For small businesses, competing against larger companies in hiring is a perennial challenge. When it comes to recruiting skilled workers, larger companies have greater financial and personnel resources to offer people who are trying to find a job. Bigger organizations also are more likely to have the wherewithal to offer more generous benefits, such as benefits and an RRSP contribution, and the resources to invest in their employees' professional development. How can your small business recruiting efforts compete?
With creative, comprehensive small business recruiting techniques and effective employee retention policies, you can attract highly skilled candidates who become long-term, loyal staff.
Small business recruiting: leveraging your strengths
Here are some recruiting basics for small and midsize businesses to help you take advantage of your strengths and add more power to your small business recruiting efforts:
- Make small a selling point. When talking to candidates, be sure to highlight the many benefits of working for a small business. For example, because your staff is small, your employees often perform functions beyond their stated job descriptions. This business need can translate into a career booster for employees, enabling them to rapidly acquire new skills and develop a broad range of abilities. You can also let candidates know that staff members are like family, and the company truly cares about each employee's job satisfaction and professional growth. Because your business is small, talented employees can quickly advance to senior-level positions, keeping their job satisfaction high and employee turnover low.
- Develop brand awareness. Create a pipeline of skilled local job candidates who want to work for your company by making your small business visible and top-of-mind in your market. This effort entails building your company's reputation, whether it’s for customer service, innovation in the marketplace or leadership in fostering work-life balance for employees.
- Leverage your website. Your website is an important tool to help you meet your goals for building brand awareness and communicating your strengths to job candidates, as well as to customers or clients. Here you can post detail-rich information about your company's mission, culture, history, successes, ongoing community involvement, current activities and so forth. Other ways to increase your company's visibility include executive bylines in business and trade publications, website content on topics in which your company has expertise, and sponsorship of forums or workshops for professionals in your industry.
Other ways to reach candidates looking to find a job
- Use every resource. Take advantage of your business networks and resources focused on your industry. If you need someone for a credit and collections position, for example, a specialized professional association like the Credit Institute of Canada may offer ways for you to place postings in publications or on job boards geared to credit professionals.
- Ask your employees. Don't forget that your current staff members can help you find candidates. You could even encourage employees to tap their own professional networks by giving out rewards for referrals that result in a hire.
These small business recruiting techniques can not only help you compete with larger businesses — they may even help you snag employees that larger businesses can’t attract. You may be surprised to learn that candidates find a job with your small business to be their first choice.