Small Business Hiring Tips and Tricks

Are you a small business owner or hiring manager looking to improve your current hiring process? Look no further. We’ve compiled a list of six hiring tips and tricks for small businesses to improve their hiring process. 


Hiring new talent is a complicated inevitable part of being a small business leader. It’s much more than just simply reviewing resumes and conducting interviews. Unfortunately, many small business owners make recruiting mistakes, like poorly crafted job descriptions, which can deter a qualified candidate from seeking your employment. It can also, unfortunately, lead you to hire a bad candidate which can be quite costly. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the cost of a bad hire can reach up to 30 percent of the employee’s first-year earnings. However, a proper well planned out hiring process can help you attract and retain high-quality employees.

small business hiring tips

6 Hiring Tips and Tricks for Small Business Owners

1. Create a Hiring Plan

Slapping together a basic job description on a hiring site and hoping that you will get the best candidates won’t magically produce the top qualified candidates for your role. Although you might get some bites, you’re likely not hiring the best candidate. In order to obtain the best candidates some thought needs to go into your job description, culture fit, and role to help engage a potential candidate. This can all be produced through a hiring plan. The following steps can help you devise a plan that highlights the best parts of your company while finding the right fit for your organization.

2. Think Hard About Your Ideal Candidate

Every role requires vastly different attributes. So, it’s important to identify the attributes you want in your ideal candidate. A great employee will not only have skills that help them complete tasks associated with their role, they will also bring a level of motivation, attitude, and willingness to learn. Although skills can be listed in a job description, attributes can be hard to measure and might come across as more of a ‘feeling’ when you interview a candidate.

3. Show Off What You Have to Offer

Many candidates can be drawn into large companies because they can offer larger salaries. However, if you can’t afford to pay the highest salary on the market, there are many other ways you can attract the best employee. One great way to attract a new hire is through offering flexibility. Trends show that the traditional 9 to 5 is a way of the past. Top talent want options. Whether it be the ability to work collaboratively in an office, or from the comfort of their own home.


Another great way to attract top talent is to implement or update your employee benefits program. According to a recent survey by Pew Research Center, almost half of surveyed employees cited benefits as either a “major” or “minor” reason as to why they quit a job during 2021. A well researched and designed benefits plan can aid your businesses to meet your hiring objectives by improving your company’s bottom line as well as attracting and retaining the best talent available.


If you are new to employee benefits and looking to add them to your business start by exploring the CloudAdvisors marketplace. We provide sample plans for small businesses to gauge the cost of their first benefits plan. You can view the estimated total per employee, which benefits to include at what coverage levels, and other benefits not included in the quote if you want to go above and beyond. If you’re curious about the exact coverage levels offered within this plan, you can generate your own sample plan by signing up for CloudAdvisors here (it’s free!).


For any potential employee, the job description is one of the first interactions they have with your company. In order to write an impactful job description, spend some time figuring out the exact needs of your company and how your new hire might fit within your organizational structure. Imagine what a day in the role might look like. What personality might mesh well with your team. Think about where your ideal candidate might be looking for a job. There are many great avenues both virtual and physical that can help you narrow down your search. For example, conferences can be a great way to attract future talent. It gives you a chance to pitch your business face to face in a setting other than an interview.

An effective job description should include:

  • Position title—Avoid using a title that’s unique to your company. Make sure it can be understood by everyone in your industry. This will also help you gain more views to your application. 
  • Company Highlight—Write a few lines that concisely highlights your mission, values, and purpose. Make sure you think of why a candidate might be interested in working for you.
  • Description of Role—Summarize a day in the life of your future candidate by listing the most important tasks that your new hire will be required to perform daily, weekly, or monthly. Be sure to also highlight what makes the position appealing to future candidates.
  • Description of Qualifications—Define the attributes and skills you developed in the second tip. key people in your company, “What kind of person would be ideal for this post?” List the most important attributes and qualifications in order of priority.
  • How to Apply—Clearly state which documents (e.g. resume, cover letter, references, other relevant documents) you want to receive from the candidate. Also, clearly state when the application period closes.

4. Ask the Right Questions

Job interviews can be challenging for both the employer and the employee. In order to engage your potential hire and determine if they have the attributes of an ideal candidate, you must go beyond the traditional “tell me about yourself.” Your interview questions should be specific, but open-ended. Try using the STAR model of interview questions.


  • Situation: Ask the candidate to describe a situation where they used a key attribute or skill.
  • Task: Ask the applicant to explain how their specific attribute/skill helped them to succeed within the stated situation.
  • Action: Ask the candidate to clearly convey any actions they took in the face of the situation and task at hand.
  • Result: Ask the candidate to define the results or outcomes triggered by their decisions.


For instance, try asking your candidate about projects they worked on in the past or former work environments. Have them tell you what they liked and disliked about either. This will help you get an idea of the person’s strengths and skills, as well as what kind of environment they’re likely to flourish in.

5. Vet Your Candidate

When considering a potential candidate, reference checks are always a good first step to ensure that they are who they say they are. However, in this day and age references don’t quite cut it. Try doing a simple Google search of your candidate and try to find their social media handles to try to find any red flags before committing.

6. Onboarding is Key

Whether you’re offering full time or part time employment, the onboarding process is incredibly important to the success of your new hire. Put yourself in their shoes, it’s hard to be the new person who doesn’t understand the processes and operations of a new company. You and your team should ensure a smooth transition for your new hire. You can do this through encouraging coworkers to engage in conversations with the new hire, giving your new hire some company swag, or organizing a company event to get everyone together outside of work.

Update Your Benefits Plan Today!

If you’ve read through our hiring tips and tricks for small business and have realized that you need to implement or update your benefits plan to improve your draw as an employer, check out these blog posts to build a benefits plan that addresses the needs of your employees; Benefits For Small Business: A Simple Guide For Employers and Employee Benefit Plan: What makes a good plan and how to set one up. 

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