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Hiring: DIY or Recruiting Services

By Andreas Rivera
Business.com / HR Solutions / Last Modified: May 21, 2018
Amanda Studio/Shutterstock

Business.com community member Amanda Haddaway asked about challenges when recruiting talent. We found answers.

"What are your biggest challenges with recruiting talent into your organization?"

It's a common question, posed by Business.com community member and human resources expert Amanda Haddaway. It sent us looking for answers as to the best way to hire.

One of the biggest obstacles that a small-to-medium business can face is finding the right talent to fill their positions. Startups and small companies need employees that are reliable, talented and will help push the business's growth with their own ambition and energy. It's not easy to find individuals with these qualities, as small businesses are usually at a disadvantage for several reasons.

Depending on your industry, your business may face fierce competition from other companies for the best talent, especially from larger enterprises. According to recruiting software company Top Echelon, the top competitive industries to find talent in include information technology, engineering, healthcare, manufacturing and marketing. If you're in need of a recruiter to fill a specialized position, winning over a promising candidate when a larger competitor is offering positions with larger starting salaries and more upward mobility can seem daunting. 

If you're in an industry where talent is scarce, internal recruitment can be challenging to find job seekers who are properly qualified for your position, particularly when you're determined to do it yourself. You don't want to start the recruiting process and fill the position with any warm body who does the bare minimum, so you'll need to wade through dozens of resumes and schedule time to conduct interviews. This can be a drag on HR resources if you or your other managers are the only ones qualified to interview and hire applicants.

Filling a position can up a lot of your own time that could be better spent on other aspects of the business. If you're not experienced yourself in hiring new help, you could end up with someone who doesn't live up to their application.

Turning to a Recruiting Service

There is a wealth of hiring agencies and recruiting services out there you can hire to find the right talent for your open positions. Recruiting services eliminate the need for you to go through the time-consuming challenge of finding the right applicants for the job. [Read related article on our sister site Business News Daily: Best Recruiting Software for Small Business]

Recruiting services offer several advantages to small companies looking to hire, the first of which is the obvious time-saving aspect for you and your management if you don't have an HR manager or department. You can concentrate on your main responsibilities while leaving the recruiting to a professional.

"Finding the best talent is a full-time job. By the time companies decide they need help, they are already desperate, and moral is down," said Brianna Rooney, founder of recruiting service Techees. "When a company can't find someone, or they are having people decline their offers, it takes a toll on the company and employees."

Having experienced recruiters who are solely dedicated to finding the right candidate for your position keeps you unbiased in your selection, allowing you to select the best candidate with most talent for the job.

Other cases where hiring a recruiter can be advantageous is when you're new to an area or opening a new location in a different region. Your network of contacts may only extend to your current geographic area, so a recruiting service with local knowledge may make it easier for you, according to Josh Williams of recruiting service Smart, Savvy + Associates.

Recruiting services go beyond just posting help wanted ads on the usual job websites. They network and seek out the specialized talent that you're after, sparking interest in individuals who are already employed, but open to a change. These agencies sell your company to these interested parties and convince them that their talents would be more appreciated and rewarded at your company.

DIY: Hiring on Your Own

Professional recruiting services are likely to help you find great talent to add to your payroll, but the reality is that they can be costly. Typically, a recruiter will charge a fee based on a percentage (usually between 10 to 20 percent) of the chosen candidate's salary. So, depending on the position being filled, this can be a steep price.

Recruiting talent on your own is far from impossible, and there are several methods and practices to help you find good candidates.

Be patient and be realistic

Temper expectations, especially if you're in a competitive industry. You won't find your dream candidate overnight. Plot out a timetable for your search, allowing yourself plenty of time to take in and seek applications. If you're a small company, you may not be able to find a top candidate who can do it all for the salary you offer, so balance out the type of worker you want with the pay you can afford.  

"Do your homework and make sure your expectations for the qualifications of the successful candidate, and the responsibilities they will fulfill, are aligned with what the going rate in the labor market is," said Sylvia Helm, talent acquisition manager at Honeywell.

Streamline your application and hiring process

"As many as 90 percent of candidates who start an application don't complete it," said Ira Wolfe, president of Success Performance Solutions. "While the labor market is undoubtedly tight, the application process in most companies is so archaic that many candidates just walk away."

Make sure to make applying easy and make the onboarding process quick and easy to retain that talent once you find it.

Develop an attractive company culture

Creating a brand and culture that's welcoming is important to get candidates excited about wanting to work for your company. Offering a great work environment with benefits such as state-of-the-art facilities, well-being programs like health food and other daily perks, could be the difference between which company's offer a sought-after candidate picks.

Use technology

Don't neglect to use all the technology at your disposal to get the word out about your position. There are plenty of job websites out there that only charge a small fee to post an opening, and many specialize in certain fields, such as HackerRank for IT and engineering jobs and Mediabistro for marketing and media jobs.

You may also want to dedicate a page of your website to a careers section of your company. This will act as a landing page you can direct interested candidates to from job post website, social media and other sources. Here you can fully describe what the position entails and what the job's responsibilities are, since space on those other platforms can be limited.

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