Your small business is expanding and you need a talented workforce that can propel you through this next stage of growth. There’s just one issue—recruiting qualified, experienced, expert employees is tough. You’ve tried posting on job boards but you’re just not getting the high-quality applicants you know you need.
We’ve got the answers. Here are some practical approaches to up your small business recruitment game and make hiring the best people a breeze. We recommend using these strategies and tracking your HR and recruitment results so you can see what fits best for your business.
Develop a Distinct Small Business Employer Brand
You know all about branding and marketing to attract customers, but what about branding to attract employees? Businesses are increasingly competing for the same talented individuals, and you need to stand out and make your offerings more attractive.
That means sharing the culture, approach, and awesome experience of working at your business.
Advantages of Developing a Small Business Employer Brand
- Helps your business stand out from your competitors and shows why it’s a place people would want to work.
- Turns your mission statement and vision into a tangible culture and reasons for employment.
- Tells potential candidates what they can expect if they choose to work for you.
- Highlights the day-to-day of “How Things Get Done ‘Round Here.”
- Attracts high-quality talent to your job postings.
How to Create a Small Business Employer Brand
- Review your mission statement and vision, and see what you’ve been able to implement.
- Talk to employees about the best aspects of working for your business.
- Get a good understanding of the culture in your business and how people work together.
- Distill this down into three or four paragraphs about what makes your business great.
- Extract four to six bullet points from those paragraphs that really highlight the best parts of working for you.
- Create a couple of sentences that encapsulate all the positives in one place.
- Use these wordings as appropriate on job posts, emails to candidates, in interviews, and elsewhere.
Play Around with Your Approach and Tone When Writing Small Business Job Descriptions
If you have an employer brand strategy, use it to guide your job descriptions. If your employer brand is about providing a fun, inclusive, relaxed work environment—but your job board ads are very formal—that could be a red flag to applicants.
Advantages of Trying Different Approaches For Small Business Job Descriptions
- Aligns your employer brand with the way your job descriptions attract candidates.
- Lets you experiment with different ways of posting, e.g. job-function-driven, attitude-driven, questions and answers, and other formats.
- Makes your job postings stand out from others that potential applicants will be reading through.
- Helps you refine and understand the most effective types of job description and responses for your small business.
How to Try Different Approaches in Your Small Business Job Descriptions
- Put yourself in the applicant’s position to understand the main areas they’re interested in to consider the role.
- Combine your overall marketing tone with your employer brand to inform the language and style you use in job postings.
- Carefully track each type of job posting that you make and see how effective it is at attracting qualified, engaging candidates.
- Refine your approach over time, so you’re getting your best return on investment from your job posting and hiring processes.
Post to Niche Job Board Sites that Address the Same Areas as Your Overall Business
The big job board sites like Indeed, Monster, LikedIn, or GlassDoor are great if you want to cast a wide net—but you’ll spend lots of time reading through resumes of applicants that may not be a great fit for your role. Instead, consider posting on niche job board websites that only target the industries you’re interested in.
Advantages of Posting on Niche Job Board Sites
- Makes it easier to get your job listings noticed, and if you post jobs regularly, you might even get some employer brand recognition.
- Helps to filter applicants by industry, so you’re more likely to find qualified candidates without having to read through 100+ resumes.
- Lets you tailor job descriptions to the industry that the job board site is targeting.
How to Post on Niche Job Board Sites
- Start by finding job boards that target your specific industry or related industries. Here are some good places to look.
- Review other types of jobs posted on niche sites, look at how job descriptions are structured, the information they share, the approach of the board, etc.
- Explore filtering, notifications, and other settings on the job board site to reduce the amount of administration and manual reviews required.
- Track the success of listings across different niche job board sites to see which are most effective at targeting your ideal candidates.
Use Referrals from Existing Staff Members or Peers to Find Good Talent
There’s an often under-utilized network to find great new employees—your existing workforce. You’ve already hired excellent people who have the right attitude and skills to make themselves valuable to your business. The chances are that they know other people who could be equally good.
Advantages of Using Employee Referrals
- Shows your employees you trust their opinions on potential candidates.
- Leverages your in-house talent to identify other people who would be a good fit for both the role and your business culture.
- Ensures that new hires already have someone they know in the business, making employee onboarding easier.
- Lowers the administration overhead of filtering through dozens or hundreds of job board applications.
You can even expand referral networks beyond your workforce and talk to partners, suppliers, or clients about candidates.
How to Get Employee Referrals
- Create an employee referral program that explains how employees can refer friends and other connections.
- Incentivize referrals through cash incentives and other rewards to referring employees.
- Regularly communicate about the referral program to keep it in people’s minds.
- Share stories of successful recruitment via the program and ensure that referrers are recognized.
The time to boost your recruiting practices is right now. Develop a great employer brand, try out different approaches, use niche job boards, and take advantage of referrals to grow your workforce. These small business recruitment strategies will ensure you have the right talent in place to expand and thrive.