Big businesses woo job candidates by offering a bevy of benefits, brand-name recognition and maybe even a Starbucks in the lobby. How can small businesses compete for top talent?
The first step is realizing the advantages small businesses have over big businesses. For starters:
– Small businesses are typically less bureaucratic and have closer relationships between leadership and employees.
– In many cases, employees typically have more breadth in their jobs than they usually do in big companies, where people tend to specialize more.
– Many entrepreneurs treat their work force as if it’s an extension of their family.
– Small companies often offer more flexibility, more job diversity and the possibility of high growth.
– They frequently tailor a job to deal with employees’ individual needs. For example, a small business might be more willing than a big company to allow an employee who wants to work from home on Fridays to telecommute that one day a week.
It can be a challenge to find good candidates for a new business, usually an inherently risky venture. As a business owner, you must find a way to persuade a successful individual with a secure job to come work for you. Hiring managers at small companies without big human-resources departments often struggle with getting their message across to the talent they want to attract. It’s important to convey the success of their enterprise and figure out what aspects of their company to emphasize to appeal to candidates.
Entrepreneurs have to make a compelling business case for why a candidate should come work there. If you’re hiring an executive, that person is usually going to want equity in exchange for the risk. For a middle manager, you have to convey that your company has staying power. For entry-level workers, you should show that there are opportunities for growth. Big companies, even when downsizing, usually have more job openings. Regardless of the type of employee, you’ll need to show how their skills can contribute to the success of the business.
Networking can solve a lot of your recruiting problems. If one of your contacts refers a candidate to you, chances are good that they’ve done some of selling work already. For the same reason, offer rewards for employee referrals. Candidates who come in through these referrals usually have a more accurate picture of the company than those who come in through ads, and in most cases employees recommend only people they think will be a good match.
Posted in: Hiring & Managing Employees