How To

How Small Businesses Can Compete and Attract Top Talent

How Small Businesses Can Compete and Attract Top Talent
HireHive Team

HireHive Team


Small businesses often have to compete for resources with much larger organizations. The same has always been true for top talent. While some people like to work for large-scale corporations, others enjoy the experience with a small business or start-up. But how can you compete with larger companies for talent in this highly competitive market? Here are a few things you can do today to attract top talent.

Build and Promote a Strong Employer Brand

When you think of some of the big tech companies, like Google or Volkswagen, you get a clear vision of their branding in your mind. But it isn't only the Fortune 500 companies who can create memorable brands. Building a solid company culture, especially an employer brand, will allow top talent to find and consider you as a viable employer for their career path. 

So what's the difference between branding and employer brand? They do go hand in hand, but there is more to it. Branding includes recognizable information like your website, logo, social media engagement, and your reputation among customers and the community. Your brand is your calling card to showcase your company's mission and values. 

An employer brand takes all of that into account. It's about leveraging your currently happy team and making your application experience easy to follow. When your application process is well thought out, it builds trust with potential candidates. Keep up with communication, and even if someone isn't hired, they will still have a positive experience, which they can pass on through word of mouth. 

Offer Competitive Compensation and Perks

While you may not have the same ability to provide big perks, you can work hard to ensure your compensation packages are competitive to attract great talent. You can make up for what you can't provide in higher salaries in other ways. 

Competitive pay can have a lot of definitions, and it may be based entirely on the location of the position. So conducting research for your country and area will ensure that you're meeting the local standards or surpassing them. 

It's also important to look at the entire compensation package to keep employees engaged, including insurance and perks. In the wake of the pandemic, work-from-home has become an increasingly important perk. Companies that are transitioning back into the office are losing talent to companies embracing remote work. 

Consider Passive Candidates

Hiring top talent doesn't mean you can only source from active pools like online job boards. Passive candidates are an excellent source for bringing talent into your organization. Passive talent is individuals who aren't actively looking for a new job but would consider the right opportunity if presented. 

70% of global candidates are passive. Only 30% of eligible workers are actively looking for a new job. Tapping into this pool of candidates, especially when people are beginning to rethink their career path, will be essential. 

The Great Resignation also means more people are willing to consider new options if they feel the employer can offer them a better circumstance than they have currently. Around 33 million workers have quit in the US since the spring of 2021

In 2021, 41% of workers worldwide indicated that they were thinking of leaving their current jobs. Small companies can take advantage of this by sourcing passive candidates and providing a new experience they can't have in their current positions. 

Hire for Potential, Not Specific Experience

While some skillsets are necessary for specific roles, like engineers or doctors, other skills can be learned on the job. Small companies should focus on hiring for potential and upskilling or reskilling current employees. 

In some cases, upskilling can be done with your current workforce. In the end, it's easier to promote from within to train for new skills and hire more entry-level talent who also has potential for the future. 

Focusing on transferable and soft skills, you can tap into great talent pools. Especially after a difficult two years, placing too much weight on work history can prove challenging. While employers may want to be cautious of job-hopping, not every person who leaves a position is guilty of the behavior. Considering individuals who may have been out of the workplace, especially women who took time off to raise children can open new doors to top talent. 

Provide a Sense of Purpose

It was already the case that millennial employees were driving the need for purpose in the workplace. More than any generation before them, they want to feel like their work matters. COVID-19 kicked this into high gear, however, and now more people than ever are considering how their work makes a difference. 

Companies unable to provide a sense of purpose in the workplace hemorrhage talent as a part of The Great Resignation. Figuring out how to incorporate meaning into business can be complex but not impossible, and it will help your company stay competitive. 

Purpose in the workplace goes beyond providing volunteer opportunities or being involved in the community; those are a great place to start. Even just seeing the bigger picture for team members and how their contribution makes a difference can help improve a sense of purpose in the workplace.

Use an Applicant Tracking System 

While finding talent is an art, it's also a science. And having the right tools at your fingertips will go a long way to helping you identify and communicate with talent throughout the hiring process. Applicant tracking systems help recruiters and hiring managers by automating repeatable administrative tasks so more time can be spent identifying candidates and moving through the process. 

The centralized database also keeps candidates on file. Going back to the well for candidates who didn't make the cut the first time but could be a fit for another role saves both time and money in the sourcing process, which is an excellent way for small businesses to compete in the job market. 

Having a full recruitment process all in one place allows you to auto-post to job boards and social media, create branded careers pages and integrate the software with your website. You can track applicants, boost and track employee referrals, and create an external recruiter portal to tap into the network of employment experts who can help you find top talent. 

Conclusion: Compete in the Global Marketplace 

With more competition in today's global market, it pays for companies to consider all their advantages and the use of tools to assist in the quest to find talent. HireHive helps busy people hire great people. By having your entire recruitment process all in one place, you can post jobs, streamline your online application process, improve the candidate experience, and tap into vast networks.

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