Top five hiring mistakes small businesses make

Gevity, which serves as a full-service human resources department for small and mid-sized businesses, has released its list of the top five hiring mistakes made by small businesses when recruiting and hiring employees. Developed from Cornell University/Gevity research and surveys of small business owners, the list is a handy tip sheet for recruiting and hiring top talent.

Here are the top five hiring mistakes -- and how to avoid them:

  1. Offering candidates uncompetitive compensation. Offering prospective hires a competitive compensation package is critical for small businesses, which often struggle to compete with larger companies on the basis of pay and benefits. While a competitive salary is a key part of any compensation package, candidates aren't just looking for cash. Benefits, such as health insurance and retirement plans, opportunities for growth and advancement, a positive work environment, and flexibility also play a large role in a candidate's decision-making process. Focus the prospective hire on the total compensation package.

  2. Relying strictly on traditional recruiting sources. Knowing where to find employees, both internally and externally, is essential for small businesses. While placing a classified ad in a newspaper may work in some markets and for some jobs, employers need to understand the full range of options that are available to them, such as online job boards, university job fairs, recruiters or employment agencies. You can often build a pipeline of quality candidates by establishing relationships with key talent sources, such as schools and professional organizations.

  3. Failing to market your company. Don't forget that while your company is evaluating applicants, those applicants are evaluating your company. Make their choice easy by showcasing your company's strengths, opportunities and positive culture.

  4. Waiting until someone leaves - or is long gone - to fill critical positions. Not planning for or turning a blind eye to turnover is one of the most common mistakes small employers make. Start building a talent pipeline now, so when you do have a position to fill, you can quickly fill it with top talent.

  5. Hiring solely based on job fit, not organization fit. While employers large and small tend to hire based on candidates' job skills and experience, research has shown that job fit is less important than organization fit. So when interviewing prospective hires, make sure that a good organizational fit is the ultimate goal of your selection process.

"The key to attracting exceptional employees lies in avoiding these hiring mistakes and establishing a well thought out recruiting plan for your business," explains David Sikora, Director of Research at Gevity. "You can't expect great employees to find you. You have to develop a recruitment and hiring strategy to identify, target and reach them. Once you do this, you'll greatly improve the caliber of your job candidates, lower your recruiting costs and ultimately produce better business results."

By avoiding these five common mistakes, you will be able to recruit and hire candidates more effectively and efficiently.

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