The Scrappy Guide to Recruiting for Small Businesses - Glassdoor for Employers

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The Scrappy Guide to Recruiting for Small Businesses

In a small business, every new hire has an impact on your company’s performance, potential, and culture. But while bigger companies can rely on trained professionals versed in human resources best practices, 70% of businesses with five to 49 employees leave HR tasks like recruiting to employees with little or no HR experience.1

Fortunately, today’s digital talent landscape gives small businesses access to all of the tools that big businesses have – if you’re scrappy enough to deploy them. Here are five foundations of scrappy small business recruiting that will give you better results:

Quality, Not Quantity.

Larger organizations can end up approaching recruiting like a numbers game because they’re trying to fill hundreds or even thousands of roles. But small businesses don’t need a high quantity of candidates, they just need highly qualified ones. Prioritize recruiting methods that focus on quality, then compare the interview-to-offer rates to find out which methods work best for you.

Networks Are Powerful.

Is your business network smaller than most? Don’t be fooled. When 30% of small business hires come from employee referrals,2 even a small network of employees, vendors, partners, local communities has the potential to connect you to the right person for your role.

Provide Purpose and Perks.

In-demand candidates may be considering multiple offers at a time. Set your company apart by focusing on how your company’s mission and values align with a potential candidate and the perks you can offer compared to the competition, such as a better work-life balance or a unique industry or customer base.

Make Room for Mobile.

Fifty-eight percent of Glassdoor users look for jobs on their phones, and promoting a job application as mobile-friendly can increase the number of applicants by 11.6%.3 Fortunately, small businesses can take advantage of this trend by offering mobile applications with a technology partner like Glassdoor.

Paid Ads Work.

The smaller and more local the business, the less likely it seems like paid ads on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter might help you with recruiting. But thanks to the targeting features on these platforms, they can actually be very effective ways to reach prospective candidates based on location, experience with different technologies, or another connection.

Recruiting talent for your small business should be a top priority. Don’t let it fall to the bottom of your to-do list in a small business. Use these tips to build and execute a scrappy recruiting strategy that makes the most of your time and effort.


  1. “Free Yourself From Ad Hoc HR,” ADP
  2. “Employee Referrals Remain Top Source for Hires,” Society for Human Resources Management
  3. “The Rise of Mobile Devices in Job Search: Challenges and Opportunities for Employers,” Glassdoor Research