Even though small businesses make up 99.9% of all businesses in the United States, they only employ 47.8% of all U.S. employees. And sometimes they can’t land top talent when competing against larger enterprises that have more resources and much larger recruiting budgets.
If you’re a small business owner looking for top talent in your industry, don’t feel defeated by the enterprise giants just yet. There are a few ways you can attract and retain top talent, too. Here are a few of them.
Utilize Smart Recruitment Platforms
Use recruiting platforms that do most of the work for you. Don’t spend extra time manually sorting through and evaluating résumés and applications. Rely on platforms that use algorithms and analytics to automatically scan applicants’ materials for you. They’ll help you find applicants who are best suited for the roles you’re trying to fill. And they’re often very accurate at predicting who will be the best fit for your organization’s needs. If you don’t have a large Human Resources staff, you’ll want to consider using applicant tracking systems to execute this type of work.
Tailor Job Ads for Your Ideal Candidates
Oftentimes small business owners won’t include everything they want an applicant to have or are okay with receiving applicants with general skills and qualifications because they want to receive as many applicants as possible. However, it’s much better to have 2 highly qualified applicants than 100 underqualified or mismatched applicants. For instance, if you’re trying to hire a programmer who is well versed in Python, advertise for that specific skill set. Don’t advertise for a professional who “has programming knowledge.”
Keep your current staff even more loyal than they already are by offering them opportunities to continue to grow with your company. Ask your cashiers if they’re interested in becoming floor managers. Cross-train your employees and coach them for different roles and skill sets. Not only are they familiar with your business already, they’re more likely to stick around long term if you continue to give them more challenging and rewarding experiences and job duties.
Rely on Referrals
Tap into your business network to see who’s looking for a job or who knows of someone with the type of experience you’re looking for at the moment. Your network can help you find qualified and trusted candidates. You can also ask your family and friends who they know. And don’t forget to ask your current employees if they know of anyone who is qualified to fill the positions you have open.
Don’t Skimp on Offers and Packages
Always offer competitive rates to potential employees. But also offer comprehensive healthcare benefits and other perks. You can also remain competitive by offering flexible work schedules, more paid vacation days, and a retirement plan. Most prospects are more interested in a flexible working environment that’s less stressful than an extra few thousand dollars a year that will be taxed anyway. If needed, ask serious candidates what they want, and tailor their offers as much as you can—be willing to have conversations with them, and be a bit flexible where you can be.
If you’re a small business owner, keep these tips in mind as you recruit new talent to remain competitive.