Small Business Recruiting: Best Practices for the Summer

Engaged, appreciated employees are an essential component of organizational success. However, employee engagement and retention can be challenging for business owners and managers, as they require continuous focus. If you are looking to improve engagement levels, the first place to start is during the recruitment stage, when candidates are forming their initial impressions of their potential employers.

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Why does a good first impression and early engagement matter? Because when it comes to retention, "86 percent of highly engaged employees would like to stay with their current employer for three years or more, compared to 32 percent of non-engaged employees."

Engagement Begins at the Recruitment Stage

Recruitment is an essential part of managing an employer's brand. During the hiring process, the lines between candidate and employee are blurred. It's too late for hiring managers to make a good impression on a new hire's first day of work ��� the impression is��formed well before then, regardless of whether or not hiring managers know it. That is because onboarding is an extension of recruiting ��� not something separate.

The No. 1��recruiting best practice to make a positive impression on a candidate (and future employee) is to be honest about the job you are hiring for to avoid disappointment later. During the job interview, it's important that the hiring manager communicates both the��challenges of the role and the type of personality or behavior required to overcome these challenges. Be truthful about the pros and cons of the position. Be straightforward about what your brand stands for, and be sure to represent your company's values in all of your conversations.

Why is this so important? Research shows that a new hire will make up their mind as to whether they like working for a company or not within a few weeks of their first day on the job. If they were oversold on the company or job requirements, it can lead to disappointment and resentment and make them question whether they made the right decision in��joining your company.

Recruiting Mistakes Have a Long-Term Impact on Engagement

During the recruiting phase, small mistakes have the ability to affect a company's reputation, regardless of whether the candidate being interviewed gets the job.

Ceridian's fourth annual Pulse of Talent survey, "7 Drivers for Building Employee Engagement: From Hire to Retire," found that when an organization does not provide feedback during the recruiting process, it has a negative impact on the employer's brand. In fact, 68 percent of candidates who didn't receive feedback during the recruiting process were left with an overall negative impression of the company, 52 percent were less inclined to apply for another job posted at the company, and 44 percent would be less inclined to buy the products/services of the company they interviewed with.

Don't make simple mistakes. When it comes to recruiting, there are best practices your small business can implement ��� specifically during the summer months.

Top 5 Best Practices for Summer Recruiting

1. Leverage Social Media

Small businesses should invest in progressive social media presences and websites geared toward job seekers. This could include employee blogs and/or short videos of current employees talking about their day-to-day routines and the culture or learning and development opportunities present at the company.

Candidates often make up their minds regarding whether they'd like to work for your organization before the first interview. It's critical to make a knockout first impression online in order to bring the right job seekers to your door.

2. Seek Free Advertising

During the summer months, you don't need to break the bank to recruit employees. Many colleges and universities offer free job postings. You can also connect with their career services departments for information on upcoming job fairs and internship programs.

3. Communicate Summer Perks

Think about what sets your business apart. Some employees (specifically millennials) may even prefer��tangible rewards to��paychecks. Non-monetary rewards could include things like��flexible workweek policies during summer months, bringing in an ice cream truck, or organizing employee sports teams. Emphasize what sets your company apart from the competition and what makes it a fun and engaging place to work during the summer and beyond.

4. Leverage Peer-to-peer Advice

It's a good idea to create video testimonials from employees all year round. This gives potential employees insight into what working for your organization is like. The videos should be produced every quarter. That way, you'll��have fresh content available for each��hiring cycle.

5. Be Specific

Organizations that are open, honest, and straightforward with their employees about job requirements during the recruitment process see higher retention rates. Set specific tasks with clear instructions and expectations for new employees. This recommendation should be applied year round.


Need more help with your recruiting plans? You may want to consider partnering with a payroll and HR provider to help your small business recruit and engage quality candidates from hire to retire.

Maurice Fernandes is the manager of employment brand and social media at Ceridian.