Is your small business struggling to get hiring right?
You’re not alone. In 2022, 60% of small businesses experienced worker shortages that kept them from operating at full capacity. In small businesses especially, culture and morale can also take a hit if the wrong candidate steps into a role.
Outsourced hiring might be the answer.
“But we’re a small business.”
Small businesses routinely assume that outsourced hiring is financially out of reach. Consider, though: The right outsourced hiring partner will source and vet top-tier candidates using the latest hiring strategies– an approach that yields strong candidates likely to free up company leadership, improve outcomes, and boost your bottom line.
Emphasis on the right partner. myHR Partner has helped clients across the United States hire thousands of employees over 20+ years. It’s given us a front-row seat to the differences between successful and unsuccessful hiring services for small businesses.
Our advice to small businesses considering outsourced hiring:
Understand your outsourced hiring options
Hiring management for small businesses can be loosely organized into three option categories. All three work to match job candidates to vacancies, with differences in offerings, methodologies, and mindsets:
myHR Partner is a full-service outsourced HR provider. Full-service outsourced HR firms are adept at doing what’s best for your business versus merely “making a placement.” Our HR expertise includes a keen understanding of employees as people who can enhance (or negatively affect) small business culture and morale. We take a profoundly in-depth approach to understanding your small business’s needs, business goals, and culture, then put forward solid candidates who have the right skill set and are a culture fit. Our services even include managing the onboarding process for new hires, which goes a long way toward setting them up for success.
Staffing services interview mass quantities of applicants so they’re poised to place candidates at a moment’s notice. Speed and volume are their calling cards. Interviews are typically limited to a few minutes; sometimes staffing services never meet candidates at all. It’s widely understood that certain applicants – namely, high-performing candidates – will never seek out staffing services. Staffing services do not advertise clients’ names, so applicants are not applying for your job – they’re applying for any applicable job the staffing service seeks to fill.
Recruiters (sometimes called headhunters) often pursue candidates who currently have jobs and aren’t necessarily searching for a new one – which can bode well for highly-specialized roles, but heightens the risk of wasted time and subpar outcomes. Recruiters are known to edit resumes and coach candidates to make them look good in the quest for placement.
Understand how outsourced hiring services charge
Staffing services and recruiters are not paid until they make a placement. Most staffing services charge a temp-to-hire hourly rate or receive set rates for each placement – typically 20 to 30% of the position’s annual salary (higher for hard-to-fill positions). Recruiters almost exclusively receive set placement rates based on salary.
At face value, this makes budgeting straightforward. Keep in mind, though: Placement fees can incentivize staffing services and recruiters to fill roles fast – a threat to the integrity of their work that lands many of their small business clients back at square one much sooner than hoped.
Fully outsourced HR firms like myHR Partner charge hourly to fill vacancies. Being paid for the effort – not merely the placement – lets us devote the utmost care to the challenge. Of note: We often end up costing less than staffing services and recruiters (especially for higher level roles), with significantly higher retention and return rates. Another benefit: If your small business is hiring multiple people for the same position, cost per hire is dramatically less than what you’d pay a staffing service or recruiter that charges per placement. You can also hire as many myHR Partner-sourced candidates as you’d like – a common move among our clients that also offers huge savings.
Ask the right questions
myHR Partner often hears from small businesses who’ve had negative experiences with other outsourced hiring vendors. Typically, costly headaches could have been avoided if they’d asked the right questions before committing:
How will the outsourced hiring services partner learn about the roles they’ll be filling? What information do they need to get started? Look for in-depth answers pointing to established frameworks and processes.
What’s their process? Ask about sourcing methods, candidate engagement, and employer branding to ensure that processes are defined and above-board.
How much time will they spend interviewing each applicant? A solid outsourced hiring company will carefully review a resume and conduct a pre-interview (ideally recorded so you can watch). They will then interview qualified candidates for 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the role.
Do they customize interview questions? If so, can you review the questions they will ask? Right-fit outsourced hiring providers custom-create unique job interview questions for each role. These generally include questions (or incorporate insights) provided by you, the client. You should have a chance to review these questions and offer feedback.
How experienced – and educated – are their hiring managers? Inquire about credentials and duration of employment.
What parts of the hiring experience do they manage? Will the hiring partner complete a compensation analysis? Assist with job ad creation? Place the job ad across job sites outside of their own?
What’s needed from you? Seek clarification about communication frequency and other ongoing expectations of you and your small business colleagues.
How do they stay up-to-date on hiring-related regulations and compliance? Where do they source this essential information?
What’s their stance on confidentiality? Given the nature of hiring, defined commitment to confidentiality is critical.
Do they coach job applicants and/or enhance resumes? The right partner will present candidates as-is. Showing you the red flags along with the good helps you hire the right talent – a far cry from merely making a placement.
What’s their reputation? Research this on your own, for obvious reasons. Remember, job candidates will likely see your outsourced hiring partner’s name if they’re recruited to work for your business. A questionable reputation can impede your hiring and reflect negatively on your business.
Take steps in-house toward outsourced hiring success
As you vet outsourced hiring providers, do the following in-house to increase chances of positive outcomes once you select a partner:
Position your team for speed. Hiring moves fast. Sit too long on an email or phone call, and you’ll lose candidates. Designate team members to serve as internal contacts for the outsourced hiring provider. Stress the critical importance of timely responses to all hiring-related communication.
Get on the same page. Buy-in and support from all stakeholders is essential to successful outsourced hiring. Without it, you’re wasting your money.
Share what you already know. If you have data, reports, or insights on hiring to date, organize and share it with your new outsourced hiring partner. The number of applicants relative to number of interviews, percentage of past offers accepted – the right outsourced hiring partner will welcome it all! These insights can even save you money, as they sometimes reduce the scope of exploration needed at the top of the engagement.
Small business hiring in today’s market can be a daunting task, but that’s where myHR Partner comes in. We’d love to discuss hiring with you!