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In the most recent survey of small business owners, conducted on the topic of available manpower for current positions, it was discovered that more than 16% of owners considered their number one problem to be finding and retaining qualified employees. The same survey showed that almost 1/3 of all small business owners say that they plan to hire during the next 12-month period, which represents the second highest figure cited during the 14 years the survey has been conducted. This means that many small business owners will be faced with the prospect of trying to hire qualified personnel, with a potentially inadequate pool of workers available. So how does a small business owner go about finding and hiring employees during a labor shortage?

Reconsider your baseline qualifications

This doesn’t mean that you should lower your standards for hiring. What it means is that you should broaden your concept of the qualifications necessary to fill positions you have. For instance, instead of looking for someone who has all the training necessary to step right in and perform, you could search for someone who has most of the skills, and can receive on-the-job training to make up the difference. You could also consider candidates who have disabilities, single parents who need to work from home, people above the age of 55, or you could even hire two part-time workers to fill one complete position.

Sweeten the deal

To compete for highly qualified candidates to work at your company, you may need to offer a little bit more than your competitors are offering. Find out what some of your rivals are offering in terms of compensation and benefits, and then add a little bit more to your own package. Another way to attract candidates is to offer the possibility of working from home, or to allow flexible work hours during the week. All of these are things that should be well received by highly qualified candidates.

Use current employees as recruiters

After you’ve put the word out through classified ads and possibly through various employment agencies, you may also need to enlist the aid of your current employees to spread the word. Job seekers often trust the word of a friend, or a current employee much more than they would a classified ad which extols the virtues of working for any given company. Since most people have greater trust and confidence in a recommendation from someone on the inside, your own employees may be your best bet for encouraging qualified candidates to apply.

It might even be worth your while to have your employees mention the openings on their social media accounts, so that interested individuals would directly contact them about the openings. To use this approach to your best advantage, you might want to offer some kind of a bonus or other perk to any employee who successfully recruits a qualified candidate to come work for your company.

You can use all the help you can get to run a small business successfully, and  Doerhoff & Associates is here for you.  We strive to provide what you really want and need – a unique and customized set of services to fill the gap and support you, the business owner.