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Big Business vs. Small Business: How to Adjust Your Recruiting Strategy

Big Business vs. Small Business: How to Adjust Your Recruiting Strategy

If your small business is struggling with its recruiting strategy, you are not alone.  It can be daunting to know that you are going after the same limited candidate pool that your larger competitors are focusing on.

Without the well-established brands and reputations that many big businesses have, your small business may need to adjust its existing recruiting strategy in order to attract top talent.

Focus on your brand strategy

What does your brand say about you?  When you are competing with big businesses for the same top talent, you need to make sure that your small business has an attractive brand.

Today’s top talent is paying close attention to a company’s first impression and that first impression is your brand.

If your business is not promoting its brand via social media outlets and online advertisement, you need to get on this pronto.

Consider why someone would want to work for your small business and go from there.  Promote videos of your current employees stating why they enjoy working at your company.  You would be surprised at the strong effect video can have when it comes to portraying your company brand and employee experience.

If your small business offers perks such as flexible schedules, gym memberships, company outings or activities, be sure to advertise these things.

Don’t forget to also promote any charity organizations that your small business takes part in.  Top talent is attracted to companies that care and make a difference.

Get proactive

One of the traps that many small businesses fall into is that of reactive recruiting – recruiting only when the need is there.  If this is your current recruiting strategy, trash it immediately and start over.

A key reason why big businesses are beating you to the punch when it comes to winning over top talent is that they are simply communicating with top talent long before they need them, thus building stronger relationships with them.

Always. Be. Recruiting.  No matter what.

Yes, I know that running a small business is very time consuming and spending time recruiting candidates who aren’t immediately needed can feel like a waste of time.  Trust me, it is not a waste of time and you will never regret the time you spend proactively recruiting.

When you are developing relationships with top talent long before you have an immediate opening, it will help in positioning your company to be able to quickly hire top talent when you need them.

For example, rather than having to spend time wooing top talent while you have an open position, you have already wooed that candidate and will be able to quickly fill the opening when it’s available.  Not only do you have a quicker hire, but you have also beat your competition by having developed a good relationship with top talent first.

What are some other ways to adjust your small business’s recruiting strategy in order to stay ahead of big business?  Please share your tips in the comments below.

Image: Jakub Jirsak/

Julia Weeks

Julia is a skilled Recruiter with over 8 years of experience in sourcing, interviewing, and hiring within many industries globally. She works closely with hiring managers and job seekers to understand needs and desires, while offering guidance and ensuring the right fit. When not recruiting or writing, Julia enjoys spending time outside cycling, taking her dog for walks, or honing her sailing skills.

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