Select Page

On-site childcare, stocks, hefty bonuses, and a Starbucks in the lobby for good measure. How can small businesses compete with that when recruiting highly skilled workers? It’s doable, of course, but many small businesses unintentionally sabotage their efforts.

Talent recruitment and retention is a big topic, and we won’t bite off more than we can chew today. In this post, we’ll focus on what your small business already has going for it, and how to communicate those advantages to potential new hires.

The Wall Street Journal points out a handful of built-in advantages small companies should leverage in their recruitment:

  1. Less bureaucracy and closer relationships between leadership and employees.
  2. More breadth in job responsibilities versus highly specialized roles in large companies.
  3. Many entrepreneurs treat their workforce like an extension of their family.
  4. More flexibility, job diversity and growth potential.
  5. Jobs are frequently tailored to an individual’s skills, interests and needs.

Businesses of all sizes must make a compelling case why candidates should choose to work there. For small businesses, “if you’re hiring an executive, that person is usually going to want equity in exchange for the risk,” the author writes. “For a middle manager, you have to convey that your company has staying power. For entry-level workers, you should show opportunities for growth.” Regardless of the position, the author adds, you need to spell out how your candidate’s skills can contribute to the success of the business.

Touting the virtues of your workplace to a new recruit typically starts with the job ad. When crafting your messaging, avoid generic language like “lots of opportunity, great place to work,” says Susan Strayer LaMotte, founder of exaqueo, in an interview with Monster. “You have to focus on what’s yours ¾ what makes your company great that’s different from everyone else.”

Talking about what your company does and how it serves its audience is just as important, because people want to feel like they’re doing meaningful work and serving a cause greater than themselves.

Your messaging should also reflect your company culture and the personality of the person you want to attract. “If you use ‘fast-paced, hard-hitting, take-no-prisoner’ code words in the ad, then I would expect the yelling and screaming type of applicant,” says Paul Downs, founder of Paul Downs Cabinetmasters, in the same interview with Monster. Is that the type of worker you want?

Today’s takeaways:

  • Communicate small business advantages: flexibility, growth potential, close relationships and access to leadership, breadth and customization of job roles.
  • Write job ads clearly, with no generic language or convoluted corporate-style speak.
  • Stress what makes your organization different. Use language that reflects your culture and values.

Featured Articles

Education Advanced acquires Standard For Success

Education Advanced acquires Standard For Success

Education Advanced, Inc. (EAI), a leading provider of operations management and workflow solutions for K-12 school districts, announced today the acquisition of Indiana-based Standard for Success (SFS), an independently owned company, founded by teachers, to support educators and administrators with software, services, and solutions.

read more
Graduation Pathways FAQ

Graduation Pathways FAQ

Indiana school advisors, administrators, counselors, and principals all have the important task of tracking graduation pathways for their students. In fact, the Indiana State...

read more
Make the Most of an Evaluation Walkthrough

Make the Most of an Evaluation Walkthrough

In order to provide the most effective learning environment possible, educators need ongoing evaluation and feedback. An evaluation walkthrough is an assessment tool that you can use to provide valuable data regarding how well the implementation of standards-based instruction is occurring. A walkthrough protocol needs to be established to make sure the data is retrieved, examined, and analyzed as efficiently as possible. The following explains the steps to take to successfully implement this process.

read more
Coronavirus and the Impact on High School Graduation

Coronavirus and the Impact on High School Graduation

The beginning of the pandemic in 2020 had major unexpected effects on many aspects of our lives. Unfortunately, this had a huge impact on children’s education, which moved students and educators to remote classrooms online instead of the traditional in-class school days we are all accustomed to.

read more