For small businesses, competing in the hiring game against larger companies is a perennial challenge. When it comes to recruiting skilled workers, larger companies have not only greater financial and personnel resources to recruit skilled workers but, typically, also the wherewithal to offer generous benefits, including healthcare and retirement options. Many big firms also have resources to invest in their employees' professional development.
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However, with creative, comprehensive small business recruiting techniques and effective retention policies, you can attract highly skilled candidates who become long-term, loyal staff members. Here are some ideas 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 enables them to rapidly acquire new skills and develop a broad range of abilities. Every employee has the opportunity to directly and significantly affect the bottom line. Staff members are like family, and the company truly cares about each employee's job satisfaction and professional growth. Talented employees can quickly advance to senior-level positions, keeping turnover low and job satisfaction high.
- Develop "brand" awareness. You can create a pipeline of skilled candidates by making your small business visible and top-of-mind in your market. This entails building your company's reputation in a particular area, such as outstanding customer service, the creation of cutting-edge software applications or flexible scheduling for employees.
- Leverage your website. 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.
- Use every resource. If you need someone for a credit and collections position, for example, participate in an association specializing in this sector and place postings in publications or on job boards that are geared to such professionals. And don't forget that your staff can help you find candidates. Encourage your current employees to tap their own professional networks by "offering rewards for referrals that result in a hire.
By using these small business recruiting techniques, you'll be able to compete with larger businesses – and possibly snag employees that they can't.