How to Hire for Small Businesses Who Plan on Growing in Less Than a Year

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For small companies who rely on a gig or hourly workforce as the backbone to their success, having a slow hiring process is not an option. In fact, having a slow and manual hiring process is a recipe for failure within the first year.

Lime, however, has paved the way in creating a fool-proof way of avoiding this pitfall. Not only did Lime solve their staffing challenge, they also created a hiring process that allowed them to scale successfully at an exponential rate!

The Lime we know today, runs bicycle and scooter sharing networks in cities around the world. Before this, however, they were a year-old startup looking at solving their two biggest challenges: staffing and scaling. In less than 6 months, however, Lime expanded to 100+ new markets and four continents. Since writing this, they are now in over 200+ markets. Their method is repeatable and easy to implement which is why scaling is so easy and one any small business can imitate.

If it’s slowing you down, automate it

So how did Lime transition from a manual hiring process to a streamlined one? They focused on one main thing: automation.

Initially, Lime was doing their sourcing and recruiting manually through email and Craigslist. By switching to software, they were able to automate scheduling and communication with applicants. This also meant they didn’t need to hire additional people to recruit - one recruiter could easily manage all the recruiting and hiring operations.

Small businesses make the mistake in thinking that in order to keep costs down, they need to recruit and hire workers manually. We now know, however, that the opposite is, in fact, true.

“During the application process, we are able to send regular reminders and reduce time to market,” says Faraaz. “We are able to do things like clone existing job descriptions when we enter new markets. This ability to customize is what enables us to scale quickly.” - Faraaz Naqvi, Juicer Conversion Manager at Lime

So rather than pump resources into hiring more people to sift through resumes and schedule interviews, small businesses should allocate resources elsewhere and automate these manual tasks.

Feed your staffing pipeline by engaging your candidates

Relying on emails and phone calls to communicate with applicants is both time-consuming and extremely ineffective in hiring new workers. Depending on who you talk to, the average time it takes for recruiters to contact candidates can vary 1 week to 42 days and sometime longer. With automation, however, every single candidate can be engaged immediately. With smart hiring software, every single candidate can now be engaged immediately through their smartphone.

This is where scaling a small business becomes reality. If a business can recruit, engage, and hire enough workers through the convenience of a smartphone, then workers have less barriers to finishing the hiring process. With a low barrier to entry, applicants get through the hiring funnel process and start working faster.

The other piece to this winning recipe, however, is automated messages. This tool not only helps candidates schedule interviews without involving a recruiter, but it acts as a way to remind candidates to finish each step such as submitting digital paperwork, completing a background check or signing documents.

How SMBs can recreate Lime’s success

The method is simple: first get your fundamental business sorted and lay the foundation. Once you’ve gone to market and need to start hiring quickly, channel resources into other parts of your growing business by automating the hiring process.

There is a misconception that hiring software, particularly one that automates so many mundane tasks, is costly. The truth is, Lime was able to scale quickly because their hiring operations (hiring tens of thousands of workers globally) could be done with a team of three. With intuitive software, the ease-of-use and automation is built into the tool itself. This means there is no additional technology needed nor training required.

Whereas before, application-completion was a major bottleneck, Fountain now allowed Lime to send out SMS messages that remind and prompt candidates to complete each step of the application process.

The other game changer for Lime was having the ability to create hiring funnels quickly for every new market in which they open. Funnels are a customized process to help automate hiring. If Lime’s engineering had to make a new funnel for every new market, their operations would be tedious, slow, and expensive. With Fountain’s clean UI, however, Lime’s users can create or clone their own funnels right away and launch a new market within an hour.

Small businesses need to stop trying to do everything themselves. These mundane tasks are what become the unnecessary focus rather than the big-picture goal.A company’s bottleneck should never be something like making a funnel. If engineering has to take a week to make a funnel, that would effectively hurt the business’s bottom line.

“Being able to train other people on our team on how to use the software has been pretty easy which is also a big time-saver and super convenient - it’s an intuitive software,” says Faraaz Naqvi, Juicer Conversion Manager at Lime. “A new team member started and after figuring out the basics, she sounds like she’s an expert already. She built out all these rule stages in her funnels and built out these really smart filtering systems.”

Choose a tool that is intuitive and easy to learn. You company is more likely to adopt it, understand it, and make the best use from it.

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