How to Build Your Company’s Hiring Pipeline

Even small business owners who are excited about growing their companies find themselves dreading the hiring process. You probably need extra people to help your business expand, but how do you find employees who have the necessary skills and who believe in your company?

Build a Staffing Plan

Start by developing a strategic road map for your business. Determine the milestones—whether financial or operational—that will show you when you might need additional workers. If your sales increase by 20 percent, will you need another person to handle the increased workload?

Next, consider the types of resources needed. For one business, the next hire might be an IT expert or someone for the support desk, while for a retailer, someone who can welcome and direct customers might be the best resource.

Once you know what kind of help you’ll need and when you will probably need it, think about what the new people will cost. You’ll need to add their salary and benefits to your budget, and you’ll need to provide workspace, as well as computers, phones and other equipment.

Defining Roles and Wages

Next, define the skill sets, education and other qualifications required for each role. Do you need a complete job description? No. However, you do need a job descriptor: a statement of three to four sentences that outlines the reason the role exists. You can determine the qualifications and years of experience necessary by viewing similar online job ads.

Before you establish pay rates, make sure you understand your community’s rules on minimum wage rates, overtime pay and other employment matters. Official websites such, and are good places to start.

You are now ready to set a compensation wage range. For free and accurate information about labor rates, visit You can narrow down the data to find a pay range, specific to your county or city, for the jobs you’re trying to fill. Remember to budget for annual salary increases.

Locating the Right People

Here are several tried-and-true resources for finding individuals who will be a fit for your company.

  • Word of mouth among family, friends and your regular networks is always your best option. Your closest contacts will have the best connections.
  • Use social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to describe your position. Interested individuals can communicate with you directly.
  • Notify area professional organizations that specialize in the skill set for which you’re hiring. For instance, contact the Society for Human Resource Management of Johnson County if you’re seeking to fill a HR role.
  • Other good resources are your local chamber of commerce, KANSASWORKS, your nearest SBA-backed Small Business Development Center, New Landings and job clubs.
  • Keep your eyes open for talent. Your next employee may be working at a business that you frequent.
  • Notify outplacement firms about your available opportunity. Different from a search firm, outplacement firms help individuals from all levels of various organizations find work or a new career after having been laid off.
  • Consider calling a temporary staffing agency. They will find the right candidates for you, set up interviews and put the individual on their payroll. You will pay a mark-up fee and have the option to hire at a later date.

By following this outline, you’ll be well on your way to growth, but the hiring process is only the “end of the beginning.” You’ll need to define a work culture and help new employees get situated in their new roles. As time goes by and they become integral parts of your company, they’ll be able to help you find your next great employee.