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There usually comes a point in your business where it’s time to expand and grow your team. As a small business owner, every hand contributes significantly to the day-to-day operations. It may seem tedious to go through the hiring process, however, the more time and energy put into the process, the better quality candidates you will find. 

Recruiting is one of the most difficult jobs in any business. It’s a fine line between finding the best candidates, while also creating a working environment that supports them. This post will focus on how to find the right and best talent for your team. 

Step One: Planning for the future

The first step to hiring is determining what your business goals are. Before you grow your team, you need to know where you want to be in the near and distant future. Your business vision should align with what types of positions you need to fill and what kind of commitment you need from your future team members. 

Step Two: Outline the tasks needed

After you have outlined what your business goals are, you must determine what you need from a new team member. 

Which tasks need to be done each day, and which are being ignored? For example, do you need help with the marketing side of your business, or perhaps you need more hands working on the field?

Whatever the tasks are, make a list and categorize those that are in the same field. From there, determine what possible job positions can be created out of the tasks. It is essential that you have enough tasks to be taken over by an individual and that you clearly outline what these are before creating a job description or starting the recruiting process. 

Step Three: Create your ideal candidate.

Similar to creating a customer persona for marketing purposes, it can be a helpful exercise to create your ideal candidate. This will also help you create a job position and determine the required skills you want from a future team member. 

Ask yourself, as the business owner, what do you want out of your team members? What work experience and personality traits are essential for you and for the position? 

This exercise may seem redundant; however, it is beneficial in determining what you expect from a candidate and in the future, from your employee. Write the required skills on a checklist as a guide for the job description and interviewing process.

Note, it is also vital that you review your resources and ability to support a new candidate. A good employee should not only have the skills to be able to do the work, but must also be a good fit for the team and share the values of the business. During the recruitment process, you may find a candidate that matches all of the desired traits, however, their skill-level may not match your needs. When you are creating your ideal candidate, determine if you have the resources to be able to develop candidates over time, and take this into consideration during the hiring process.

Step Four: Write the job description

Now it’s time to write the description! This is a challenging task, yet absolutely essential. Your description should include:

  1. A summary of the position, including wage and hours
  2. A description of the business and work environment
  3. The reporting relationship
  4. Key duties and responsibilities
  5. Selection criteria or how they can apply for the position

The job description should be direct and informative, however, be sure to keep your brand tone. This document serves as a tool to attract the best talent and find individuals that match your ideal candidate. For help on writing your job description, check out this article

Step Five: Look at your current candidate pool

Now that all of your documents are ready to go, it’s time to start looking for talent. When recruiting, business owners often start looking at the general workforce, before first looking under their noses first. Many food businesses are operated as family businesses, therefore, your own family members may be good candidates. Also, if you already have a larger team, perhaps there’s currently someone already on staff that could fill the position; somewhere that would require less training than a brand new recruit.

Note, if you are considering a family member, make sure you have an objective way to evaluate the individual, such as doing a skill assessment. You are running a business, therefore, you need to have the best individual for the role. Make sure it’s clear to everyone involved to avoid any conflict in the future. 

Other great ways to find possible candidates include:

  • Attending relevant networking events and university/college career fairs (especially agriculture specific)
  • Asking current team members for referrals
  • Asking around to industry members/friends
  • Linkedin
  • Posting on social media platforms
  • Online job boards

Finding new team members is a challenging but rewarding task. The more effort you put into the hiring process, the better the results. It may take longer than expected to find someone, but you want to make sure they are the right fit for your business and that you are the right fit for them. Taking the time to review your business goals, outlining which roles need to be filled, and sifting through candidates diligently, will lead you to success in the future. Best of luck!