Do you worry about how your small company can compete with well-known organizations for talent? Are you positioning your large company in the best way to hire in-demand candidates? Company size matters to your recruitment strategy, and it matters to job seekers, too. The 2017 Yello Collegiate Study: Undergraduate Expectations* surveyed more than 1,700 college students to understand their perspectives as they search for their first job and found almost half have a strong opinion about the size of the company they want to join. Find out the top ways your company, whether a small agency or global enterprise, can play to your strengths to attract and hire top talent.
Top ways to attract talent to your small business
While your small businesses may not have the same resources as a larger company, you can attract talent to your organization by highlighting opportunities employees will have to work across business lines, securing guidance from senior leaders and developing a strong employer brand in your city.
Small companies may not be able to compete with large companies on their benefit packages, but large companies can’t compete with the flexibility small organizations offer.
According to Tim Sackett, President of HRU Technical Resources, small companies may not be able to compete with large companies on their benefit packages, but large companies can’t compete with the flexibility small organizations offer. “Small employers give employees the opportunity to get involved at all levels very quickly,” Sackett says. If employees work across departments and gain skills outside of their job description, emphasize this during the interview process, and discuss how team members learn the particulars of different positions and business areas.
Highlight access to the C-suite
To recruit top candidates, small companies can also demonstrate how employees learn from company leaders. For soon-to-be grads who want to work for a smaller company (less than 500 employees), the 2017 Yello Collegiate Study found that 77 percent believe they will gain more executive-level exposure. During the interview process at your small organization, discuss the ways employees work alongside company managers and highlight access to your organization’s senior leadership. Consider creating a program that pairs junior employees and department leads to encourage mentorship, knowledge sharing and skill development.
Grow your local employer brand
At small companies, “most positions are filled locally, so focus your resources on local talent,” Sackett says. Develop your company’s employer brand within your community to ensure candidates know what it’s like to work at your organization and why they should join your company. Sackett recommends building strong relationships with nearby educational institutions and if employees are involved in organizations outside of work, encourage them to share job opportunities with these groups.
Top ways to attract talent to your large company
Larger companies can play to their strengths by highlighting competitive benefit offerings, providing continued career growth and creating an engaging candidate experience.
Include benefits and education in branding
For college students who want to work for a larger company (500+ employees), the 2017 Yello Collegiate Study found 80 percent believe they will receive better employee benefits and industry education/training. To most effectively recruit top candidates, highlight your company’s benefits and formal educational opportunities. Create a section on your careers site that reviews your organization’s top benefits, industry-specific training programs or continuing education reimbursements. Stand out by including testimonials that explain the ways employees value company perks.
Promote internal mobility and career growth
“What will [employee] development look like? How will you elevate their career? You need to answer these questions for the candidate.”
According to Sackett, one of the most attractive qualities large companies have is the ability to provide career growth for employees. “What will [employee] development look like? How will you elevate their career? You need to answer these questions for the candidate,” Sackett says. Large companies are uniquely positioned to offer opportunities for internal mobility, either through upward advancement or horizontally to a different department. Profile employees who have taken on another role or been promoted, and share these stories with your talent community.
Improve the candidate experience
“Stop making talent jump through hoops to tell you they want to work with you.”
The application and hiring process can be lengthy and impersonal at large companies. Sackett suggests organizations implement an application process that is one or two clicks, to make it easy for candidates to show interest. “Stop making talent jump through hoops to tell you they want to work with you,” he says.
Large companies can also improve and personalize the recruitment experience by creating open lines of communication with candidates. Leverage a talent relationship management platform to share updates throughout the hiring process. If the candidate isn’t a fit for a position right now, keep them engaged for future openings by sharing company news on awards or employee promotions.
*In September 2016, Yello surveyed 1,776 collegiate students on their post-graduation, professional aspirations. All individuals anticipated graduating on or before December 31, 2017 or, on or after January 1, 2018. These participants entered our database as a result of a career fair they attended at a university or diversity career fair.
About Tim Sackett
Tim Sackett is a 20-year HR/recruiting talent pro with a master’s degree in HR and SPHR certification. Tim is the President of HRU Technical Resources.