By: Roberta Matuson
It’s been a tough year for many small businesses; many owners are looking to wipe the slate clean and begin anew in 2012.
We recently asked our readers to share their wish list of recruiting strategies for the coming year. Here’s what they had to say.
Profits: This comes as no surprise, but not for the reasons you may think. Some small businesses have been running on fumes for the past several years as owners adjust to the new economic norm.
Other business owners would like to provide employee recognition to workers who stood by them through thick and thin. To do this, they must realize an increase in profits.
Many would like more profits so they can reinvest in their businesses and remain competitive. And of course there are those would like to some extra money to take the vacation they’ve postponed, due to lack of funds.
Candidates with the right job skills: There’s no shortage of available labor these days. However, there appears to be a mismatch between what is available and what is needed. Dina Moy founder of Inkba.com, Marianne Carlson, president and lead designer of Emcie Media and Dave Hatter, owner of Libertas Technologies, LLC are all asking Santa for the same kind of skilled labor -- skilled IT candidates, specifically experienced programmers. Let’s hope there is enough to go around.
“We are a knowledge-based business. We do custom software development, so skilled employees (programmers with good communication skills) are imperative to the delivery of our service,” states Hatter.
Moy is also looking for candidates with similar job skills who are team players. Is it any wonder why there is a shortage of programmers to go around? Specifically she is asking Santa to deliver programmers who are also business savvy (sometimes called “hybrid” candidates.) Judith Hurwitz, author of Smart or Lucky? How Technology Leaders Turn Chance into Success, describes these candidates as knowing how to manage the relationship between technology from how it impacts the business.
To attract these candidates, consider a recruitment strategy that offers workplace flexibility. Hurwitz also recommends that employers try recruiting IT candidates while they're still in college, before they graduate.
Business growth: Business owners like Andrew Schrage are diligently trying to grow their businesses, but are being slowed down by the sheer number of applicants.
“With so many applicants, all of who know how to put together great resumes, cover letters, and an impressive interview, it’s very difficult to find the most genuine people who will fit in best with the company,” notes Schrage. He goes on to say, “As an expanding business, bringing on someone who is not going to produce high-quality work can significantly stagnate growth.”
Schrage is asking Santa for a better way to search resumes to determine if candidates have the soft skills necessary to take the business to the next level so that he can grow his business.
Moy is asking Santa for an easier way to sort through candidates, based on their personalities. She believes that she can train people for skill, but in order to do so, they must possess certain characteristics that will make them a good fit for her company.
Reduced employee turnover: Small Business owners like MoneyCrashers.com’s Andrew Schrager recognize that employee turnover can be a killer in any business. “Sure, there are the financial costs, but in my case, many of the costs are not money-related,” states Schrager.
Employee turnover is high up on Schrager’s wish list. That makes employee retention and workforce management crucial.
A happy workforce Ashley Judge, founder and CEO of AlwaysFits.com, is asking Santa for sweet dispositions this year. “AlwaysFits.com is a whimsical gift site. There is no room for grouchiness and stress when you’re selling mustache bandages! We want happy people who love our products as much as we do,” states Judge.
We hope that Santa checks his list twice and brings small business owners exactly what they are wishing for this holiday season.
© 2011 Human Resource Solutions. All rights reserved.
Roberta Matuson is the President of Human Resource Solutions and author of the highly acclaimed book Suddenly in Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around, a Washington Post Top-5 Leadership pick. Sign up to receive a complimentary subscription to Roberta's monthly newsletter, HR Matters.