Talent acquisition for small business

Growing the workforce of a small business can feel uncertain and risky, but having an employee handbook, job descriptions, and processes in place can help to create order. Creating a talent acquisition plan can provide the ability to make data-driven decisions.

Talent acquisition is not just replacing an employee, it is a deliberate process for strategically crafting a workforce. How can you eliminate some of the guesswork around making next the best hire/role to ensure success for the employee, your team and the company?

To understand the most important resource to add, you must know what each employee is working on and how much time they dedicate to various tasks. For 30-60 days, ask your current workforce (or do this yourself if it's your first hire) to track their time in minute detail to capture the following data:

• Each employee's capacity and efficiency. Learn what types of activities each person gravitates toward and those they tend to avoid. It may reveal the employee needs additional training or has extra time on their hands. There may be specific clients that are a drain on time and resources and affect an employee's ability to be productive.

• Average revenue per employee. Most industries have a benchmark to which your business can be compared. This is a meaningful tool used to understand how efficiently your company is utilizing team members and helps tie productivity to profitability now and as the business grows.

• Engagement of strengths and skillets vs. the loss of time on nonessential tasks. Employees should be maximizing their skills and focusing on activities that accentuate their strengths. If your technicians are bogged down with clerical work, it may make more sense to hire an administrative assistant that can support them and protect the company's revenue per employee.

• Sustainability of current workloads. Overworked, overwhelmed or bored employees will not stay. Those that feel their work is meaningful and that they are appreciated are happy, loyal team members.

This data will enable you to identify the next critical role to fill with someone who will be motivated and engaged with the responsibilities of the job. Additionally, you'll have a clear understanding of the path to the highest possible revenue per employee and company profitability.

• Lori Dann is the founder of Presidents' Leadership Council (PLC), an exclusive forum for small business CEOs, presidents, and partners to engage, learn and grow through peer relationships and professional presentations. She has more than 25 years of business experience with specific expertise in sales, marketing, communications, and employee benefits. Lori's professional experience includes work at Mothers Trust Foundation, Fresh Start Business Incubator, and Kimco Services. She holds a bachelor's degree from Barat College in Lake Forest.

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