Are you spread too thin?  Are your employees engaged?  Do you need to fill a new role? Or just need an intern?

Finding strong talent that fit in with your company culture is a challenge but extremely important to the success of your business.  Since you probably don’t have a dedicated team member to take care of hiring, this guide will help you find and attract the right candidate for the job.  

Finding the Right Candidates for Your Small Business

Imagine all the people out there looking and applying for a new job.  They are fine-tuning their resumes, crafting fitting cover letters, crossing their t’s and dotting their i’s.  As a business owner looking to fill a new role in the company, it’s important for you to be doing the same.  To give a polished first impression to potential candidates, here are some tips on writing the perfect job listing, sourcing the ideal candidate, and knocking out the interview.

Write the Perfect Job Listing

Listing a job isn’t as simple as buying a want ad anymore. In the age of technology, there are so many ways to reach out to the person you want, that your message could be overlooked and never noticed at all.

That’s why creating the perfect job listing is so important. When people actually sort through the miscellaneous and see what you have to offer, your bid has to make an impression. Here are the things you should consider when creating the perfect job listing:

  • Stand out

    Think about your ideal candidate as your write your job description.  Use your own voice and highlight the areas of your company that the candidate would care about.  Let them know your mission, why you are in business, and your proudest accomplishments.  Simplicity is key and we think this example from Atomicdust knocks it out of the park:



  • Be clear

    Craft a fitting title for your role and create pertinent verbiage around it so that your ideal candidate sees what the position is about at a glance. Detail the main functions of the role clearly, making sure that that they are easy to understand by candidates and not just the people who are already working for your company. Also include who the role answers to within your company.  This is an excellent example from Flywheel that details the main functions of the role while demonstrating the language and tone they will be using on the job:


  • Be honest

    Managing expectations is one of the most important factors in business across the board and it starts in the hiring process.  If you are not open and honest about the job, your new hire will figure it out quickly and replacing an employee is not cheap. Use an active voice as you explain in detail what your ideal candidate will be doing every day.  List the essential responsibilities, tasks, and projects to be successful in the position.  We love how TopOPPS shows where the role fits in the daily team process:


  • Get to the point

    Be sure to include a brief description of who you are looking to hire for the position.  List the essential skills and experiences to be successful on the job and a couple preferred skills as well.  You don’t want to alienate any potentially great candidates by putting up too much red tape in the qualifications section.  Here’s what you need to have what it takes to be a Hatchbucker:


  • Keep it short and simple

    Your job description should be around 400 to 800 words, so keep the flowery language to a minimum. Applicants are moving through job listings at a rapid pace. There are so many out there to choose from and candidates want to make sure they cover all their bases. Don’t forget to include the perks of working for your company.  Entice candidates to apply with salary, benefits, and career development information.

    Switching up the benefits section from two job descriptions like Kabbage did here is a great way to attract two different candidates:


Source the Ideal Candidate

To bring on board the right candidate, your first step needs to be sourcing those candidates from the right location. If you want to minimize the amount of time you’re spending searching and researching candidates, it’s best to turn to locations where you’ll find truly quality candidates. If you post an ad on a free website, for example, you cannot expect the highest quality of leads to be available to you. You’ll have a sea of applicants to go through with perhaps one or two worthy of your attention.

Where can you find quality candidates? Consider these key tips:

  • Turn to your employees.

    Your employee’s family and friends are by far the best resource for business owners. If your business is employee-focused, your employees should be more than willing to share job openings with their network. Let them know you need additional help and offer an incentive for bringing in new people.

  • Go social.

    Using professional social networks like LinkedIn to begin your search is a great way to sift through what the ideal candidates looks like and to see if you have any connections to anyone who would be interested in the job.  Running local social ads is also a great way to bring awareness to the position.

  • Look in the right places.

    Instead of waiting for them to come to you, go to your ideal candidates. Attend industry events in the field related to the job position.  Not only will you meet potential candidates who are passionate about their industry, but you will also learn more about the position you are hiring for from their point of view.

  • Talk to everyone.

    Strike up a conversation with the person helping you at a department store.  Drop a business card with the person who waited on you today that was truly professional.  While they aren’t actively looking for a job in your industry, their experiences could prove to be a valuable asset to your company.

Nail the Interview

Not only does the candidate need to nail the interview, but you, as the interviewer, should too.  Be conversational while asking the right questions to make a decision on the candidate.

These are the questions you must ask during an interview.  This is how you can gauge how prepared a candidate is and how interested and passionate they are about the field:

  • Why do you want to work here?
  • How has your previous experience prepared you for this opportunity?
  • What can you bring to this role that others can’t?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • How do you ensure you stay ahead of trends in this industry?

From there, let the conversation flow.  Ask thoughtful questions.  You can control the pace of the conversation so make sure you give your candidate enough time to breathe and collect their thoughts.  This isn’t an interrogation.

One interview may not be enough to make a decision on the position.  You want to gather as much information to make a decision, so schedule a second interview if you like what you hear and want to learn more about the candidate, and introduce the candidate to your team.