts and posts to both your personal page and your company’s profile. You can build partnerships with other organisations in your area, stay on the periphery of local professionals who may one day apply to join your company, and update your profile to meet the developing standards and trends on LinkedIn. 

While ‘brand reputation’ is usually a term associated with consumer-facing marketing, a positive brand representation as an employer can be just as valuable. LinkedIn is an incredibly robust source of employee leads for both recurring job searches and fast hires.

7. Offer incentives for employee referrals.

Your employees are another strong resource for finding qualified applicants that are a good fit for your organisation’s team. You can offer incentives for employee referrals that lead to a hire or that lead to a hire who stays with the company for over a certain period of time. Incentives will encourage your employees to spread the word about your current openings, potentially at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising and posts. Applicants with similar mindsets and emotional behaviours to your current employees are also more likely to be a good fit, which is essential for collaboration and a positive company culture.

Finding and keeping great employees is essential for growing your business. Robust benefits play a key role in attracting top talent and maintaining employee retention. Keep your business strong with superannuation services that fit your business needs and goals. At Nationwide Super, we’re the Small Business Super Business for entrepreneurs and small business owners in Australia. Contact us today to see how we can serve you and your employees.

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