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Overcoming Recruitment Challenges as a Small Business

At a glance, it may seem like small businesses have the short end of the stick when it comes to recruitment. Small businesses may not be able to provide the same salaries or benefits as large corporations. In some cases, large corporations may have a much more robust infrastructure for recruitment marketing, while small companies might find their outreach is limited by a lack of personnel or budget.

Recognize your strengths

Given these factors, it may seem that small businesses have been dealt a losing hand when it comes to recruitment. However, there are also plenty of factors that make your small business more desirable to job candidates. Successful recruitment marketing for small businesses begins with identifying these factors, highlighting them in your recruitment campaigns, and ultimately crafting a high-quality pitch to woo top talent.

Developing a pitch

New surveys are revealing that candidates don’t just want economic security. They want their job to give them a sense of purpose, and to see their values reflected in their employer. Candidates want to feel that the work they’re doing contributes to social good, rather than just accruing profit. Candidates don’t want to just be a cog in the bureaucratic machine—they want to make a difference. And while large companies might struggle to make every employee feel like they matter, that they are cared for and that their voice is heard, small businesses are uniquely qualified to address these concerns directly.

  1. Small businesses value their employees differently. When working for a small or medium-sized business, you will be able to see the fruits of your labor immediately. Your impact will be tangible and recognized by both your peers and the management.
  2. Small businesses don’t merely hire employees, they develop community. This means that they won’t be treated as expendable—they’ll be valued holistically, as people. The extra job security that comes with this sense of community benefits the overall company culture.
  3. Employees have the manager’s ear from day one, whereas at a large corporation it would take months or even years to develop a rapport with management, let alone influence them. Not only do employees get to give and receive feedback, but they also get to shape the goals, mission, and direction of the company from the start.
  4. Small businesses invite their employees to take on more responsibilities and grow within the company in a short amount of time. This allows employees to take on diverse challenges, come up with their own unique solutions, and gain valuable leadership experience that will look great on their resumé.
  5. Many small businesses define themselves by their capacity to contribute to the social good. Explicitly justice-oriented candidates will have opportunities to help out communities-in-need, combat climate change, or contribute to their cause of choice.

All too often, small businesses develop inferiority complexes compared to their larger counterparts. There’s no reason to be insecure—larger companies often have complicated internal bureaucratic structures that are difficult (and frustrating) to navigate. Small businesses with adept management have none of these problems. They also offer an unparalleled sense of responsibility, purpose, and community at a time when candidates are looking for them more than ever before. In order to draw top talent away from the big fish, savvy small business recruiters should leverage these concerns into an effective marketing strategy by emphasizing how small businesses recognize their employees’ agency, value their contributions, and foster a sense of community.

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