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6 Small Business ‘Hiring Hacks’

29 Aug 2013

Finding and hiring top talent is critical to a small company’s growth and success, yet this is just one of many hats worn by small business leaders.

So how does one find quality talent when it’s a part-time job?

To help answer this question, LinkedIn teamed up with a panel of seasoned professionals from a range of backgrounds:

Christine Eckhaus, Founder/CEO at Greenstreak Consulting Dino Lamela, Lead Sales Recruiter at Box Jeff Miller, Founder/CEO at Wheelz Katie Hughes, Head of Talent at DFJ

Here’s a selection of top tips from the panel:

Follow the Rule of 100:

Hiring is like a conversion funnel. One panelist proposed the following ratio: to get one hire, you have to touch 100 people. You can achieve a candidate touch through email, InMail, calls, and face-to-face meetings – but however you do it, you must scale your outreach.

Leave the Office:

Get out of the building, tell your story, and network. For example, your next hire could be in the crowd at an after-work meetup event – and if you’re a named speaker at the event, they’ll notice you.

Leverage Your Employees:

It’s well known that referrals are a great way to find quality talent. So how can you activate your team? Incentives can help, but as one panelist put it, “if they believe in your mission and understand how important hiring is, your team will help“.

You can alsothe question differently:

Rather than asking “Who can you refer for this role?” ask “Who did you work with at your last company that was great?”.

Research Your Role:

When looking to fill an unfamiliar role, make sure you calibrate. If you’re hiring a Head of Sales for the first time; consider meeting with well-respected sales leaders to identify what ‘good’ looks like.

Build a Relationship:

The candidate experience is critical – especially when competing against bigger companies. As a small company, you can create an advantage by being personal, transparent and flexible. Candidates can sometimes feel ‘lost’ in the processes of a big company, which can play in your favor.

Sell the Role’s Difficulty:

The best candidates for smaller growth companies are those who are driven and love a challenge. One panelist offered this counterintuitive advice: “Tell them how the role will be difficult, and gauge their reaction… the right person will be energised when they hear that”.

Davis Schneider - LinkedIn Blog