Start Your Business

Strategies to Recruit High-Quality Employees

Strategies to Recruit High-Quality Employees

In businesses of all sizes, finding good talent is more challenging than ever.

A recent survey by the employment firm ManpowerGroup found that more than one-third of employers couldn’t find the talent they needed. But for small businesses, this “talent mismatch,” as the firm calls it, can be even more pronounced. 

You can’t afford an underperforming employee in a small business setting, says Chris J. Collins, associate professor at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and director of the Cornell Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies in Ithaca, N.Y. “In big companies, they can hide that … but if you have one out of 10 [underperforming employees], that can have a huge impact.”

Here are a few strategies to help you find high-quality hires:

1. Identify your company’s goals

“One of the most critical steps is to understand what it is that’s special and unique about your own organization,” Collins says. Discover why your current employees value working at your company and then use that as a selling point when recruiting.

2. Pinpoint the target employee

Knowing your target employee ahead of time will help you screen candidates. “What is it that those people want, and what is it that they’re looking for in an employer?” Collins recommends asking. Perhaps the target employee is looking for a chance to pursue new technology, or seeking to be involved in many steps of the innovation process.

3. Be visible

One of the most important challenges for many small businesses is getting in front of their recruitment targets in a meaningful way. Collins recommends looking for unique—and often free—opportunities beyond job fairs to showcase the business. For example, go to a local Habitat for Humanity construction build and have your employees wear T-shirts with the company logo, or volunteer at a local triathlon to hand out water. Don’t be afraid to give your current employees three or four talking points about who you are so they can become brand-builders while out and about.

4. Highlight non-traditional perks

If your company isn’t able to offer a premium compensation package, don’t fret. “There are lots of ways to sell it without being about pay,” Collins says. For example, highlight your company’s interesting work, the potential opportunity for a stock launch or the multifaceted experience the candidate would gain. Also, if your company has limited room for advancement, highlight how your company can promote employees laterally—a great way for a young employee to learn new skills. You can also highlight available retirement packages, including online 401(k) programs

5. Be interview ready

Once you’ve narrowed down your job candidates, look at your most successful current employees and figure out what skill sets make them different. Then try to focus the interview around those qualities. Also, be sure to gauge if the candidate is a good cultural fit. “One mistake is if we all work as a team and I bring in the rugged individualist who doesn’t want to work with anybody,” Collins says. “That’s devastating to a small business.”

6. Take your time

Taking the extra time to find a quality employee will save a lot of headaches and money in the long run. Many small businesses can’t absorb the shock of having to terminate a recently hired employee and then begin the recruitment process anew. “Often, small businesses are so anxious to get the job filled that they rush through that process,” Collins says.  “You need to take more time than a big company.”

By following these steps, you’ll set your business up for making a strong hire. And when you’ve found an employee who fits into the culture, you’ll also be increasing the chances that he or she will remain onboard for years to come.

This content does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.


Investment and Insurance Products:

Are Not FDIC or any other Government Agency Insured   Are Not Bank Guaranteed  May Lose Value 

© 2018 SunTrust Banks, Inc

equal housing logoSunTrust Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. Member FDIC

equal housing logoEqual Housing Lender. SunTrust Mortgage, Inc

SunTrust, SunTrust Mortgage, SunTrust PortfolioView, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, SunTrust Premier Program, AMC Pinnacle, AMC Premier, Access 3, Signature Advantage Brokerage, Custom Choice Loan and SunTrust SummitView are federally registered service marks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Services provided by the following affiliates of SunTrust Banks, Inc.: Banking products and services are provided by SunTrust Bank, Member FDIC. Trust and investment management services are provided by SunTrust Bank, SunTrust Delaware Trust Company and SunTrust Banks Trust Company (Cayman) Limited. Securities, brokerage accounts and insurance (including annuities) are offered by SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., a SEC registered broker-dealer, member FINRA, SIPC, and a licensed insurance agency. Investment advisory services are offered by SunTrust Advisory Services, Inc., a SEC registered adviser. GFO Advisory Services, LLC is a SEC registered investment adviser that provides investment advisory services to a group of private investment funds and other non-investment advisory services to affiliates. Mortgage products and services are provided by SunTrust Mortgage, Inc.

SunTrust Mortgage, Inc. - NMLS #2915, 901 Semmes Avenue, Richmond, VA 23224, 1-800-634-7928. CA: licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, IL: Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee #MB-989, Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, 100 W. Randolph, Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60601, 1-888-473-4858, MA: Mortgage Lender license #-ML-2915, NJ: Mortgage Banker License - New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, NY: Licensed Mortgage Banker—NYS Department of Financial Services, and RI: Rhode Island Licensed Lender.

"SunTrust Advisors" may be officers and/or associated persons of the following affiliates of SunTrust Banks, Inc.: SunTrust Bank, our commercial bank, which provides banking, trust and asset management services; SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., a registered broker-dealer, which is a member of FINRA and SIPC, and a licensed insurance agency, and which provides securities, annuities and life insurance products; SunTrust Advisory Services, Inc., a SEC registered investment adviser which provides Investment Advisory services.

SunTrust Private Wealth Management, International Wealth Management, Business Owner Specialty Group, Sports and Entertainment Group, and Legal and Medical Specialty Groups and GenSpring are marketing names used by SunTrust Bank, SunTrust Banks Trust Company (Cayman) Limited, SunTrust Delaware Trust Company, SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., and SunTrust Advisory Services, Inc.

SunTrust Bank and its affiliates do not accept fiduciary responsibility for all banking and investment account types offered. Please consult with your SunTrust representative to determine whether SunTrust and its affiliates have agreed to accept fiduciary responsibility for your account(s) and if you have completed the documentation necessary to establish a fiduciary relationship with SunTrust Bank or an affiliate. Additional information regarding account types and important disclosures may be found at

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey is the trade name for the corporate and investment banking services of SunTrust Banks, Inc. and its subsidiaries, including SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., member FINRA and SIPC.