I’ll start off with a little disclaimer: I am by no means an expert on this subject. However, if you are interested in optimizing small business recruitment, here’s why you may want to keep reading anyway: I am a recent job hunter who ended up working for a small business, and I couldn’t be happier.
If you’re interested in small business recruitment, you probably already know that there are over 27 million other small businesses out there. That is a LOT of competition when it comes to recruiting top talent! On top of that, there are millions more larger companies who prove to be even stiffer competition when it comes to getting the attention of job seekers. Let’s face it, people daydream about working for popular, enterprise-level companies much more often than they do about working for a small business.
The good news is that in reality, we all know that the chances of even getting a response from that huge company are pretty slim, never mind the chances of actually working there. Maybe that daydream isn’t so glamorous after all. Maybe a small business would appreciate the talents and ambitions of top job seekers much more than the companies that won’t even read your resume nor have the courtesy to tell you that they aren’t interested in your application.
Job hunters will come to these realizations relatively quickly, and small business recruiters need to be waiting with open arms once they do!
I speak from experience when I tell you that any company of any size can present itself as being just as daydream-worthy of an employer as those big names out there. Here are the top three reasons that working for a small business, fewer than 250 employees, quickly became my dream job:
- They engaged me at every step of the way: Just acknowledging a candidate’s application will set your company apart from most others. On the applicant’s side, there is nothing worse than sending out resumes and waiting in deafening silence for a response, and more often than not, that response never comes. Be the company that not only acknowledges candidates, but thanks them for their interest and lets them know whether or not they can expect to hear from you again. In today’s job market, even a friendly rejection is often welcomed in comparison to the waiting game.
- They let their brand do the talking: As a job-seeker, the number one factor that decided how I felt about a company and whether or not I was interested in applying was their website and career page. No matter how stellar your company may be, if your website does not convey that same level of success, it may as well not even exist. I will admit that I personally am a tough critic in this area, but I am not the only one. In a recent informal study conducted by SHRM, two company career sites were judged by 100 recent graduates. Despite the fact that both companies were industry leaders in their fields, the company with the site that was less dynamic and technologically advanced was overwhelmingly viewed as being both unsuccessful and an undesirable employer. If you want applicants to feel an immediate connection and interest in your company, it is imperative that your brand and company culture shine through via your web-presence.
- Their messaging spoke to me: When I started looking into applying at iCIMS, I felt like the messaging on their career page and within their job description was talking specifically to me. First, they made it clear that they were more than open to hiring recent college graduates, and I couldn’t have been happier to hear that. Then, they detailed the qualities of the perfect applicant, and again, I found myself thinking, “Yes! That’s me!” Take the time to figure out exactly who you are looking for, and then make that known. The candidate you are searching for will feel a strong connection to your company just by identifying with a well-worded, honest description of who would best fill your job opening.
Needless to say, by the time I was brought in for an interview, I was already completely sold on the idea of working for iCIMS. The level of engagement that their recruitment process featured made me feel important, and their attention to detail when it came to displaying their identity on the web ensured me that I was dealing with a company with a strong vision, value set, and future. Incorporate these tips into your small business recruitment strategy and I can promise you, you’ll have applicants chomping at the bit to proudly call themselves your employee.