As someone who started a business from an apartment, I can empathize with entrepreneurs and I constantly root for the start-ups who come to our recruiting firm for employees. As a matter of fact, we have an entire group solely dedicated to small business clients simply because entrepreneurial firms need significantly more help with their recruiting.

Unequivocally, smaller companies have longer hiring cycles, endure more candidate rejections, have a higher employee turnover rate and often end up recruiting the employees who bigger, more established businesses don’t want.

It’s Not Lack of Money or Experience Either

I wish it were that simple. While money and experience are a problem for some, the issues that plague many small business recruiting efforts are much less transparent.

Surprisingly companies we work with have enough money (they have enough to pay our firm a significant amount for our services and are often competitive with candidate salary).

It’s not experience either. In most instances, our clients who have had trouble recruiting for years are run by entrepreneurs who have run many firms or former employees of large companies where they were exposed to hiring practices that are workable (at least for big business).

So What Are the Issues That Kill Recruiting Ambitions?

After analyzing why the small businesses that come to us have endured recruitment trouble in the past for twelve years, the following 5 problems are very common and are rampant regardless of industry.

The overwhelming majority of these companies are guilty of making at least one (in most instances, it’s more than one) of the below three killer mistakes.  We especially see the issues in digital marketing recruiting.

1. Lack of employee training.

Often, the problem begins after the recruiting process. Most small businesses do not devote the time and resources to make sure that employees have ample training. Therefore, the employee is doomed not to produce at an optimal level from day one. Unfortunately, until it’s pointed out, many small businesses go on thinking that the issue is the employee being lazy or inadequate.

2. Lack of structure.

Many small businesses recruit without having a set job description and without being able to clearly convey the job tasks and expectations to candidates. The problem is that employees crave structure and work best within an environment that tells them what to do, how to do it and how they are doing at their job.

3. Lack of entrepreneurial thinking on behalf of the candidates.

Recruiting problems are not always the fault of the small business owner. Often, small businesses have trouble recruiting employees because employees don’t think like entrepreneurs and are often hesitant to accept a job where there is perceived job instability.

While these problems take time and concentration to correct, knowing what is killing a small business recruiting efforts is the first step to overcome common growing pains.