It’s a candidates’ market … 50-90% of small businesses report “few or no qualified applicants” apply to their advertising [NFIB December 2018].

Yes we get it– highest employment in the US in decades, lowest unemployment rates, 30 million shortage in skilled workers.

That means that you have to adapt to the current economic realities AND compete with larger employers with your hiring practices. 

It is highly likely that your recruiting and selection process is not adapted to the attract and convert many potential applicants into a few qualified candidates.

Here are 21 questions you can use to compare your hiring process to the best practices of mid-size and big employers:

Quick Self Review of Your Recruiting & Selection System [hint, the best answer is YES to every one]

  1. We have 10+ qualified applicants when we run post a job
  2. We continually recruit for entry job to build a future bench
  3. We have tried all the free and low-cost job boards that are relevant to our industry/ area
  4. Our job postings include minimum qualifications and appealing / realistic details about the job and company
  5. We direct job postings to a single Jobs page that shows our key job roles, company info, and starts the application process
  6. Applications are saved to a central folder, archived for 2 years
  7. We track the source of applicants and evaluate cost vs value
  8. We have a simple way to track each applicant and their last stage in the selection process
  9. We easily screen out unqualified or low-interest applicants
  10. Our administrative team is responsible for initial candidate communication and screening based on establish criteria and respond promptly to applicants and inquiries
  11. We have a short online application for people without a resume or for a “quick application” with further info requests
  12. We have a single “jobs” email for inbound and outbound candidate communication
  13. We have standard candidate communication templates based on the stage in the selection process
  14. We contact candidates for a consistent phone interview prior to inviting to a personal / first interview
  15. We have a simple skill test that is easy to administer in the application process before first interview
  16. We have standard and competency-based interview questions prepared for the first interview and spend at least 60 minutes with qualified candidates
  17. When relevant for the job, we conduct a criminal background check, drug screen or medical exam
  18. We have qualified candidates to do a “realistic job preview” with another employee, or demonstration / role play
  19. We ask candidates to set up 3 references calls to contacts at work numbers
  20. We use personality / attitude assessments to determine job fit
  21. The future manager is involved in the final selection process

If you need qualified People to maintain and grow your business in — you need to adapt quickly in this new hiring environment.

The companies with 100+ employees have the HR team and time to devote to poaching your employees as well as finding qualified applicants.