How Small Companies Can Attract the Best Recruits

Your small business competes with industry heavyweights for customers as well as top talent. The unemployment rate may be a national problem, but a “talent paradox” means that the hiring pool is still small and competitive for the right hire. Big companies can offer higher salaries and fun perks that would break your bank, but that doesn’t mean that your small business does not have a lot to offer and can actually use this strength to get an employee that is excited to be in an entrepreneurial environment.

It’s easy to get lost among the faces at a large company just as it is to have a CV get mixed in the shuffle. Working at a small company, however, lets employees’ accomplishments shine. Tammy Naughton Sullivan, Executive Director of Managed Futures and Alternatives with RCM Futures, a Chicago-based futures brokerage firm says, “You are able to get recognized for the efforts you put in,” at a small firm. She highlights small business perks like attracting multifaceted candidates who are attracted to the challenges of wearing many hats, and offering job flexibility like working from home, but also in career direction. A small business environment allows for easier cross-departmental training and career development without a rigid corporate ladder.

Below are some tips to attracting the best candidates in a competitive hiring landscape:

1. Utilize your employees as recruiters

You have already selected a fantastic team, now tap into their network to find excellent professionals that they know. Professionals are always networking to advance their careers and businesses can use the same concept in reverse and tap into their networks for excellent candidates.

2. Focus on where you are going

It is exciting to be in on the ground floor of something and you can capitalize on your small business’ potential to attract top talent. A growing business means there is opportunity to develop and employee contributions are highly valued - things recruits look for.

3. Provide education

Free lunch is great, but the top of the talent pyramid wants more than a $5 sandwich. Talented professionals got to where they are, you wanting them on your team, by developing their skills and committing to their careers. Whether it be access to continuing education or the invaluable learning experience that you provide in your company, highlight their ability to grow and develop with you.

4. Keep looking

Candidates are changing and growing just like your company and your industry. Don’t settle and keep wading through the talent pool and find the perfect candidate. Also hold on to others that caught your attention. The person may not have been right before, but as they develop professionally and your company changes, it could be the right fit later.

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