Category Archives: Hiring

Small Ways to Attract Big Talent

Good talent is as hard to find today as ever before. Harder even when you’re a small business competing with recognizable brands and larger budgets. But that doesn’t mean you’re destined to pick through the big business reject pile. In fact, small businesses have many perks that desirable employees enjoy that they just don’t get with the big guys. So how can you attract world-class talent to your small business?

Small Ways to Attract Big Talent Continue reading

3 Tips to Hiring for Growth

As the economy continues to recover, many small businesses are growing, resulting in the need for more employees. But as your small business expands, you may realize you need different skills, attitudes and types of employees than you have in the past, making reaching them a challenge. So let’s look at three tips you can use to hire the right employees that will support your growth.

3 Tips to Hiring for Growth

#1. Prove You’re Ready For Growth  

Many small businesses going through a growth spurt make the mistake of presenting themselves as they always have and expecting different results. Step up your game by thinking like a big company and going after the talent you need like you’re already there. This includes improving your website and being more aggressive in your recruitment strategies.

A great way to show your candidates you’re ready for the big time and a serious contender for their skills is to send your top executives to recruiting events. Executives often share passion for the company’s future that HR recruiters can’t and their attendance highlights a positive part of a smaller company: closer relationships with senior leadership, a highly desirable feature job seekers value, sometimes over compensation, as they grow their career.

#2. Hire The Attitude, Train The Skills

As the job market becomes more competitive, or if you’re looking for employees with highly desirable skills, you may find it very challenging convincing talent to choose your small business over their other options, regardless of how aggressive you are. A clever way around this is to fill your vacancies with people who display the right attitude for learning and cultural fit, and then invest in training them in getting the skills you need
to grow your business.

Look for candidates who take leadership roles in their communities, seek out learning opportunities on their own, and above all, those that are curious. These traits speak to their intrinsic need to be more than they are and their willingness to do it on their own. Tap into that natural behavior with company support, and you can grow superstars not just your business.

#3. Create The Right Message And Post At the Right Time

Job descriptions, hiring software, and job postings are tedious but absolutely critical to getting your job openings to the right candidates and convincing them to apply. To reach the right job candidates you need to be sure your job descriptions are accurate of where you are today but also the growth potential of how you want your business to look.

Make sure your “About Us” page is clear and filled with the cultural benefits of your company. Recruiting software should be easy, so look for those that support applying with Taleo or something similar. If you’re not ready for recruiting software, LinkedIn and ZipRecruiter can help manage applications and getting your job on to more job boards.

Hiring or growing the human resources you need to support your small business growth is an important decision and one you should consider before setting out to hiring. Then, it’s a matter of positioning yourself as a serious contender and employing the right recruitment strategies that deliver your compelling messaging into the hands of the employees that will grow your small business.

Image – Photospin

When to Work with Freelancers

Like many small business owners, you probably manage everything in your business, from billing to office-cleaning. But at what point should you ask for help?

Benefits of Hiring Freelancers

When you do decide running your business is more than you can handle on your own, or that there are certain tasks you’re simply not qualified to handle, consider calling in the assistance of a freelancer. There are multiple benefits to working with freelancers:

  • You don’t have to pay employee benefits
  • You only pay for the services you need
  • They’re skilled in their area of expertise — moreso than you!
  • They can get the job done faster than you Continue reading

Tips for Hiring Summer Help

InterviewingSummer will be here soon and for many small businesses, summer is a time to hire seasonal help. Whether the help comes in the form of local teens or college students to help with stocking or work behind the counter, or from an adult labor pool for work that can only be done in the summer months, hiring is hiring. You must have a plan to acquire, train, and utilize summer help just as you do for regular full-time employees.

To that end, here are some tips to help you construct that plan.

Attract Qualified Applicants

Rob Wilson, president of Westmont, Illinois Employco USA, Inc., told that it is important to sell your small company brand in a way that is attractive to job seekers. “Is your workplace a great place to work?” Wilson says, “What’s the work environment like?” Would be summer employees, especially the most qualified ones, care about the environment for their temporary job as much as full-time workers.

Whether you advertise in the local newspaper or depend on word-of-mouth and referrals to fill your temporary positions, make sure the word that gets out paints a positive picture of your business.

Fast-Track Employee Orientation

When you make a normal hire, you probably have an orientation process that might take weeks or even months. You don’t have that kind of time with summer employees. It’s important for new, but temporary hires to get up to speed as quickly as possible. You don’t want to skip any important steps, but efficiency in training and orientation is key.

Fill Out Tax Paperwork

Online accounting firm, Kashoo reminds that while temporary, seasonal employees come and go, at the end of the year, there will be tax consequences. If you failed to have them fill out all paperwork, tracking them down after they have gone back to school, for example, could be a real chore. Don’t forget to get all paperwork squared away right away – to avoid embarrassment or tax problems later.

What’s the Pay Scale?

Unless you are exempt due to the type of business you own, or because you hire certain types of workers, you are probably subject to minimum wage. Make sure you know what it is for your location. It varies by province, ranging from $9.75 in Alberta to $10.54 in the Yukon.

What Type of Help Are You Hiring?

Are your seasonal employees independent contractors, part time-employees, or full-time employees (for the duration of their employment)? Status makes a difference, especially when it comes to taxes and insurance matters. Be familiar with laws regarding employee status and what works best for your business.

What Do You Want Me to Do?

If your summer help is asking this question on a regular basis, your training/orientation has not been sufficient. Develop a job description for seasonal help, just like for other employees. If seasonal help are expected to be more “Jack of all trades” than “Master of one,” you need to have a written job description providing a basic explanation of what each “covered” position does.

If seasonal help is there for tasks regular employees never have to do – such as landscaping, mowing grass, etc., there’s even more reason for a written job description.

To Learn More

Almost anything you might want to know about the Canada Labour Code is available on this website. This extensive and excellent resource goes well beyond the hiring and treatment of seasonal employees.

How to Hire Smarter

If you’re going through growing pains in your business, it may be time to hire your first employees. If you’ve been running your business on your own, it may be hard to imagine bringing others on to help you, and you may not have a clue about how to hire great employees that will grow with your company. Never fear: here’s your guide to better hiring.


1. Decide on What You’re Looking For

You know you need help, but what specific  tasks are you hiring for? Start by listing out each item you need to assign to your new hire, as well as the skills and experience you want. This will help you build out your job description. If you have someone in the position currently, talk to her about her daily duties and any others she thinks should be added on for the new employee.

2. Read Other Job Descriptions

Sometimes you can’t articulate exactly what you’re looking for in a job candidate. Take a cue from other companies. Go to online job boards and search for the job you’re hiring for to get ideas for your own job description. Continue reading

Learning the 'Facts of Business Life'

All entrepreneurs wish there was a manual to help them become successful and grow their companies, right? Bill McBean provides such a manual in his book, The Facts of Business Life: What Every Successful Business Owner Knows That You Don’t. In the book, McBean elaborates on seven business facts, including:

  • If You Don’t Lead, No One will Follow
  • If You Don’t Control It, You Don’t Own It
  • Protecting Your Company’s Assets Should Be Your First Priority
  • Planning is About Preparing for the Future, Not Predicting It
  • If You Don’t Market Your Business, You Won’t Have One
  • The Marketplace is a War Zone
  • You Don’t Just Have to Know the Business You’re In, You Have to Know Business

Each chapter offers lessons and anecdotes to help business owners clear through the distractions to find their way to success. And while some of this advice seems commonsense, the author presents it in a way that benefits even the savviest business owner. Continue reading

Great News! You Got the Job

“You got the job!” Sweet words for the candidate to hear because they are now employed. Sweet words for the employer because they believe that their employment problems are over. The truth is, like any other relationship, the real work is just beginning. Both employer and employee must commit to a personal and professional development program that supports the individual’s first week of employment and their ongoing commitment to the organization.

As an employer, your staff looks to you to provide the information they need to be able to do their job. When they first join the organization they want to know what is expected of them. Many employers overlook the importance of new hire training. It all begins with a manual that provides a written document for reference because no new employee will ever remember everything you say and some employees may not retain much of the information if it is delivered orally and they are visual learners. Then you may provide classroom training as an overview of company policies, human resources procedures, and any other organizational information that is not job specific. Next, you can provide on the job training that allows the new employee to train directly with an existing employee. This type of training allows the new employee to see firsthand all aspects of the job. The downside of course, is that the new employee may adopt some of the bad work habits of the other employee if they have them.

Ongoing staff training is critical to keeping employees engaged, educated, and motivated. Not all training has to be classroom based. If fact, some training should not be conducted in a classroom setting because it isn’t the right venue. Depending on the training being offered, it might be better offered on the shop floor or the retail space. The key of course is to tailor the training to the needs of the employee in conjunction with the nature of the material being delivered.

One area of training that I have had the privilege of including in the work I do, is that of personal development. I often say that a person is hired based on their skills and abilities, but on the first day of work, the entire person shows up. It would be nice if you could isolate their skills and just those parts of the person show up for work, but people aren’t made like that. They bring their entire being to work, including their strengths, biases, filters, talents, and habits. Providing ongoing group or one on one soft skills development indicates to employees that you really do mean it when you say, “our employees are our most valued resource.”

If you would like more information about how to train and motivate your employees, please attend a free webinar. Or you can follow the discussion on our Facebook page