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4 Recruiting Strategies for Small Businesses

Growth and Operations

4 Recruiting Strategies for Small Businesses

Updated: December 11th, 2023

4 Recruiting Strategies for Small Businesses

Your workforce is one of your greatest assets as a business owner — but it can be hard to find talented employees without a solid recruitment strategy. Over the past few years, in particular, business owners and hiring managers have struggled to find qualified candidates. 

According to Guidant Financial’s 2023 Small Business Trends survey, the most significant challenge small business owners face is hiring and retaining skilled employees. Nearly half of the business owners surveyed described the staffing process as “very difficult” (23%) or “somewhat difficult” (24%) compared to other years.

Why are recruiting strategies important for your business?

Effective recruiting strategies are of paramount importance for any business as they play a pivotal role in securing the right talent, which is the cornerstone of success in today’s competitive landscape. These strategies encompass a series of well-thought-out approaches and techniques designed to identify, attract, and select the most suitable candidates for various roles within the organization.

Firstly, effective recruiting strategies ensure that businesses can tap into a pool of candidates with the skills, experience, and cultural fit required to drive the company’s objectives. This leads to enhanced productivity, innovation, and overall team performance. A mismatch between job requirements and candidate skills can lead to high turnover rates, increased training costs, and decreased morale, all of which can have detrimental effects on the bottom line.

Furthermore, strategic recruiting minimizes the time and resources spent on the hiring process. By employing methods such as targeted job postings, leveraging social media, and maintaining a strong employer brand, businesses can reach their ideal candidates more efficiently. This reduces the time-to-fill vacant positions, preventing disruptions to workflow and maintaining operational continuity.

Effective recruiting strategies also contribute to long-term organizational growth. A well-structured approach helps a company build a pipeline of potential talent, allowing them to anticipate and proactively address staffing needs. This is particularly crucial in fast-paced industries where swift adaptation to market changes is essential.

Additionally, a successful recruitment strategy contributes to the creation of a positive company image. When candidates experience a smooth and respectful hiring process, even those who are not ultimately hired are likely to speak highly of the organization. This positive reputation attracts more high-quality candidates in the future.

Effective recruiting strategies are vital for businesses due to their far-reaching impacts. From securing the right talent and enhancing team performance to minimizing hiring time and contributing to long-term growth, these strategies form the foundation of a thriving organization. In an era where talent is a valuable asset, businesses that prioritize strategic recruiting are better positioned to excel and remain competitive in their respective industries.

Bringing great employees into your business requires upfront effort and preparation, plus a willingness to adapt some of your business policies and systems. Here are four strategies for the recruitment process to help attract excellent talent:

1. Create clear and compelling job postings

The more detail you include in your posts on job boards, the less work you have to do weeding out candidates who don’t fit your needs. Here are some tips for writing clear, interesting job descriptions:

  • Figure out the job details ahead of time: Reflect on the position you’re hiring for and what it entails. Make a list of daily tasks and responsibilities involved, plus the skills and experience necessary. The more you understand the role, the better you can communicate the ins and outs to potential hires.   
  • Make the description easy to read and absorb: Use accessible, approachable language. Break the description into sections: information about your business and employee benefits, details about the role, an overview of your company culture, your desired qualifications and experience, and how to apply. 
  • Share your business’s values: Give candidates a peek into your company culture. List out your values, share a fun fact about your workplace environment, or highlight what other employees love about working with you. 
  • Be transparent: Make sure you’re abiding by your state’s pay transparency laws. Some states require employers with a certain number of employees to state the salary range in job descriptions, while other states require employers to list the benefits they offer. Even if your state doesn’t have strict pay transparency laws, it’s still helpful to share important work details upfront, including the pay range for the position you’re hiring for, the benefits included, and the working location required (whether onsite, remote, or hybrid).  

Still need to get organized? Take these five steps to set yourself up for hiring success

2. Advertise your job in the right places

Writing a stellar job description without distributing it properly is like shouting into the void. To actually connect with qualified job candidates, you need to advertise your hiring status in a handful of different places. Try these job board tips for a wider reach: 

  • Utilize niche job boards: The narrower your scope, the more qualified candidates you will find. Consider using niche job boards specific to your industry to weed out unqualified candidates.
  • Pay the premium: Investing in a premium subscription to a job posting site (like ZipRecruiter or Handshake) can help you reach more potential candidates. Depending on the platform you use, you could get insights into the types of candidates applying for your jobs, get suggestions for improving your job ads and employer brand, or view the job site’s candidate database for suitable candidates. 
  • Aim for variety: Relying solely on job sites like LinkedIn and Indeed can limit your talent pool. Promote your job in a variety of online spaces, including college websites, professional associations, and community Facebook groups. 
  • Encourage employee referrals: Invite your existing employees to refer people they know for open roles. If you end up hiring a candidate from your employee referral program, you can reward the existing employee with a gift card or other perk. 
  • Tap into your community: Your community of loyal customers is a great resource for top talent. Post on social media and send out email announcements to drum up excitement for job openings and encourage people to apply. Social media widens the talent pool you have access to and can be a highly successful recruiting strategy.

3. Promote your employee value proposition

Stand out in a sea of similar job ads by promoting your unique employee value proposition. Just like you have a unique value proposition for the services or products you sell, you also have something special to offer the people who work at your business. 

Spend time thinking objectively about what makes your workplace attractive. Maybe it’s your excellent health insurance, flexible shift scheduling, generous employee discounts, market-leading compensation package, tuition assistance program, robust paid time off, or career growth options. 

Whatever your employee edge, make sure to highlight it in your job postings, customer emails, social posts, and careers page on your website. 

Learn how you can create a people-first workplace to grow your business. 

4. Raise your wages and expand your benefits

Job seekers want quality compensation and thoughtful benefits, especially as inflation persists. According to Indeed and Glassdoor’s Hiring and Workplace Trends Report 2023, higher pay was the number one reason employed US workers between ages 25 and 54 looked for a new job. What’s more, the number of online searches for $20/hour wages surpassed the number of searches for $15/hour wages in 2021 and continues to grow in search volume 35.5% per year. In order to attract qualified candidates, you must offer competitive pay.

Of course, raising wages and expanding benefits isn’t a simple (or cheap) endeavor, but it can pay dividends in the short and long term. If you’re ready to reevaluate your employee compensation package as part of your recruiting efforts, take the following steps: 

  • Revisit the latest research: Find out what your competitors are doing for their open positions, what businesses you admire are doing, and what the standards are for your industry, business size, and location. Gathering data can give you a better idea of whether you’re behind the market, in line with market standards, or ahead of the curve. 
  • Review your finances: Sit down with your business accountant or financial consultant to go over your current payroll and hiring budget. See where you can make space in your expenses and cash flow for higher wages and added benefit costs.
  • Raise your minimum wage: Not only can increasing your minimum wage set your business apart on job sites, it’s also one of the best ways to retain the employees you already have. Make sure your minimum wage isn’t just in line with local, state, and federal laws, but that it also reflects the local cost of living and accounts for larger economic conditions like inflation. 
  • Sweeten your benefits: Offering better benefits can help you differentiate yourself from other businesses, especially if your wages aren’t the most competitive. Can you cover more on the employer side for health insurance? Give employees a few different plan options? Introduce annual bonuses? Increase your paid time off? Get creative and resourceful to see what you can accomplish. 

Once you implement new compensation and benefits policies, share them with your current employees and new hires. Spread the word on your job ads, social media platforms, and business websites, so people know you’re proactively making changes. 

Implementing effective recruitment strategies can make all the difference in the hiring process. From evaluating your compensation and benefits packages to creating informative and engaging job postings, there are things you can do to improve your recruiting strategy.

Hire Smarter with Funding Circle

If you need financial support before, during, or after your recruiting process, Funding Circle has you covered. You can get a business line of credit for short-term cash flow needs or apply for a term loan to offset a new hire’s salary or take your benefits program to the next level. Learn more about us or apply today.


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