Finding the best employees possible is the goal for all companies when hiring. All companies face hiring challenges. Small businesses in particular face a number of unique challenges when recruiting new employees.

Independent owners and lesser-known companies can’t afford to make a hiring mistake. They have fewer employees and the performance of each worker has a direct impact on business success. Hiring the wrong person can be deleterious to morale, brand reputation, and the bottom line.

Here are some of the most common hiring challenges small businesses face:

Poor brand recognition/exposure

small business owner

Small businesses are often built around word of mouth communication and local support. In other words, most people have no idea the business exists unless they live in the area or someone told them about it.

This can make it difficult to recruit new talent. Many candidates question the validity of a business if they are not familiar with the name. This can cause online job ads to go unanswered and make it difficult to find candidates to interview.

Lack of a clear recruiting process

Most small business owners write job ads and do the recruiting themselves. They don’t follow a formal recruiting process. It may also be the case that different people do the hiring based on the job. Therefore, the criteria used to hire employees is not always consistent. Nor is the interview process, questions asked, and how candidates are chosen.

With small business owners and employees often wearing many hats, the recruiting process also tends to get rushed, increasing the chances of things being overlooked and poor decisions being made.

Poor onboarding and training

Business owner

Many new employees in small businesses are thrown into the thick of things from day one. Workers are forced to learn on the job, and many small businesses lack the time, resources, and training material to provide a proper onboarding and training program.

Meeting salary expectations

Perhaps the biggest challenge small businesses face when recruiting is meeting salary expectations. Many candidates expect the same pay as they would receive in a larger company. Small businesses often find ideal candidates only to lose out to a company that can afford to pay a higher salary.

While these challenges exist, many small businesses have been able to overcome them by working with a recruiter. Recruiters can help you streamline your hiring process, find the best candidates, and hire the best talent.

More Small Business Recruiting Advice

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Want to Get Hired at a Start-up? How to Position Yourself for the Gig Economy


IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm supporting clients across the country. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Technology (IT), Accounting and Finance, Consumer Goods, eCommerce and Retail, Financial Services and Insurance, Startup, B2B and Industrial, Operations and HR, Professional Services and Legal, Media, Digital and Marketing, Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences, Emerging Technology and Telecom, and  Sales. IQ PARTNERS has its head office in Toronto and operates internationally via Aravati Global Search Network. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Bruce Powell Executive Search

Bruce Powell

Bruce co-founded IQ PARTNERS in 2001 and currently operates as Managing Partner. His personal background includes hands-on management experience in sales, marketing and marketing services. He has built management teams for a wide variety of marketing, communications, media and technology companies. He has also participated in several M&A transactions for service-based companies and is frequently called upon as a resource in the planning and negotiation of such deals.

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