5 Small Business Recruitment Strategies that Work


Recruiting top-quality candidates as a small business can feel like an uphill battle. Big businesses have the resources to hire recruiters, offer big benefits packages, and present impressive career advancement opportunities. 

The key to recruitment success for small businesses lies in strategy. Here are five that are proven to work.

1. Create a job ad that gets noticed

You’ll never hire the job seeker you never talk to. Creating a job ad that stands out is the first step to getting quality candidates interested in a position at your company. 

However, there’s a tricky line. You want the job title and description to be at once clever and noticeable, as well as clear and precise. 

Since most job candidates do their searching online, the chances of them finding your job post are going to be largely determined by what words they use to search. While you might call a job title one way, they might be searching for the same position using different words. When it comes to title, cast a wide net. 

For example, many businesses love to use creative names for customer service—customer success, customer concierge, customer advocate, customer hero, customer guru—the list goes on. However, if you’re trying to hire a “Customer Service Team Lead” and your job title is “Customer Hero Guru Leader” then your ad might not get seen. 

Do some research on Google and see what other companies are posting for similar positions. Take notice of keywords in the descriptions as well and think like an applicant. As you browse listings, jot down anything that stands out in a positive way. If your company offers the same, consider adding it to your job description. 

2. Post your jobs in the right place

Now that you’ve created a spectacular job ad, you need to post it where it will get seen. There are a lot of options (none of which are an ad in the local newspaper), including free and paid job boards. To cut to the chase, it’s worth it to invest a little. Here’s why:

  • Paying will boost your ad’s visibility and get more candidates in the door.
  • It’s helpful for those positions that have very specific qualifications (hard to find qualified candidates). 
  • If you live outside a major metropolis, this will help to expand your search area. 

Don’t worry about overspending. Ad budgets on job boards are completely customizable and you can generally stretch a dollar pretty far. However, if you’re in no rush to hire, you might consider solely using free job boards. 

Here’s a list of both paid and free job boards, and their associated benefits. 

3. Broaden your search by “sourcing” employed candidates 

If you’re searching for an upper-level position and having trouble finding qualified candidates, you might consider broadening your search by “sourcing” candidates who are currently employed. These passive candidates aren’t actively seeking a new job, but may be a perfect fit for your company. 

There are plenty of sourcing tools out there to get you started, even some free ones. Once you’ve identified prospects, send out a cold-call email to test the waters and take it from there. 

4. Offer unique benefits & perks 

Just how important are benefits? Seventy-nine percent of employees cite a competitive benefits plan as an influencer in choosing a company to work with. But what employees expect from companies when it comes to benefits is changing. Today, the desire for non-traditional, voluntary benefits is on the rise. 

This means that health, dental, and 401K are simply expected. To make you stand out, you need to offer more. Whether it’s tuition reimbursement, health and wellness perks, or a Car Care program—today’s employees can be swayed by an impressive benefits package. 

Need more inspiration? Here’s a list six impressive non-traditional benefits.

5. Brand your company 

The perfect candidate has found your job ad and is interested. Before they apply, they’re likely going to first do some research on your company—not just what you do, but what you’re about. This is where employer branding comes in. 

Employer branding has become a bit of a buzzword so to explain it, let’s take it back to its real origins—reputation management. With the information boost of the internet, a company’s reputation matters not only in regards to how they treat customers but also how they treat current and former employees. Many job platforms have a place for employees to review employers and this is the first place prospects will look when considering a position at your company. 

Employer branding stems from reputation management (keeping everything cool with customers and employees) but extends to active promotion of your company culture. Rather than reactionary, it’s progressive. 

This is done by first off creating a company culture that’s worth promoting, like offering awesome perks and benefits programs or hosting company events. Then, make sure all this is publicly known. You can do this in two ways. First, make sure your “About Us” and “Careers” section of your website are on-point. Second, take some time to for employer branding on your social media channels. Pictures of your office, your team, and culture events show both prospects and customers that there’s a community behind your product. 

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