When it comes to hiring top talent, small businesses often feel at a disadvantage. Many small businesses think they lack the resources to put into recruiting tools and personnel. But it doesn't need to be that way.
Ultimately, talent acquisition is an investment for your business. While it may seem daunting to invest in new strategies and tools to attract top talent, it will ultimately pay off for your business in a variety of forms.
One of these is through increased employee retention. By targeting employees who are the exact right fit for the role you are hiring for and the culture of your company as a whole, you're more likely to see employees who are staying for longer at the job. This phenomenon has been seen through Glassdoor research - job seekers who apply through Glassdoor to companies stay at jobs 30% longer once hired. One reason for this is that job seekers gain unique and valuable information about a company's culture through Glassdoor, and better cultural fit means that employees are likely to longer stay.
Another benefit of investing in talent acquisition is the avoidance of financial risk. Every hire you make is, essentially, an investment. It takes time and resources to post jobs, vet applicants, train them, and integrate them into the company. The more you can be sure that the hire you've got is the perfect fit, the less risk you'll have of needing to start the time- and resource-consuming process of hiring another person.
Putting time into the talent acquisition process can also help with finding raw talent for your business. Raw talent refers to hires who don't necessarily have the educational background or required experience for the job, but who have the skills and potential that will help them succeed at the job. These hires may be more challenging to seek out, but can ultimately pay off.
"People try to go too big or too small," said JD Conway, talent acquisition manager for BambooHR. "They'll splurge on hiring an executive, then hire inexperienced employees because they think they'll save money on 'worker bees.'"
Conway adds, "look at five-year veterans in companies that have been where you are and grown successfully, and you're looking at people who can help you build your business, even if they never saw the top floor."
Talent acquisition is a science unto itself. Among the vast menu of options, here are a few key talent acquisition strategies that small businesses can use:
1. Build Your Reputation As A Good Employer
"If you build it, they will come," the saying goes. Putting deliberate effort into building your reputation and brand as an employer can have serious payoffs. Part of this is making sure that employees who leave the company have good things to say about it in conversations or reviews. Another part is actively engaging with applicants - for example, Glassdoor research has found that 79% of Glassdoor users are more likely to apply to an open job if the employer is active on Glassdoor. This includes things like responding to reviews, updating their profile, and sharing updates on the culture and work environment.
2. Tout Career Opportunities
As a small employer, your employees are often given more immediate responsibilities than would be offered by a larger company. In addition, as small companies grow, employees can have opportunities for speedy advancement that wouldn't necessarily be on hand at larger companies. Showing potential employees the opportunities for advancement and responsibility within the company is one way to attract top-notch applicants.
3. Post Jobs In The Right Place
In building a pipeline for talent, it's important to multiple channels through which to reach potential employees. While some businesses may assume that jobseekers are active across multiple online job search platforms, this is often not the case. For example, around 40% of Glassdoor users in the U.S. do not use LinkedIn or Indeed.
4. Build Out An Internship or Apprenticeship Program
Internships can be crucial for finding and retaining raw talent. In addition, internships require a relatively low investment on the part of your business. Making partnerships with local universities or trade schools can also provide a pipeline for incoming talent.
Blindly posting open jobs and hiring is no way to grow your business. By being thoughtful about a talent acquisition strategy - even if you only have three employees now - is imperative to lay the foundation for a successful enterprise. A talent acquisition strategy doesn't have to be a stressful addition to your already-full plate; instead, it can be as simple as taking an hour or two to think through what makes your business unique and why career-minded job seekers will want to work with you. Put paper to pen - or fingers to keyboard - to start building your talent acquisition strategy. And don't forget, we're here to help!