How Small Businesses Can Stand Out in the Recruitment Space

Caitlin Weiser, aPHR
December 1, 2022

All businesses, no matter their size, are competing for talent in the same complex and competitive market. When it comes to recruitment, being a small business can often feel like you’re a little fish in an ocean full of sharks. When going to market for an open role, smaller businesses must get creative in their recruitment strategies if they want to attract top talent.

Don’t Stick to Typical Hiring Processes 

While large businesses appeal to candidates through brand recognition, smaller businesses have to work harder to stand out amongst the competition. In order to catch the eye of job seekers, start by writing an engaging job description. This paints a detailed picture of what makes your small business an employer of choice. Highlight appealing company-specific information, like your core values. Removing non-crucial job requirements, such as a specific degree, that automatically exclude a group of potential applicants, gives you a competitive advantage and can attract a wider applicant pool. Just because your competition has set certain requirements for all of their applicants doesn’t mean you have to follow suit. When you begin hiring to scale your small business, hire for alignment with your core values first. Focus on what is trainable second. Building a workforce based on core values ensures that you are driving your mission while prioritizing individual development encourages employee engagement and retention.

Utilize Social Media 

Social media expands your reach to potential customers but can also be leveraged as a recruitment tool. Share posts highlighting your employees and core values to give job seekers an inside look into your company culture and what it’s like to work for your company. This establishes your employer brand. Engaging with people through your social media accounts establishes a pipeline of future candidates before you even have job openings for them. Once you have an open role, post an invitation for interested candidates to reach out directly to learn more. This speeds up the hiring process and brings you candidates that are already knowledgeable about your business.

Leverage Current Employee Networks

A large percentage of the workforce has worked for larger corporations or wants to work for larger companies with name recognition, so when searching for jobs, candidates may skip over postings from smaller companies they don’t recognize. A good way to get around this is by using your current employees’ networks to source potential candidates. Most employees discuss work with friends, family, and acquaintances. If they feel positive about working for you, then their network sees you as a reputable employer as well. Communicating with your internal team about a future opening before the job post goes live and encouraging them to reach out to their networks to gauge interest is a great way to build a pipeline for potential talent.

Offer the Opportunity to Make an Immediate Impact

Even though small businesses struggle to compete with their larger counterparts in terms of salary offerings, they provide many other valuable opportunities to employees. Small business employees have greater access to senior leadership while employees at large companies may not ever get to meet their CEO. Someone who joins a small business plays a crucial role in laying the foundation for the company as it grows and is provided with more professional development and growth opportunities. Sharing the ways in which employees will be able to make an immediate impact in their role can help you stand out in the recruitment space and be the reason a candidate accepts your job offer over a competing one.

Work With a Recruitment Process Outsourcing Provider

If you often struggle to attract candidates, Red Clover can help. We work exclusively with small businesses and have proven success in making great hires for our clients. Through our Recruiting Process Outsourcing services, we put into place scalable and repeatable recruitment practices that can be used no matter how much you grow, even once your small business becomes one of the big guys. Contact us today to see how we can help you stand out from the crowd!

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We were referred to a successful values-driven architecture firm approaching a 50 person headcount with HR needs. As they approached that employment milestone, they needed to ensure they had the HR structure to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations and were set up for successful growth. We worked to help put the right policies and processes in place to support the scalability of their organization.

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