Bringing on new talent is the lifeblood of small businesses. Whether a company wants to hire sales representatives or needs to conduct an extensive executive search, the size of the company usually plays a role in the hiring process. Large corporations typically have deep HR departments while small companies, on the other hand, may have a limited HR department, if they even have one at all, and the tasks involved in bringing on new talent for open sales positions fall to one or more employees who are already wearing other hats within the business. The hiring processes of smaller companies can sometimes be challenging, but reframing how a business recruits and hires new talent can be a game-changer. Looking at the hiring process in a new way and considering sales recruiters can help a small business connect with highly qualified candidates while saving money and time.

Small Company Hiring Challenges

The challenges that smaller businesses face when it’s time to hire sales representatives are unique to the size, funding and recruitment process of the company. While not insurmountable, knowing what types of problems are likely to arise can ultimately help your executive recruiters find greater success in filling sales positions. Some of these challenges include:

  • No Internal Talent Acquisition Team – Size constraints often mean that smaller businesses don’t have the resources or talent acquisition staff to fill vacant positions. This means that the hiring team will be taking on extra duties to search, source, screen, interview, hire and potentially onboard new employees. While the hiring team may be well qualified to find and acquire new talent, they are on double duty resulting in delays or problems as team members complete their normal tasks alongside the recruiting process.
  • Incorrect Job Postings – Small companies may only have one or two HR professionals on staff, and some small businesses may outsource HR tasks as needed. So when it’s time to create an accurate and detailed job description to begin the process of attracting new talent, that task may fall to an employee who is inexperienced in this skill set. A poorly written job description can inadvertently miscommunicate the company’s needs and requirements for the open position, creating problems throughout the hiring process. It may also deter qualified candidates from applying if they feel the role does not adequately address their motivators for joining a new organization. Lastly, when an inexperienced employee uses their time to create a job description, post it to the job boards and manage the inbound applications, it wastes the company’s money and can negatively impact their brand.
  • Recruiting Expenses – Hiring new sales representatives costs money, and it should not be a surprise that increased payroll and other expenses incur once a new hire has been onboarded to your team. But for a small company, deciding to bring on a sales recruiting company to take over the process and having to pay the placement fee can be a hard pill to swallow. The most common way sales recruitment firms are paid out on a placement is with a executive search or contingency search model which, on average, cost the company between 20%-30% of a candidate’s first-year salary. Adding new sales positions is critical to a company’s ongoing success, but planning for a payout of up to ¼ of a candidate’s salary in addition to the expenses of bringing on a new position can be financially challenging for any size company and impossible for many small ones.
  • Competitive Market – It can be hard for a smaller business to compete with large companies that have a strong culture and well known brand reputation.  Oftentimes these firms also offer extras to employees like unlimited PTO, 100% of benefits covered, free mental health resources and up to 6-months of paid family leave. These perks and benefits create a tighter market and may deter top candidates from considering a smaller business who cannot afford to offer the same level of resources.
  • Weak Recruitment Process – A big turnoff to potential candidates is a confusing, unnecessarily long or illogical recruitment process. If it takes your company more than 2-weeks to complete the interview process, you may be at risk of losing talent. Small businesses juggling hiring duties along with keeping on top of everyday tasks can create a weak recruitment process that discourages quality candidates from pursuing job opportunities with an otherwise excellent company.


Solving Small Business Hiring Problems

To create a positive environment for hiring new talent, small companies need to adjust the way they acquire top sales talent and make wise investments that will help them streamline the hiring process.

1. One of the easiest ways to improve a small business’s recruiting process is to streamline it and make the process candidate friendly. Providing potential hires with an engaging interview process will increase the odds that a quality candidate will stay interested in a competitive hiring market. Interviewers should be prepared to answer key questions from candidates to build rapport and sell on what it’s like to work at your company, not just ask questions, so that potential hires can begin to understand the culture and environment they are considering joining.

2. Another way for smaller companies to improve their hiring process is to create a thriving work environment that will lure in the right candidates. Focus on building a strong culture that employees appreciate and get their feedback on what is needed to retain them. Not all small companies have the financial resources to include the extra perks that larger corporations do, but listening to employee concerns and requests can go a long way in creating an environment that will be appealing to potential candidates. A strong corporate culture that values the physical and mental health of employees can make the recruiting process easier, especially when potential candidates are given an opportunity to talk to one or more members of a team or department they may be joining.  Ask your team and clients to periodically review your company on sites like Google and Glassdoor so potential future hires have additional insight into what your corporate culture is like.

3. Before a job role is posted for potential candidates to consider, a small business should first clarify open roles by investing in HR support through a recruiting partner if the company doesn’t have any HR specialists. While this initial investment might seem unnecessary, a small business will actually save money since another employee won’t have to pause their regular tasks to complete one that they are potentially underqualified to do successfully. Instead, a hiring team can analyze the job role in order to provide a complete description so the right candidates will apply for the position.

5. Hiring sales staffing agencies to find and bring on new talent can be cost-prohibitive for many small businesses. Instead of using an agency that only utilizes a contingency sales recruitment model, look at services that offer different types of talent acquisition models. A flat-rate model is a much more cost-efficient way for a small business to hire for one or more roles. By charging a flat rate instead of a percentage of a candidate’s first-year salary, smaller companies can use the hiring window to locate, interview and hire multiple candidates for potentially a fraction of the cost of a single contingency model hire. Using this type of hiring service model still gives small businesses with a small or nonexistent HR department all of the benefits in the hiring process while compacting the talent acquisition process into a shorter timeline. Not only does the company benefit from gaining new quality hires but they can also feel confident that the hiring process will go smoothly, and all necessary steps and the chore of vetting potential candidates won’t fall to an employee that is not qualified to do so.


Fill Your Open Position with a Sales Sourcing and Recruiting Service

Facing the prospect of filling an open role can be daunting for a small business, but the financial impact of using a recruiting firm often plays a big part in why many businesses try to do it themselves. Recruiting with a sourcing service like Treeline’s can help small businesses fill their open roles quickly and efficiently.

  • Treeline’s Sourcing Service operates on a one time fixed fee model rather than a pay per hire model. This unique recruitment model is ⅓ the cost of traditional contingency recruiting solutions, making it accessible to smaller businesses.
  • The shorter timeline of 30 days for Treeline’s Sourcing and Recruiting Service means small companies can find and onboard new hires faster, devoting more time to critical tasks and less on the usually lengthy hiring process.
  • Using a sourcing service means that businesses without a deep HR department can benefit from all of the advantages of a full hiring team to source quality candidates.
  • Businesses can stay on track with candidate management easier using Treeline’s proprietary Talent Tracking System, making it simple to manage candidates and the flow of the hiring process while managing a small business.
  • Using Treeline’s sourcing service provides a way to fill critical sales roles with a guarantee of seeing your first candidate within three days.


Make Your Process as Smart as Your Business

The approach you take to bringing on new talent should reflect the drive and acumen your small business is already known for. Being creative, looking for new ways to streamline and improve the hiring process and creating an attractive culture that candidates want to join will help your business hire the right talent, no matter your size.

Published On: August 17th, 2023Categories: Best Hiring Practices, Sales Recruiting

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