How Employer Branding Helps Small Businesses With Recruitment

Caitlin Weiser, aPHR
November 2, 2023

In today’s job market, hiring the right people often feels like an uphill battle for small businesses. It’s easy to feel discouraged going to market when you’re competing against big names and even bigger compensation packages. Contrary to what you may think, salary is not the only thing candidates take into consideration when searching for a new job. Flexibility, opportunities for growth, and a sense of belonging are examples of factors that have become as (or more) important than compensation in influencing a candidate’s decision to accept an offer. With this change in candidate mindset, small businesses can stand out and attract top talent by creating and effectively leveraging their employer brand.

What is Employer Branding? 

You can compare employer branding to product branding but instead of marketing a product to customers, you are marketing your company to potential employees. Your employer brand is unique to your business and encompasses your core values, company culture, and overall employee experience. Its purpose is to attract future employees by showcasing the advantages of working for your company over other companies.

While larger organizations pay over-market salaries, small businesses can attract candidates by focusing on what they offer employees that their large competitors cannot. With any job, an employee will want their basic needs met. These necessities include a safe work environment, a steady paycheck, and healthcare benefits. Meeting an employee’s basic needs has become an expectation of employers of any size so they are no longer a differentiator. Instead, a competitive employer branding strategy is built by focusing on intrinsic employee motivators. Intrinsic motivators include recognition for contributions, growth and learning opportunities, responsibility and autonomy, flexible scheduling, and career advancement. Making it a point to showcase how you meet the higher-level needs of your workforce with people outside of your organization is the key to successful employer branding.

Why Employer Branding is Important For Recruiting 

Positive employer branding has a significant impact on your ability to attract top talent and is crucial in today’s job market. While your small business may not have the same name recognition as larger companies, having a strong employer brand attracts future employees when competing in the same job market as the big guys. As previously mentioned, job seekers are looking for more than high salaries when searching for their next career opportunity. When creating your employer brand, lean in to what makes your company a great place to work. Do you offer a unique work environment and perks like a flexible or hybrid work schedule? Are you committed to promoting work-life balance for your employees? Do you provide employees with professional development and opportunities for promotion? Although these may not be uncommon in your small business, most large organizations aren’t able to offer similar experiences to their sizable workforce. Due to this, employees are looking for a change. incorporate factors like the ones listed above into your employer branding to set yourself apart from the competition and attract more candidates.

How to Use Employer Branding to Help with Recruitment 

Building a strong employer brand to help with recruitment all starts with a good job description. Oftentimes, a job posting is the first time a candidate learns about your business, which is why job descriptions are a critical part of your talent attraction strategy. Many job descriptions only articulate the basic responsibilities and requirements of a position. While those are important to include,  elevate your job descriptions by painting a picture of what it’s like to work at your company. Start each job description with a high-level overview of your company including your mission, vision, and core values. Explain how your core values impact employees and create a positive workplace culture. Outline the day-to-day responsibilities of the position and the minimum requirements you’d like a candidate to have. End your job description with a curated list of what perks your business has to offer. Perks like healthcare benefits and 401k plans are great but aren’t unique to your business. Instead, communicate the things that make you stand out amongst other companies. This includes things like company-sponsored professional development, team community service events, career growth opportunities, and flexible work scheduling.

Using employer branding to attract candidates doesn’t stop when you’re not actively hiring. For an employer branding strategy to be fully effective, continuously display you’re an employer of choice across multiple channels. Share posts about your workplace culture on social media, include employee stories on your company website and have employees attend events where they can speak to others about your business. When you regularly communicate your employer brand outside of the recruitment process, you garner a greater audience of potential future hires who are more likely to hit the “apply” button the next time you have an open position.

Does Your Small Business Need Recruiting Help?

If you’ve been struggling to attract the right people for your organization, you’re not alone. Many small businesses find the recruitment process difficult when they don’t have an employer branding strategy. If you’re ready to stand out from the competition and start hiring top talent for your organization, Red Clover can help! We have proven success in helping our small business clients define their unique employer brand and leverage it throughout the recruitment process to fill their open positions. Contact us today to learn more about how our Recruitment Process Outsourcing services can help you reach your growth goals!

Photo by Tim Mossholder

Related Articles


The Results

Construction and Contracting

A commercial roofing contractor was in hyper growth mode. They had goals to increase their field workforce to expand their service area to additional states and geographical locations. If they were to grow their field workforce, they would also need to increase their administrative, operational and sales headcount to support the additional workload created by increased field work. Additionally, they were challenged in workforce retention and development, experiencing high turnover, and did not have a dedicated Human Resources professional to manage employee relations and compliance issues that come with trying to scale a business.

See The Full Case Study

For News and Events

Sign Up For News and Insights on HR, Change Management and Strategies.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.