7 Hiring Strategies for Small Businesses That Don’t Suck

Small business owners can find and hire qualified employees by building a diversified strategy. Try these 7 methods to find your next great staff member.

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Here's what you need to know:

  • To find and hire qualified employees, build your company brand and harness the power of social media
  • Create powerful listings on online job boards and network with professionals on LinkedIn
  • Advertise open positions on industry-specific job boards and grow a local presence for your organization
  • Use technology tools to streamline recruitment strategies

Small business owners face unique challenges. With so many tasks to complete, it can be difficult to carve out time for hiring and recruitment.

However, without a steady and capable team working behind them, small businesses struggle to compete. That’s why small businesses must get creative with their hiring strategies. Simply hanging that “now hiring” sign in the window won’t cut it anymore.

Small businesses make up the backbone of the job market. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there were 32.5 million small businesses in the United States in 2021. That accounts for 99.9 percent of U.S. businesses.

But with the number of job openings hovering around 11 million for most of 2022, sourcing and hiring employees has become tougher than ever.

Small business owners can still find and hire qualified employees by building a diversified strategy. Keep reading for our list of 7 hiring strategies for small businesses that don’t suck!

1. Build your company brand to attract top talent

Employer brand building is still top of the list for hiring strategies. Companies that have a strong and recognizable brand are better positioned to attract top talent.

When a company has a brand known for its values, the right employees seek them out instead of the other way around.

Giant corporations have large advertising budgets and dedicated teams for build branding. However, small businesses still have access to valuable methods that help them build their reputation and brand.

  • Create a professional website that includes information about the company, its mission, and values
  • Build a reputation through creating a positive culture and satisfied employees
  • Utilize online channels to create interest and engagement with the public
  • Include information about the company culture in job postings
  • Combine advertising and recruitment efforts and create a loyal social media following

2. Harness the power of social media to reach a large audience

Social media allows companies to reach a large audience instantly and for a very low investment. Due to the popularity of social media platforms, many job seekers specifically look for company information on these channels.

The secret to success is to create an overarching social media campaign. Social media outreach works best when companies integrate its uses and create a loyal following of brand advocates.

Here are some tips for making social media work best:

  • Create comprehensive branding and logos
  • Post interesting and valuable information
  • Take part in larger conversations regarding industry trends and social matters
  • Use hashtags correctly to draw the right audience, but don’t overdo it
  • Provide a variety of content, including advertising, sales, product offers, and information about the company’s mission and values
  • Include specific posts about job opportunities and openings
  • Tailor each message to the individual platform and always optimize for mobile users
  • Always provide a way for job seekers to get information or apply instantly from any device

3. Create powerful listings on online job boards

Online job boards like Glassdoor, Indeed, and even Google, are the fastest and most convenient way for people to look for job openings. They’re organized, to the point, and include all the information an individual needs to make an educated decision.

The key to successfully using online job boards is to be thorough in the approach. A vague job description is nobody’s friend.

Instead, carefully craft job postings so that those reading them have a clear understanding of the role. Here’s how to do it right:

  • Include the exact job title, ranking, and a brief description
  • Include all required skills, qualifications, or certifications needed for the position
  • Also include information about the organization itself, including information on company culture and values
  • Use comments, pictures, or videos of current employees to highlight the experience of working for the organization

4. Network with professionals on LinkedIn

One of the best virtual platforms for companies to promote themselves on is LinkedIn. The networking platform has over 310 million active users as of 2022.

Organizations that create an active profile on LinkedIn benefit in several ways. Companies that use it correctly can reach an active group of professionals.

Below are a few of the top reasons that companies should maintain an active profile on LinkedIn.

  • Provides access to a community of professionals
  • Allows quick and easy research into an individual’s employment history
  • Allows current employees to join and connect with the organization
  • Uses InMail messaging so companies can reach out directly to users
  • Includes a job search feature to help promote open positions

5. Advertise open positions on industry-specific job boards

Several lesser-known sites provide a way for organizations to reach out to job seekers. These sites are often gathering places for professionals in specific industries. They are a great source of talent for organizations looking for specific skills.

Sites like Quora, GitHub, and Reddit are valuable sources for networking.

Sites like Quora, GitHub, and Reddit are valuable sources for networking. These are platforms where professionals get together (virtually, anyhow) to chat about topics they have in common. A simple perusal of posts on these sites provides access to entire communities of individuals who are looking for work.

What’s your biggest 2022 HR challenge that you’d like to resolve

Answer to see the results

6. Grow a local presence for your organization

The internet has become a popular choice for people looking for work. However, organizations should not underestimate the power of building a local network.

It’s important to remember that local communities include many talented and skilled professionals looking for employment as well.

Getting involved on a local level helps organizations build their brand and reputation within their communities. There are many ways to achieve this, including:

  • Advertising on local job boards
  • Promoting within local universities and trade schools
  • Participating in local events, like parades, charity events, and sponsorship opportunities
  • Utilizing local advertising, such as television and radio
  • Registering with the local Chamber of Commerce

7. Use technology tools to streamline recruitment strategies

Small business owners no longer need to handle recruitment on their own. Advancements in digital technology help owners streamline recruitment strategies. One of the best ways to identify candidates quickly and efficiently is with applicant tracking software.

Applicant tracking software (ATS) is a valuable tool for business owners who feel overwhelmed by their recruitment and hiring strategies. Using a multi-pronged approach is a great way to advertise job openings across many platforms.

However, coordinating so many different strategies at once may be time-consuming and feel exhausting.

That’s where an ATS can help. It provides a scalable method of organization and automation. Most ATS systems have the capability to:

  • Automate job postings across multiple platforms
  • Parse applicant information to pull only qualified candidates based on user inputs
  • Create a database of candidate information
  • Access internal messaging systems with triggered or templated responses

Using the right avenues effectively helps with hiring

Recruitment and hiring are full-time jobs themselves. This makes hiring especially difficult for small business owners who often feel overwhelmed already by running their companies. Using the right avenues and doing so in the most effective way helps.

While companies strategize how to source candidates from outside, it’s important to remember that current employees provide a valuable source already. Setting up an employee referral program is a great way to find pre-vetted candidates.

Also, current employees themselves stick around longer if organizations provide them with opportunities for advancement and promotion.

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