Tools & Education
Check out the latest news and resources for small businesses covering topics such as human resources, employee engagement, and management.
Job seekers naturally gravitate towards employers who are willing to pay them more money. Often this requires small businesses to put in more to compete with higher wages and better benefits for similar jobs.
Offering competitive pay with flexible working conditions might be your answer to attracting new employees, or you may need to adjust your hiring strategy altogether to make job openings more enticing.
Let’s take a closer look at the best strategies that small businesses can use to attract new employees.
Think of new or potential employees as a cross between returning customers and family members. Just like you would want a customer to give you repeat business, you want to give your new employees a reason to come to work every day.
So understand that you have to behave in a way that inspires people to join your business and keep returning to work for you day after day. Treat every potential employee with respect and positivity from your very first interaction with them. You never know if other employers are courting a person you are thinking of hiring. Your admirable behavior just might give you the edge in attracting that person to work for you.
You also want to hire people that will fit in and get along with the rest of the team. In a small business, employees tend to work closely with each other. Everyone at work becomes like family. So you want everyone at work to get along like a happy family.
Ego clashes or differences that are difficult to settle can make the work environment toxic. Even workers who are not involved in the conflicts can get affected by the unpleasant work environment. It is like being part of a dysfunctional and unhappy family. Who needs that? So, introduce potential hires to your current employees. Get some feedback from your employees before hiring anyone. If everyone welcomes new hires, it will be easier for everyone to get along in the long run.
It is not easy to climb the ladder at bigger companies. When you are trying to attract new employees to work for your small business, let the potential hires know that it will be easier to rise through the ranks. Sell the fact that they will be able to take on various roles to become well-rounded employees.
Having in-depth experience about how a business operates in a particular industry will only make an employee ripe for bigger and better opportunities down the road. For example, an employee could advance within your own company, set up their own business someday, or apply for higher-paying jobs elsewhere.
However, future possibilities hinge on them taking on a job with your small business today. Plus, they must stick around long enough to gain the experience to make their resumes look good.
Stress the importance of individualized training and development and greater organizational visibility that won’t be available at a larger business. Offer a work schedule tailored to your new employee’s needs. Flexible work schedules can also help small businesses to attract new employees.
The pandemic has made employers realize that productivity and results are more important than sticking to outdated rules and customs about work. It might have been easier to get people to come to work on-site before the pandemic. However, employees are worried about being exposed to Covid at work. The ever-mutating and more contagious strains of Covid are making it even harder for small businesses to attract new employees. In some cases, people make more money on unemployment than working for a small business.
The world of work has changed. Businesses have to adapt to the conditions under which employees can work. Parents with no access to child care have to work from home. Sometimes employees can only work part-time because they have to homeschool kids. So be open to hiring multiple part-timers over full-timers. Some new employees might be working remotely, while others might be working on-site.
If possible, consider offering hybrid or remote work even if you have not done so in the past. Such terms can help you to attract new employees to work for your small business.
Look at the job description of the job you are about to post. Update the job description to match your current needs. Be as concise or detailed as you need to be. Post a job vacancy based on the job description. However, do not copy and paste your job description. Do not copy and paste an old job posting either.
Ensure that your job posting catches the attention of potential applicants and the public at large. The best job postings are easy to skim through and remember.
Anyone should be able to make sense of the job posting. Often, friends and families with unrelated jobs will inform their loved ones about job openings that they have seen and feel might be suitable for their loved ones.
The wording of your job posting must sound current and familiar to potential applicants. Check the job postings of those hiring for the same jobs. Try to balance being similar to your competitors and having a unique and memorable voice in your job posting.
Sounding unique and memorable will help you to stand out as an employer. It will help you to attract new employees to work for you.
Try to automate as many processes at work as possible. Automation helps to streamline tasks and will save you money in the long run. When you save money on automation, you can offer more competitive pay as a small business owner. This is a good way to optimize the use of your resources.
For example, you can automate administrative HR tasks to save time and money. You might not need a full-time HR employee if you automate your HR and payroll processes. And with the savings, you can hire new employees that you need for business operations.
A staffing agency can cast a wider net than most small businesses in finding new employees. They also have a database of potential employees on file. They vet candidates before they send them to work for you. You can usually find qualified workers more quickly through a staffing agency and although it might cost you a bit more up-front, you will have greater flexibility in finding the right candidate.
For example, if you are not satisfied with the work of a temporary worker, you do not have to work with them in the future. You can ask the staffing agency for another worker or use another staffing agency. Once you find a temporary worker who is a good fit for your company, you can hire them for a permanent position.
You can hire someone to work for you on contract without using a staffing agency. Look for freelancers on sites like Fiverr and Upwork, etc. Freelancers are self-employed, temporary workers.
Freelance workers are usually cheaper to hire than permanent workers or workers from a staffing agency. Plus, if you do not like a freelance worker for whatever reason, you do not have to hire them again. If you want a freelance worker, you can offer them a permanent job.
Always check the credentials and references of freelance workers before you hire them. In contrast, a staffing agency takes care of these tasks for you themselves. However, the burden of finding a qualified candidate lies in your hands with a freelance worker.
Freelance or gig work is gaining popularity with time. Freelance work can help with work-life balance. It is also a way to earn extra money on the side. Lack of work security also pushes people to work for themselves as freelancers. Per Statista, the majority (50.9%) of the US workforce will comprise freelance workers by 2027. So going forward, freelance workers might be the best bet for fulfilling the labor needs of small businesses.
Sometimes people who have been out of the workforce for years might turn out to be the best workers. You might come across good candidates who do not have direct work experience but can pick up skills through self-learning or hands-on experience.
See if a potential, non-traditional candidate can pass a skills-based test. You can always hire them temporarily to see if they are the right fit for the job and your team.
If you interviewed candidates for the same or similar jobs not too long ago, then reach out to see if any of those candidates are still interested in working for you. Sometimes you have to reject several qualified candidates to hire for one position. So you might not have to look far to hire someone.
If an employee left on good terms, you could always check-in to see if they are interested in working for you again. You might be able to hire them for temporary, seasonal, or part-time work.
Sometimes another small business owner might have applicants or workers they could refer to you. For example, if someone works for another business during the day, they could work for you at night or on the weekends. Maybe another employer can only offer limited hours to an individual who is willing and able to work more hours. In that case, you could provide some work for that individual. Both businesses and the employee can benefit from such a situation.
Create a work culture that increases employee engagement and retention. When employees like working for you, they will refer candidates to you. No one is a better advocate for a small business as an employer than their current employees themselves. In addition, they will refer candidates that they get along with. This can help with attracting new employees who will be a good fit for your business. However, do not feel pressured to hire friends and family of employees. Only hire people you feel confident about.
Advertise jobs with local colleges and vocational schools. Fresh graduates or students who want to work and go to school simultaneously might be interested in working for you. Create a relationship with college representatives who help students to find jobs and internships.
Ensure that you have several social media accounts that you post jobs on. Keep your social media accounts up to date. Post content often. Engage with users. You just might attract the right candidate to work for you.
Choose the correct medium to advertise for jobs. It is easier to hire seasonal and part-time employment through employee referrals than paying for posting jobs online. However, you might need to advertise for a high-skill job on specific job sites. Or by hiring a staffing agency.
Socialize with people who are associated with your industry or small businesses. Join a professional organization or meetup group to stay connected with others. Someone you socialize with might refer an excellent candidate to you or express an interest in working for you.
Once you implement some new recruitment strategies and become a hiring machine— don't forget to check out Symply's free employee onboarding tool!