A bad hire can be costly. In addition to the investment in training, employee turnover costs your business in decreased morale and missed opportunity. You need candidates who will not only bring the necessary talents to the position, but who will understand, and thrive, in your company’s culture. Recruiting methods traditionally tapped by small businesses — local newspaper ads, state and local employment job boards, staffing agencies — do not allow you to present your business’s values, priorities and mission to prospective employees so that you may attract those who make a good fit.

As a small business, you don’t have financial and personnel resources necessary to launch large recruiting campaigns. When it comes to the benefits and professional development opportunities, you may not be able to compete with larger businesses. However, one advantage over larger employers is your smaller size, which allows for a more personal business culture, possibly being exactly what top talent is looking for.

Rather than being tied to a narrow job description and locked into a rung on the corporate ladder, small businesses offer job candidates the opportunity to participate in the business as a whole, allowing them to rapidly develop new skills and gain the sense that they are an integral part of the organization. Without a large recruitment budget, how do you get this selling point across to job seekers?

You may be familiar with Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook as vehicles to establish your brand with customers and clients, but these, and other social sites, are also powerful recruitment tools. Today’s job seekers grew up with social media. According to a 2015 study by Jobvite, 67 percent of job seekers use Facebook, 45 percent use Twitter and 40 percent are on LinkedIn. These are the big three, but this new generation of prospective employees also searches Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat and Quora to get a feel for a company’s culture and seek out job opportunities.

LinkedIn offers products, for a fee, specifically geared towards recruiting. You also have the free option of posting a job opening in your status box. This method is effective if you have built a network of connections to like-minded individuals and groups in your industry. Begin by linking with current employees and clients, local businesses and even family and friends. Your reach will grow from there.

Your business’s Facebook page will be one of the first places a job seeker will look to research your company. Post job openings there and encourage your current employees to spread the news. Applications such as Work For Us streamline the process of Facebook recruiting. Twitter allows you to get the word out to prospective employees and gives you the opportunity to engage with them. Utilize hash tags such as #hiring, #ITJobs, #employment or #NAJ, the Twitter acronym for “Need A Job?”

Social recruiting is more than using the tools of various social media sites. It is a new way of connecting employers with potential employees. Through digital media, each can learn about the other in this interactive environment and be better able to determine if hiring discussions should proceed further without a large investment in time and money.

This article was written by Gillian Burdett for Small Business Pulse


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