Most businesses have hiring on the brain these days. With a strong economy, growing companies are looking to build out their ranks, but a historically low unemployment rate is making hiring a challenge.

By Alex Tolbert

Because the hiring environment is so competitive, businesses have to get really strategic about how they approach recruitment. This can be a particular challenge for small organizations, which generally hire less often than businesses with hundreds – or thousands – of employees.

Bigger companies tend to have very clear and streamlined hiring processes that allow them to bring on multiple new hires a month. But smaller employers may hire just a handful of workers all year, and their processes tend to be less streamlined.

This is an issue, because inefficient recruiting practices can slow down the process, eat up more of HR’s time and have long-term implications for the organization’s growth.

So how can hiring managers and HR streamline the recruitment process? Using tech tools to automate hiring speeds up the process, eliminates bottlenecks and allows HR and hiring managers to onboard more efficiently.

Here are three of the biggest hiring headaches today’s businesses face and how to think about their solutions.

The back and forth between hiring managers and HR

One aspect of recruitment that can slow down the hiring process is that both HR and the hiring manager – or the person to whom the new hire will report – have to be involved.

Both hiring managers and HR professionals will have a hand in tasks like writing job descriptions, posting open positions and reviewing resumes. The hiring manager is generally the main decision-maker, but wants and needs support from HR to facilitate the process.

This can create a lot of unnecessary back and forth between the two team members. Using a hiring solution that allows all decision-makers to see the same information and communicate about applicants can speed this process along.

Managing listings and resumes

If your organization posts job openings on multiple platforms – your website, career sites like Indeed and local publications or platforms, for example – managing these listings can eat up a lot of time.

Further, using different systems to pull and store resumes is a hassle for HR. Often, these resumes are stored in a variety of ways and places, including email inboxes, desktop folders or filing cabinets.

Ideally, all job listings and resumes should be hosted in one connected hub that integrates with job listing websites. This is why using an HR system with an applicant tracking feature is particularly useful for small businesses looking to improve their hiring and recruitment processes.


The amount of paperwork associated with old-fashioned onboarding is substantial. Once an applicant becomes a new hire, HR has a stack of identifying and compliance-related documents they have to review, store and have signed by the new hire.

This not only creates challenges for HR professionals, it’s also not ideal for new hires. Data shows that new hires who experience an inefficient or less-than-ideal onboarding experience are more likely to leave, increasing turnover rates and slowing business growth.

In other words, using a solution to handle all onboarding prior to the new hire’s first day means that HR can spend that influential first day helping the new hire ramp up, meet the team and begin familiarizing themselves with the role and the company culture.

This kind of onboarding process is shown to improve experiences for employees and improve retention rates.

Ultimately, whether you hire a handful or a hundred employees this year, your organization will benefit from a streamlined, tech-supported recruitment process. In the competitive job market, this will help small businesses better compete for top talent.

Alex Tolbert is the founder and CEO of BerniePortal, the all-in-one HRIS for small and mid-sized businesses. He is an industry-recognized expert on HR technology, the benefits industry, small business operations and software development. 

Hiring stock photo By fizkes/Shutterstock