How to Attract Top Talent and Hire Competitively for Your SMB

When we think of community businesses, we usually picture small businesses—the charming coffee shop on the corner, your neighbor’s boutique shop, a small-scale marketing firm, a local startup that began down the street before moving into a larger commercial space. Everyone starts somewhere, and no business, not even Amazon or Google, sprang into their successful giant status instantaneously. It takes an idea, plenty of elbow grease and the right team to launch and grow a successful SMB. But they are a pillar in every community, rural and urban.

That’s why it may be somewhat surprising to read that only 6 percent of Gallup survey respondents believe that “doing more to help small businesses” will lead to more job creation. Most believe that the manufacturing industry holds the answer. But with nearly half of the private U.S. workforce employed at a small business (48 percent), it’s obvious that SMBs have a huge impact on the economy and individual lives.

Perhaps this perception is part of why it can be difficult to hire competitively at a small business. Have you encountered this problem in staffing your own SMB? You may not be a corporate giant, but you have a lot to offer employees and the world. Here are a few ideas for attracting and hiring top talent for your company.

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Start with the Basics

What does the workforce want? Job security, for one. A potential candidate doesn’t want to accept a job offer only to be let go six months later for budgetary reasons! Before you can even think about hiring a staff, make sure you have the baseline benefits and financial protections in place, including competitive salary packages, work-ready premises, general liability insurance, workers compensation and a business plan.

Getting all your ducks in a row, so to speak, will help you extend job offers with confidence. It will also help you retain your talent, as they will be free to do their jobs rather than worry about their career prospects or the company’s stability over time.

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Emphasize the Benefits of SMBs

Sometimes it feels futile to compete against the “big guys.” With your modest budget and growing pains, how can you compete with national and international corporations? The good news is that SMBs have draws of their own.

As Chron writes, “Small businesses tend to attract talent who invent new products or implement new solutions for existing ideas.” In other words, SMBs can provide wiggle room for employees to experiment, influence and innovate. Instead of feeling like a tiny minnow in a huge pond, your employees will know their work matters. You can hire creative, flexible innovators ready to take charge of their roles. Luckily, that’s exactly what some job seekers are looking for before they sign an offer letter.

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How are You Hiring?

As much as a candidate is selling their finer points to you during an interview, you’re selling your company to them. If you’re having trouble finding and hiring top-tier talent, maybe it’s time to refine how you’re searching.

Make sure your job postings are unique and accurate. There’s no use in exaggerating the scope of your company online; interviewees will only be underwhelmed upon arrival. You’ll save everyone time if you’re up front about your business’s goals and opportunities for growth. Emphasize the qualities you’re looking for in your next hire and demonstrate the many exciting ways in which a potential hire can take ownership over their role.

You may not have a huge HR department to handle scheduling and interviewing, but you must display the utmost professionalism if you want to give off the right impression. Make sure your interview space is professional and reflects well on your company. Study up on your interview questions beforehand so you’re not simply reading off a piece of paper. Streamline the process.

Get your behind-the-scenes logistics in order, make sure the interview process is smooth and emphasize the stronger points of your SMB. You’ll be well on your way to making smart hiring decisions that benefit both parties involved (and the community).

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