Despite unemployment holding steady at 8.3 percent, many small businesses are having a tough time finding talent, as discussed in a recent New York Times article. The traditional recruitment process of job boards and endless interviews is just not working for these companies. The challenge is not that there is a shortage of talent, it’s the reality that the current systems and processes in use are mostly ineffective in this era and that these companies need to completely transform the way they search for and engage with talent.
Here are a few quick solutions that will help small businesses fill positions without breaking the bank:
Use Social Recruiting
Social media has changed the way we watch television, read news, and talk to our friends. So it is not surprising that social media is also changing the way businesses find great hires. In fact, companies will use social media for as many as 80 percent of all job openings in 2012.
This is because social media recruitment helps job seekers and employers connect faster and easier than ever before. In the small business sector in particular, this can be especially helpful. Without a huge recruiting staff, social media can help source top talent. Further, social media recruiting software allows these companies to integrate their social hiring practices and give their jobs a signal boost. With next-gen social recruiting platforms, companies of all sizes can have access to the best and most time-relevant recruiting capabilities.
Action Steps: Utilize social media by getting your company and jobs out in front of the talent you need in your organization. You can do this by using industry-specific hashtags to create conversations involving your company. Twitter chats are also an invaluable resource for discussing issues and connecting firsthand with great candidates. These chats can be centered on a specific industry or can focus more generally on job seekers. Make sure to go to places where you know the best candidates will be and reach out using social media to create meaningful connections. You can then utilize your social recruitment software to publicize open positions to your interested new connections.
Tap into Talent Communities
Talent communities facilitate relationships between employers and candidates by bringing together those interested in the same topic or industry. Hiring managers can participate in conversations with talent discussing relevant issues and hot topics creating opportunities to better assess passive candidates. As a bonus, it means you do not have to weed through hundreds or even dozens of under-qualified resumes. Candidates who do not have the necessary qualifications will be easy to spot from their contributions.
Action Steps: First figure out whether your ideal candidates are spending their time on Twitter, posting in groups on LinkedIn or present mostly on Facebook. Then beef up your company’s branded presence in these online spaces, sharing relevant content and engaging in conversations and discussions.
Make sure your company’s overall profile on these sites — whether it is a Facebook fan page or a LinkedIn profile — is attractive and filled with up-to-date information. This way, potential hires you’ve built relationships with through your various talent communities, will find the information they need to get them excited about the positions at your organization.
Brand Your Career Page
What does your career page say about your company? The career page is often the first taste many potential applicants will get of the company. Therefore, this page should show candidates what the company culture is truly like.
The problem for small business hiring often is not a lack of candidates but finding the right ones. If your career page tells the full story of your company, you’ll be going a long way towards attracting applicants who will fit into your organization. Think about your company brand and then make sure your career page aligns with it.
Action Steps: You want your career page to handily sum up the company culture and the current opportunities available. One way to show off company culture is to make a great recruitment video that shows off what the company atmosphere is like. Twitter recently made a low-budget funny recruitment video that still showed off the company’s innovative streak and strong sense of humor. Look at what makes your company stand out from the pack and fill your career page with information about benefits, environment, and maybe even a little humor.
There is no shortage of talent if small businesses know where to look. Social media recruiting is making it easier for these companies to engage and form meaningful connections with potential hires. This will help them get qualified applicants into the jobs they need filled without requiring a Fortune 500 budget.
What are some social solutions you can think of for small business recruiting? Share in the comments!