Small business tips for hiring and retaining staff       

5th July 2021

One of the biggest challenges that small business owners face is hiring, managing and retaining staff. On top of finding the right people to help run your business, you also need to have strategies in place to build and maintain employee morale, retain staff and ensure productivity remains high. 

Knowing how to retain the employees who add real value to your business as well as how to effectively handle difficult ones are just some of the skills you’ll need to learn as a small business owner. 

Recruitment tips

While finding the best recruitment strategy for your business will require some trial and error, here’s some tips to help you find and keep the best people:

  • Ask for referrals from your current employees and network;
  • Attend industry events – networking with industry peers can be a great way of identifying talent or asking for referrals; 
  • Hire employees on a trial or probationary basis – even hiring potential candidates on a freelance or project basis initially can be a good way to identify if they are a good fit; 
  • Always check references – it may seem onerous, but it’s worth the ringing around to find out about your candidates, even if it is just to find out how to get the most out of someone you’d like to employ; 
  • Post on niche job sites – as a small business it can be hard to compete on big recruitment platforms like LinkedIn or Indeed so look into specialist recruitment sites;
  • Make sure you write good job descriptions – this will help to make sure you get the right candidates for the jobs you are recruiting for; 
  • Prepare for interviews – make sure you know what questions you want to ask, take the time to explain your business to candidates and be honest about the challenges that come with the role; and
  • Offer relevant perks – whether it’s flexible working arrangements or other work-life balance benefits such as weekly yoga classes or fun Friday lunches, ongoing training and professional development or volunteering opportunities, there are lots of creative ways to keep employees happy and engaged.

Play to your strengths

Being an SME business can be an enormous strength and advantage when it comes to attracting top talent. For example, the ability to ‘fast-track’ a potential employee’s career progression through being exposed to more aspects of the business than they would be in a larger organisation can be a huge draw card.

Creating a positive culture within your business is also important in hiring and retaining good people. On top of having great ‘perks’ it’s also important to emphasise professional development opportunities, such as attending training seminars or providing opportunities to learn from the many different tasks and responsibilities that are involved in running your small business.

Finally, remember that in a small business every employee can have a big impact on the culture you create – for better or worse. One person’s efficiency, enthusiasm or negative attitude can have a ripple effect across your whole business so make sure you don’t rush into hiring someone for the sake of hiring someone. Instead, be clear on your values and look for the qualities that matter to you in the people you hire.


Contact us to find out more about how BOQ Business can support your small business


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