Hiring Trends for Small Businesses in 2014

Hiring Trends for Small Businesses in 2014
By Ben Baldwin

The number of productivity solutions available to small businesses has exploded over the last few years, allowing business owners to move faster and get more done with less.

The exception has been hiring.

Hiring is, without a doubt, one of the most critical functions for a small business, but the processes and tools used are still grounded on age old, paper based manual processes. It’s slow, expensive and finding the right people for the job relies on the luck of a coin flip.

Fortunately, after decades of neglect, the hiring outlook for small and medium sized businesses could be turning around.

Here are three trends that point to a brighter future for hiring during 2014:

1) The “Hire Slow” Approach Is Dying

“Hire Slow, Fire Fast” is no longer the mantra for success that it once was. Going slow doesn’t lead to increased success as reports show nearly 50% of all new hires fail within their first 18 months.

Savvy business owners are embracing speed when it comes to hiring by leaning more on the people within the organization to do the hiring and tasking them to find a way to get it done. Distributing the work and delegating is freeing up business owners to focus on moving the business forward and empowering their employees to find the right people for their respective teams or departments.

2) Hiring is Going Digital

The traditional paper based application process is finally starting to give way to the digital era, and it’s about time. Having to print, sort, stack and read through piles of resumes is the ultimate time killer.

More small and medium sized businesses are use hiring tools that automatically post their jobs to all the major job boards for them and then ingest the applications in digital format into one online account. The time and efficiency savings are massive.

This not only cuts hours off the process of posting jobs, but allows them to view all their applicants in one place, on any computer or mobile device, without ever opening an email or printing a single page. By using these services to post their jobs, businesses save hundreds of dollars compared to posting to the job boards alone.

3) The Shift to “Fit” is Gaining Speed

Hiring “utopia” happens when you get the right person into the right role. The employee is ecstatic to be doing work they love and the employer lands a highly productive worker who sticks around. As much as we want this to be the way, it simply doesn’t work out nearly enough.

Why? Because hiring managers don’t have the information or insight based on a resume to know who is really cut out to do the job. It’s the same reason many employees end up in jobs they don’t enjoy: they simply don’t line up with their personality and motivation.

Fortunately, there is a new breed of services that exposes people’s personality and motivation within the application process. Each applicant’s personality and motivation is lined up against the specific role being hired for and a “fit” score is derived. This lets the employer know not only who has the skills and experience to do the work, but who is also a fit for the role. It’s a win-win for the employer and the applicant, as those who are most likely to succeed rise up to the top of the list.

These new services are remarkably affordable. More and more small and medium sized businesses are realizing not only the efficiency but the actual improvement in the speed of their hiring, and the success of their new employees. Easy access to this type of service also means SMBs can finally compete against larger firms for the best talent.

Hiring fast, going digital and a shift to focusing on job fit are three key hiring trends that are poised to make 2014 the year of small business hiring.

Ben Baldwin is the founder of Clearfit, a hiring tool that makes it easy for any size of business to find and hire employees that succeed.