How small businesses can recruit top talent

To source talent, small businesses need to take on new strategies that emphasize perks and professional growth.

In the competition for skilled talent, small businesses often get outspent by huge corporations. To source talent, small businesses need to take on new strategies that emphasize perks and professional growth.

Create an employer brand story

Your company's employer brand is how job seekers perceive your organization. If prospective employees look at your business and see a positive image, they'll be more likely to pursue opportunities for open positions.

Your employer brand story should be engaging- but that doesn't mean you need to make the work look more exciting than it actually is. Instead, the collateral you produce to market your business to job seekers should portray an honest representation of what it's like to work there. If the work isn't fun, it should at least be meaningful. Think hard about what that means for your organization before creating new employer branding pieces.

Develop a culture of professional growth

Job seekers are attracted to opportunities that allow them to grow as professionals. In fact, a 2016 Gallup poll revealed that 87 percent of millennials believe that opportunities for career growth are important in a job, and 59 percent specifically look for growth opportunities when applying to jobs. In other words, today's job seekers don't just want to earn a paycheck, they want to engage in meaningful work that allows them to become more competent, skilled and experienced.

This point is especially important for small businesses in industries currently facing a skills gap. As the U.S. economy nears full employment, there will simply be fewer skilled workers looking for new opportunities. And big corporations will always be able to outspend small businesses. Therefore, small business leaders will have to make strategic investments in skills training to overcome this challenge.

Because resources are short, small businesses may hesitate to invest in professional development and training, and rather zero in on hiring only highly-experienced professionals. However, this may be a mistake. "One tip I would offer small businesses is that they shouldn't limit their recruiting efforts to only senior-level candidates," comments John Majeski, Division Director of Beacon Hill's TechnologiesDivision in Des Moines. "There are a lot of quality candidates out there who may not have the tenure, but are extremely sharp and looking for the next step in their career path. In my experience, these types of candidates are adaptable and open to learning new ways of doing things, which may in turn help the small business tackle complex business challenges."

Small businesses should build positive employer brands to attract top talent.

Offer unique perks and benefits

Small businesses are in a position to offer incentives that competing companies may not be able to. For instance, companies can offer flexible hours, remote opportunities and more. After compensation, benefits and perks are one of the strongest drivers of interest for job seekers. If your benefits look identical to those of your competitors, job seekers will struggle to identify reasons to apply for work with your organization.

Make your benefits package stand out by offering other perks such as free snacks, gym memberships, pet insurance, continuing education opportunities and more. When employees feel valued and cared for by their employer, they are more likely to come to work each day with a positive outlook and attitude.

Incentivize current employees to recruit

The currently employed represent an untapped source of talent. Often, workers know other skilled professionals who are looking for a new opportunity or a new challenge. Employers can use monetary and non-monetary incentives to encourage employees to recruit on the company's behalf. For example, an employer could reward employee suggestions that lead to a successful hire with a cash prize, extra paid time off or some other incentive.

Work with a staffing agency

The expert recruiters at staffing agencies have extensive networks of skilled workers. By working with an agency, small businesses gain access to talent that may not otherwise find their open positions. Small businesses also gain the benefit of a captive audience – meaning that the candidates working with the staffing agency have already formed a connection with their recruiter (and, by proxy, the companies the recruiter is working with). Already, there is a level of trust and an opportunity to tell your unique brand story that doesn't exist in an online job advertisement.

Plus, staffing agencies save employers time by vetting candidates ahead of time, only presenting candidates who are qualified for each open position. A staffing agency can ensure that you always have a robust pipeline of valuable candidates.

Looking for skilled workers? Connect with the experts at Beacon Hill Staffing Group to learn more.

This content is brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.

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