Advice & Guides

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This week: recruitment. How to lower your hiring costs.

Tip 1: Start online

There are a myriad of job boards out there only one Google-search away. Certainly enough to baffle a lot of business owners with too much choice. Try and find sites that specialise in recruiting in the roles you really need. Just as importantly, seek recommendations from friends and colleagues – and when you interview, find out exactly which job sites or services candidates like and use. You can quickly build up a picture of which online sources match your particular business needs. To give you an idea, prices for posting jobs on big sites such as Reed (www.reed.co.uk) start at £175 + VAT, Monster costs £199 + VAT upwards. And, on a personal note, we had a surprisingly good response from Craigslist (www.Craigslist.org) recently, despite the fact that it has none of the bells and whistles and frills of other offerings.

Tip 2: Navigating the tangled web

There are services that try and help take the strain and avoid the pain. For example Recruitment Genius (www.recruitmentgenius.com) posts your vacancy across 2,000 job boards, including Job Centre Plus, and filters candidates for you for a fixed price of £199. Recruitment Revolution (www.recruitmentrevolution.com) offers a fixed price service to screen candidates, set up interviews and pass all feedback directly to you - with no upfront cost and a success fee of £575. 

Tip 3: Get social 

Most of us use social media now – and you can bet your bottom dollar that your potential candidates are probably using it. So much so that it can be a great way of screening them. Have they shown initiative by gaining a great social medial profile? Is their frenetic Facebook page far more revealing than their stuffy CV? Jobvite (www.jobvite.com) provides software to aid recruitment through social media channels and also offers some useful tips on how to approach social recruiting. 

Tip 4: Close links 

The Big Daddy of social media recruitment is Linked In (www.linkedin.com), where you have millions of people revealing their work experience and achievements for all to see. Posting a job for 30 days costs £125.95+VAT (with discounts for multiple job posts). As a standard member, you can join groups for free – connecting you to potential job seekers. And there are a range of "pro" packages if you want to contact candidates that are not in your own network. You can often find some top recruitment tips here: http://www.linkedin.com/today/staffing_and_recruiting

Tip 5: Virtual reality 

It is not surprising that many businesses are going virtual to access a global talent pool. You may well be better off recruiting outside help for certain projects instead of hiring full time. Getting virtual help is also a good way to test potential candidates out before giving them more work. VWorker (www.vworker.com) is a good example and if you are quick you can try it out for free: http://bit.ly/zGYDbc

oDesk (www.odesk.com) is good for contractors and other popular services are www.peopleperhour.com and www.elance.com while www.fiverr.com offers services starting at $5. iHubbub (www.ihubbub.com) is also a useful resource. It is a social network connecting remote workers, virtual companies and consultants.

Tip 6: Networking 

Networking can be a great way to skimp on recruitment costs and meet people directly or get great referrals. In other words get yourself about a bit. Explain why your business is a great place to work and why you are going places. There are some good online starting points including www.meetup.com and www.findnetworkingevents.com, which help you track upcoming events in your area. Business 2012 sounds like an very interesting show for business owners coming up in March.

Tip 7: Interns

If you haven't got much cash to splash, then interns can be a great resource to help your business grow. Internwise, www.enternships.com and http://graduatetalentpool.bis.gov.uk are good starting points, as is Wexo.

Tip 8. Be prepared

Ultimately the best way to save money on recruitment is to be very clear about what you want. A well thought through and brilliant job spec takes a bit of effort to do but in the end will really save you time and money. Candidates are not just looking for cash, they are looking for interesting, challenging and satisfying roles and careers. And don't be afraid to rely on referrals. Put the job description out to your network of friends and colleagues and your social network and ask if they know anybody and can spread the word. On the face of it, recruitment fees can be daunting, but you don't have to take on huge costs when you take on your next hire.

Andy Yates, entrepreneur and director of Huddlebuy.co.uk, the daily deals site for entrepreneurs, gives Real Business readers regular top money saving tips to help business owners save thousands of pounds. 

Next time: How to save money on telecoms and the internet.


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