Ask any small business owner to
name one of the most challenging things about running their business, and most
will answer "finding top talent." In smaller markets, the talent pool
is limited, simply due to the size of the population: there are only so many people
in the community with the job skills your business needs. But even larger
companies in major markets struggle with finding – and then retaining – top
talent. Here are a few actionable strategies you can take to source the best
talent in your area, without breaking the bank.
Turn to your current employees.
If you have one or two "superstars," consider asking them if they
have a friend or know someone who can perform at the same level they do. You
can also offer a "signing bonus" to employees who refer a job
candidate – with the bonus payable after the new hire has completed a 30- to 90-day
Your Job Board Posting Stand Out
There are several online job
boards that make it easy for applicants and hiring managers to connect. Make
sure that your placement on job boards is easy for potential candidates to find
and that your online screening or application process is simple and
user-friendly. Many candidates abandon job applications because they take too
long or the online application itself is too complicated.
in Social Media
If you don't have a Facebook,
Instagram, or Twitter account for your small business, you're missing out – not
just on a large chunk of customers, but also on potential job applicants. Some
businesses will post a brief job description with a link directly to their
website, making it easy for an interested candidate to apply. In addition, by
including job postings in your social media channels, you'll give potential
employees a chance to get to know your brand better.
In today's online world, don't
undervalue the importance of personal networking. For businesses looking to
hire experienced salespeople or middle-to-upper management positions, business
networking events, including your town's Chamber of Commerce after-hours events
or trade shows, give you the chance to meet top talent in person. You'll have
the chance to seek out those who may be looking for a career or company change,
or you may meet people who know someone who is just the right fit for your
Your Company Culture
Part of your social media
presence should include behind-the-scenes glimpses of what it's like to work at
your small business. You can include your brand's story as well as insight into
how you create your niche product or some useful tips about your service. This
allows potential employees to envision how it would be to work for you and
attracts those job candidates whose values and passions align with yours.
You can also consider showcasing
some of your top performers in action. Seeing employees singled out for public,
visible praise leads to high morale within the company. It also shows job
seekers that you, as the business owner, appreciate hard work and talent.
with All Applicants
If you're utilizing multiple
outlets to seek employees, you may end up in the enviable position of having
too much talent for the one or two positions your small business needs to fill.
Other times, you may have an applicant who is talented, but not the best fit
for the position you’re to hiring for. Circumstances change, however, and the
needs of your company may look different weeks or months down the line.
It's important to reach out and
thank every candidate for applying. This can easily be done via automated
email. However, once you've reached the interview stage, especially for
positions that have multiple rounds of interviews, business etiquette dictates
that you communicate more personally with the applicant to let them know that
the position has been filled. For truly great candidates, include a personal
note that invites them to keep in touch, or lets them know that you'd like to
keep their resume on file for a position that better fits their experience. Not
only will this give you a few "back-ups" in case something changes
with your current staff, but it also creates a better impression of your
company as a whole.
Wrapping It Up
Many of these strategies will
seem familiar to small business owners – they are similar to the marketing that
you already do to engage with your customers. There's not much difference
between a customer who loves your brand and an employee who's a brand
ambassador. Let your communications show that you are positive and have a great
company culture, and the best talent will flock to you.