How to Attract and Hire the Right Employees

Hand selecting woman on keyboard of portraits
••• Dimitri Otis / Getty Images

What do your employees say about your small business when you're not in the room? When they're mingling at a party and they tell others what they do for a living, are they enthusiastic? Do they represent your business well?

Hopefully, you feel like you can answer these questions in a positive way. But if you can't, you should start thinking about why your current employees aren't satisfied and begin working on attracting and hiring the right employees for the type of company you want to become.

Your company will be better able to attract the right employees if it:

  • Is willing to invest in employees over the long haul.
  • Has a pleasant work environment.
  • Has a positive workplace culture that offers workers a chance to grow and be heard.

The right employees are those who will:

  • Help build your reputation in the community.
  • Nurture relationships with customers and clients.
  • Stay with your small business for the long-term.
  • Help you make more money.

The Job Ad

Attracting high-quality job candidates starts with crafting a high-quality job posting. Before you start writing an ad for a job site, commit to describing the position as strongly yet as accurately as possible. Fudging the truth a little to make the job sound more attractive than it really is can backfire. That doesn't mean you can't highlight the good stuff; just don't lose your grip on reality.

Your ad should tell a prospective employee what to expect on the job, both for the short-term and the long-term: It should inform candidates what they will be able to achieve, what skills they will need, and what skills they will have the opportunity to develop. And it should discuss compensation and benefits—at least in general terms.

You might be inclined to shy away from discussing compensation in the job ad, but including a salary range can help you cull potential employees before you receive the first resume. Listing the position's benefits will pique the interest of potential employees for whom health insurance, paid time off, and saving for retirement are key deciding factors in accepting a position.

The Interview

Use the employee's resume and the one-on-one interview to learn more about a candidate's goals and aspirations. When checking past employment, look for prospective employees who don't have a history of jumping from job to job. Also, ask candidates to tell you where they see themselves in the next five years. Both of these things will help you determine whether an applicant is likely to stick with you.

During the interview, you should ask some open questions that get the job applicant to reveal their personality to you. Find out whether the things that interest and motivate them are things you can challenge them with once they've mastered the basic functions of the job.

The Work Environment

Providing a clean, safe, and appealing workspace is an important factor in getting employees to be more enthusiastic about coming into the office every day. You don't necessarily need to have the trendiest décor, but a few plants, a pleasing color palette, and some natural light will go a long way in making your small business an inviting place to work.

Company Culture

If you want to bring in the best and brightest employees to work for you and you want to keep those employees for years instead of months, encouraging company culture is essential. Flexibility on working hours and a positive work-and-home-life balance as well as a commitment to educational and professional development can make your small business an extremely attractive place to work.

In addition, a small business that encourages open communication between owners, managers, and staff is the kind of company that appeals to today's employees. So talk to your employees when you hit a snag, and ask them for their input and problem-solving expertise. Learn to trust your employees more, and resist the urge to micromanage every aspect of operations.

And remember that the company traits that attract star employees are the same things that keep those employees coming back to work for you year after year.