Recruitment and selection challenges for small companies

Recruitment is a challenge for every company, but for small businesses, it can be even more difficult. Competition with larger firms can make a small company seem less attractive. Many job seekers believe there’s more opportunity for advancement and better wages and perks with a larger employer. But small business has its advantages, as well. For most recruiters, it’s a question of how to market what you have to offer to find the talent you want.

Big versus small
Big companies may have more chances to climb the corporate ladder. With more roles in place and more staff members who have a chance to move within them, the potential to grow into a promotion or bid for another job is built into the system.

For small companies, the chance to advance may be less formal, but it certainly can be had. As smaller companies grow, their employees typically grow with them. For some job seekers, being in on the ground floor of something with potential to take off can be an attractive selling point when recruiting. You’ll want to target this job seeker when you post your vacancies.

Salaries may be another problem area for smaller companies, but many surveys suggest wages are important, but may not be a deal-breaker for some applicants. Flexible work environments including flex hours and days; the opportunity to work remotely; and even part-time jobs can be bigger draws to applicants looking for a more well-rounded work/life balance. By marketing these options, if you can provide them, you may attract a range of candidates who’d previously overlooked your firm.

Perks are another way big companies attract talent. They may be the basics, like health and wellness, but they can run the gamut. Free food, financial planning, access to health clubs and other tangible options may be offered. Paid sick, vacation and personal time is another common offering. Small businesses may be less able to afford these, but squeezing them into the budget somehow makes sense if you want to compete.

Paying it forward
For many companies, volunteerism is a perk: offering employees a chance to be involved with social responsibility project the company supports can be a plus. Some offer staff members a few paid days off per year to pursue their own volunteer efforts. Small companies can do the same: they may support a local cause, rather than a national one, to be involved in their community in a more direct way. They can also allow staffers leeway to volunteer on paid time occasionally, as well.

Learning and development
While large companies had the corner on learning initiatives in the past, the same doesn’t hold true today. Tuition reimbursement was once reserved for Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programming. But with the advent of online learning, education is more accessible and democratized. Even the smallest of companies can contract with online learning platforms to provide staff members access to growth. The payoff? Smarter employees who serve their company better.

Community culture
For many, the prospect of being employee 1,234 is not very attractive. Smaller companies provide a more close-knit culture. When everyone knows everyone else, it’s easier to pitch in, root for and cover one another. The talent that’s looking for a job to call home, rather than a stepping stone, will find this work environment more comfortable.

There are challenges when small companies compete to recruit and retain talent. The best ways to level the playing field are to provide the most flexible work environment you can, offer the best you can afford in wages and benefits, and stay true to your culture. There are applicants looking for an organization just like yours.

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