When you’re a small business hoping to become a larger business, an essential piece of that growth lies in finding strong candidates to fill your positions. Here in the Phoenix area, that means competing with the likes of GoDaddy, Insight, Infusionsoft and Intel — a pretty heavy list of competitors. Getting in front of passive candidates (or professionals not actively looking for a new position) is one way to even the playing field. Controlling the message and selling your company will help deepen your pool of talent.
So how do you go about attracting and hiring the people you need and want without overextending your budget? Here are a few strategies a recruiter can use to boost the number of resumes coming across his or her desk.
- Establish an Employee Referral Program
Hopefully, you love your team and they love you. Use that sentiment to garner more leads for your open positions, and then reward employees for providing those leads. After all, who can sell your company better than the people who evangelize your brand all day long? Additionally, this means that prospective employees are likely to get a better idea about your company culture, expectations, and functionality before they even come in for an interview. Another plus? People who have connections to current employees are more likely to feel more at ease and exhibit built-in loyalty from the start.
- Get Personal with Social MediaWhen it comes to your company’s social media strategy, make sure your channels relay a sense of your company’s culture. Remember, your prospective employees are Googling you just like you’re Googling them, so let your organization’s personality shine through in your posts. Publish pictures of company outings and events, retweet professional blogs authored by staff members, and talk about the charities the company supports. When you don’t have the big budget to pay staff salaries at twice the market rate, you’ll need to sell the non-tangibles that make your company a wonderful place to work. There are a lot of people who care as much about their work environment as they do about the money.
- Network, Network, Network
Encourage all employees to join professional groups, sponsor lunch and learns, and even talk to their extreme Frisbee team about current job openings at your organization. In the IT world, where specialties reign supreme, taking advantage of employees’ professional networks is an excellent way to extend your recruiting efforts into additional arenas. Some groups or trade organizations allow the purchase of a company membership, which means all of your team members can attend events, many of them for free. There’s an incredible amount of activity in most job markets right now that attracts and supports small businesses. Start traveling in those circles and you’ll start to amass a system of potential candidates (and maybe even business partners).
- Optimize How You Use Technology
Creating a seamless candidate experience is critical. Using an applicant tracking system or appointment scheduling software will help make it simple for candidates to apply and schedule interviews, and will also simplify the recruiter’s tracking process by providing status updates back to the hiring team. Some systems allow recruiters to send a link to the candidate that gives them access to the recruiter’s schedule. When this is the case, candidates can book time to meet the hiring team without any of the back and forth of phone calls. The result? Candidates are happy because the process moves quickly, and recruiters are happy because it saves a ton of time!
Leveraging your company’s “uniqueness” while maintaining a cost-effective recruiting strategy is always challenging. But utilizing some grassroots methods may be a very good compliment to more traditional approaches, and keep you in front of the candidates who don’t even know they’re looking for you yet.