David vs. Goliath: Leveraging Your Small Business to Recruit Top Candidates

Leveraging Your Small Business to Recruit Top Candidates

For a small business trying to recruit high quality candidates, it can seem like David battling Goliath. The good news is that your small business can hire top candidates without spending thousands of dollars on employer branding, recruiters, or advertising. Small businesses have a great opportunity to hire some of the best people on the market, and it’s easier than a young boy battling a giant.

Being small is an advantage most organizations don’t leverage. They get stuck in the “we can’t because we don’t have money for high salaries, generous benefit plans, or [insert other cool perks here].” Instead, they should focus on what they can offer and use that to attract great candidates.

Robert Versteeg, Head of HR at Witlox Van den Boomen, states: “I don’t have the budget, time, or team, but I’ve learned to compete through our two main assets: our talent and our story.” Versteeg understands that small businesses have to focus on what they do offer in order to attract top talent.

In the Goliath firms, talented people get lost among the thousands who work there. It becomes more difficult for a high performing employee to have their work noticed. In a small business, top performers can work closely with the owners, or upper management, and can be more involved with the heart and soul of the business. High performers get to see results of their work. Creativity, innovation, and calculated risks are encouraged because that’s what keeps a small business growing. Since they don’t have layers of bureaucracy to go through to gain approval, small businesses are often able to act more quickly on ideas and feedback from their employees.

Working in a small business means a more diversified experience. Employees often have more than one role and can broaden their experience. Top performers often enjoy a challenge, thrive on change, and are adaptable to any situation. In a Goliath business, jobs can become boring and routine, and opportunities are limited for developing close working relationships with more experienced staff in a variety of roles.

Here are three things you can do that don’t require a huge investment of time or money to leverage your David status in a Goliath world:

  • Spotlight your employees and their contributions to your company, the industry, or the community on your social media channels.
  • Create a hiring story that is unique to your company. If you need help finding your story, ask your best employees this question: “What’s the coolest thing about working here?” Their answers will guide you to your story.
  • Use blogs to feature employees who work for you. This is an excellent way to showcase some of your less sexy positions. You can show your accounting staff helping the community with taxes or your maintenance staff helping build a Habitat House.

Finally, never forget that you recruit people. The more human you are, the more attractive your company will be to top performers.

I invite you to join me for my BLR Webinar on August 18 at 2:00 p.m. EDT, “Recruiting on a Shoestring: How to Hire the Right Person without Breaking the Bank.”

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