Updated: May 28
Many small businesses struggle to attract candidates mainly because of their lack of market presence, but also because candidates often pursue the larger and more established companies within the same industry. So, logically, in order for small businesses to get on the radar of their target candidates, they have to proactively get in front of those candidates and present themselves as attractive options.
In this article, I will briefly summarize some practical, and immediately actionable ideas that small businesses can utilize to create a stronger presence, both online and in social conversations. To learn more about each idea, or other strategies, please contact PI Network.
1. Create social networking accounts where your targets hang out. Must be done strategically
Most companies have company accounts on social media that they rarely use, and even when they do, they tend to only share updates and articles. The better way to use social media to promote your business is to assign at least one employee, working at a company facility that’s trying to attract candidates, to be the voice and face of the company behind the postings. This will let your audience see that they are interacting with a real person, and this will increase and encourage engagement.
I’m not talking about having a recruiter post open roles on LinkedIn only. I’m talking about someone who acts as the company PR to interact with prospective employees and customers and directly answer their questions about the company, including career opportunities. Platforms to consider are LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Depending on your business and industry, you may find other platforms give better ROI.
2. Make a big deal out of your open roles
And I mean a BIG deal. Most companies are very passive when it comes to posting their jobs; they simply post and wait. Some recruiters post on LinkedIn, but that’s also pretty passive. The way to do it is:
i) Create a unique and amazing job description for each open role;
ii) Post them where you normally would (if you want to attract the usual candidates), and, more importantly;
iii) Bring potential candidates together and share the job details with them. How? Host job fairs on Zoom, on site, or during happy hour at a public venue. Ask at least three of your team members to attend. Promote these events for at least one week on social media. Tag your target candidates and invite them to come out to learn more about the open roles you have in mind for them. Imagine the buzz within the community if you do this every month!
3. Show off all the perks and benefits of working for your company
Make a list of all the perks and benefits your company offers and post them permanently on your website and social media pages. Refer to them as often as necessary. This is something most companies are not doing. Take advantage of their passiveness and promote your company to stand out.
4. Be willing to share as much information about your company, products, services, processes, culture, technology, and employees as possible, via videos, blogs, LinkedIn posts
This idea is also new to a lot of businesses. But if you’re trying to attract the right candidates, being transparent and providing useful information to them will allow them to decide if they’re the right fit or not even before you begin the process of recruiting them. The right candidates will come forward, while ones that are not good fits will likely back out. Of course, the details and information you share have to be carefully reviewed and approved.
5. Treat each target candidate like you would your prospective customers and engage DIRECTLY with them
This is another strategy most companies are not utilizing. Companies tend to either wait for candidates to come to them, or only reach out to candidates when they have roles to fill, whereas they’re willing to pursue clients for years with multiple team members giving efforts. If the right talents truly matter to your business, you must treat them like the valuable assets that they are and constantly market directly to them, even when you’re not ready to bring them on board.
If you’re on LinkedIn, you can easily search for your target candidates. Make a list of them and keep them in mind. Start engaging with them right away. No need to talk about career opportunities if you don’t have something immediately, but create opportunities to get to know them and for them to learn about your company.
6. Have an amazing website
This is not a new idea, yet many companies still haven’t caught up to this minimum requirement. If you’re going to get proactive and put in time to attract the right talent, why not have an amazing website in place that can neatly showcase all your efforts? With today’s technology, a great website can be built overnight, literally, for a very small cost.
7. Use a headhunting or staffing service
Depending on the types of roles you need to fill, either a headhunting service or staffing agency may be able to expedite the process by tapping into their existing database of candidates. The key to using either of these services is to treat them like a partner, an extension of your team, and work with them closely to ensure they have access to all the information and people within your company that they need.
8. Fix what's currently broken or inadequate within your systems, culture, and processes
And finally, and probably the most important point in this article, a business must have a lot of the right people and things in place to ensure that their strategies can be implemented successfully. One of the things that must be in place is a retention program. It would be futile to put together an amazing recruitment program, if you didn’t have the retention program to match it.
There are many more ideas and strategies that could be customized to each unique business and their challenges.
PI Network is a professional firm that specializes in recruitment and certain areas of employer branding. If you’d like to learn more about how we could assist with setting up your company for continued success, please contact Kevin Pepper at 214-923-3038 or firstname.lastname@example.org.