As a small business owner, you have a lot on your plate. You might be handling marketing, sales, finances, or even cleaning the office. It all adds up — and the worst crunch times are often periods of growth. You desperately need to hire new staff, but you simply don’t have hours to spend on posting job ads, reading resumes, scheduling interviews, and doing all the admin that goes into hiring employees for your small business.


Whether you’re recruiting your first employee, looking to grow faster, or you’ve been stung by some poor hiring decisions in the past,

this is the guide you need.

We’ll take you through all the steps to make incredible hires in a fraction of the time.

Find Perfect Candidates Faster Than Ever

Meet with our hiring coaches today to see how AI can slash 90% of the time from your hiring process. Start filling jobs faster right away, with 10x higher quality people.

1. Create a Small Business Hiring Plan

Before you start hiring, you need a clear plan. What roles are you hiring for? What qualities and skills would a top candidate have? How will your hiring process work, step by step?

It’s a lot to think about. You can get a head start with your hiring plan by using AI to create all the content you need for hiring employees for your small business. Take a look at our video for full instructions:

2. Build Employer Branding

In a small business, everyone’s impact counts for a lot. You want to hire the best of the best — and that means showing you’re an attractive company to work for.

This comes down to employer branding. Delivering a great candidate experience starts with a professional-looking careers page designed to draw in top talent. Here’s how to add one using Discovered:

Creating a map of your hiring pipeline can help you create a smooth process to hire employees for a small business. See our article: Hiring Pipeline: What It Is and How to Build and Use It

3. Write an Engaging Job Ad

Your job ad might be the most crucial piece of recruiting content you write. Unfortunately, for many small businesses, it’s an afterthought. Too many business owners make the mistake of thinking their job description is a job ad.

Your job ad needs to sell candidates on the role. The good news is, you don’t need to be a master copywriter to nail this. Instead, let AI do all the heavy lifting for you:

Pro Tip: Knowing the federal, state, and local employment laws is a vitally important part of hiring employees for your small business. Get to know the top prohibited employment practices before you start.

4. Post Your Job the Right Way

You need to get your job ad in front of top candidates. That means making it visible where they’re already looking — on big job search sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, Monster, and CareerBuilder, as well as small, free job boards.

Instead of wasting time manually adding your jobs to lots of different boards, use an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to automatically publish your job ad to multiple job boards with a single click of a button.

5. Use Referrals

Employee referrals are hands-down the best source of new hires, with 84% of companies saying referrals are their most cost-effective way to find new talent. If you already have A-players working for you, chances are good that they know plenty of other talented, dedicated people they can reach out to.

Even tiny businesses can run an employee referral program. There’s one built into the Discovered – Performance Hiring Software platform. You can even use the integrated AI to seamlessly create all your referral program’s materials:

Do you need an ATS, a CRM, or both to help you handle hiring employees for your small business? Find out why using both is both better and cheaper than you think in our article: ATS vs CRM: What’s the Difference, and the Benefits of Both

6. Pre-Screen to Save Time

You don’t want to waste hours in interviews that clearly aren’t going anywhere. Use pre-screening to pinpoint the most promising candidates. Tools like one-way video interviews and pre-employment assessments let you quickly and effectively evaluate candidates. You can also use one-click reference checking to get highly relevant feedback from candidates’ past supervisors.

It’s easy to create behavioral, ability, or skill assessments in Discovered, with a full tutorial here:

7. Use the Right Interview Questions

Have you ever interviewed a candidate and had a “good feeling” about them — only to hire them and find out they were a poor fit for the job? Effective interviewing requires interview questions that dig into the exact skills and attributes a candidate will need in order to excel in the role. You can use ChatGPT to craft a perfect set of interview questions.

In addition to asking questions, you may want to consider a working interview to see candidates’ skills first-hand:

8. Prioritize Diversity (DEI)

Diverse teams consistently outperform more homogeneous teams. Plus, promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion will help improve your employer brand with potential candidates. You want to hire the very best person for the job, whatever their gender, sexuality, race, religion, or disability.

Here are some eye-opening facts about how DEI and income inequality can impact hiring employees for your small business:

9. Choose the Best Candidate

You already know it’s massively important to pick the best candidate — but how do you make sure you’ve got them? You might be surprised that you don’t have to go through round after round of interviews. Instead, create a candidate scorecard that lets you objectively see which candidate stands out from the crowd.

Most companies don’t do this, so using scorecards will put you miles ahead of your opposition. You can use ChatGPT to create your candidate scorecard and interview guide in seconds:

10. Maintain a Repository of Passive Candidates

Did a candidate narrowly miss the mark for a role? Perhaps their experience or skills weren’t quite the perfect fit, but they’d be highly effective in another role. If a new position opens up, you’ll save hours (and possibly days) of effort if you can quickly and easily contact that past candidate to see if they’re interested.

Turning to candidates whose information you already have on file can save you a significant amount of time during the hiring process. You might never need to post a job ad at all. It’s easy to do this yourself, without a recruiting agency or on-staff recruiter — saving a massive amount of money:

Pro Tip: Have a solid onboarding and training plan in place, ready to go immediately after you extend an offer. This will not only improve your employer brand, but also increase your new hire’s chances of succeeding in the role.

How Discovered Can Help You Hire Employees for Your Small Business

Discovered – Performance Hiring Software can bring you ten times more highly qualified, pre-screened candidates for a fraction of the cost. This powerful tool will help you build engaging job descriptions and job ads, and post them to a range of job boards with just a few clicks.

The platform can also help you screen your candidates, letting you click to administer pre-employment assessments and one-way video interviews, and even automatically check references, with less HR labor hours than you thought possible.