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Recruitment tips for entrepreneurs

By ATB Financial 21 March 2019 3 min read

So, you’ve moved your business out of your garage, or the cramped desk in the corner of your bedroom, and your sights are set on expansion. The thing is, you’re an entrepreneur. You’ve built your “baby” from the ground up. And as your business grows, you need a growing workforce to match.

How will you make sure that your new team captures your vision and owns it like you do? What kinds of things should you look for in a potential hiree? I mean, how do you even start looking for someone to hire? No doubt questions like these, and many more, are running through your head.‚Äč

To make your transition from a one-person show to a team of two or many more, we talked with one of our top recruiting experts, Shahzia Noorally, to gain insight into how how she looks for the perfect candidate. Here are her top five tips.

 

1. Always keep recruitment top of mind

“To ensure you’re never reactive and in a rush to fill a vacancy, think of recruitment the same way that you’d think of business development and keep a lookout for great talent all the time. Hand out business cards, meet folks for coffee and attend industry events so you get to know potential employees over a period of time and in a variety of contexts. And when you’re ready to hire, rengage and see if the timing is right.”

 

2. Build your personal and leadership brand

“Invest your energy in communicating what makes you and your business different, and in crafting your elevator pitch for potential talent. By investing in your brand and being active on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter, you create opportunity for potential talent to get to know you and your business before engaging with you as a potential employer and you help those that don’t align with your leadership philosophy to opt out before they spend time and energy pursuing opportunities that simply won’t be a fit for them.”

 

3. Be a little unconventional

“Think like a marketer and consider non-traditional ways to get the word out on your open positions. Remove stuffy language, corporate speak and buzz words from your job postings, and create interest through transparency, context and helping candidates understand the impact they can have by saying “yes” to your open role. Consider alternative options like video, infographics and using social media to add layers of context to your open positions, giving people an inside lens on your company and what the job you’re hiring for actually entails.”

 

4. Stay away from the clones

“Be careful to avoid hiring people who are exact replicas of yourself. Look for diversity of thought in your hiring and consider candidates who compliment you through hiring for your weaknesses or hiring individuals who don’t think like you. Having a diverse team helps your business evolve over time, helping you to avoid groupthink and moving into new ways of working that wouldn’t be possible if you hired in your own likeness.”

 

5. Hire slow

“Hiring is one of the most important decisions you'll make as an entrepreneur. Your business is your baby and one wrong move with who you bring onto your team can break the dream or set you back. Look for the little things in candidates: timeliness, follow-through, effort, listening skills. Don’t ignore red flags or that nagging feeling that something doesn’t sit right. Taking your time and being mindful of who you bring into your business will pay off in the long run.”



For help with everything from writing a job posting, to setting up payroll, check out our How to Hire handbook for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

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