Recruiting and the Small Business Advantage

By Cheryl Stein
Monster Business Coach
The success of any company is largely dependent on its people.  Although no one can argue with the fact that a great product or service is essential, and great marketing is also vital, it is the people in our organizations that drive the sales, create the plans and execute those plans. Big companies seem to have all the resources in the world to attract and hire the best people. Smaller sized companies tend to worry that they can’t compete with the attractiveness of working for a large corporation. There is a huge advantage, however, to being a small business and those advantages can help get you some great candidates.
Perception is Everything
If you don’t believe that you have a great thing going on in your company to sell to a prospective candidate, how can you expect them to believe it? Do you know what your advantages are? Having a clear idea of what you have going for you, makes it a lot easier to figure out whom to sell those advantages to. If you think a candidate will do better at a big company, chances are they will. If you think that you have a lot to offer, and that your company has the capacity to attract and retain great people, then that message will come across.
Marketing Strategy for Hiring
Attracting the best employees to your small business should be approached like selling a product. If you don’t have a marketing strategy then you will not be able to sell the virtues of working for your small business. Before you go out and try and attract someone amazing, figure out what you have going on for you that other companies might not be able to compete with.
Some of the Recruiting for Small Business Advantages are:
Great Timing
According to a article, “Why Small Businesses Won’t be Hiring” by Amy Barret  small business are the first to start hiring after an economic downturn because it is the entrepreneurs that drive economic recovery.  They are the ones whose businesses are small enough and flexible enough to change directions quickly. It is this quick response time that has them hiring before anyone else.

If that is the case, then in this current economic climate, small businesses have the ability to pick from a vast pool of job candidates that they may not otherwise have access to. But even if the landscape changes, there are small business advantages that make it easy to compete against the big boys. Even when times are good, there is no reason why a small business can’t attract fantastic people if they know how to sell what they have going for them.

 Jack Of All Trades
Small businesses tend to offer their employees the ability to do a lot of different things. Because they are less bureaucratic, and tend to have less people working in the organization, employees are often able to challenge themselves with doing work that isn’t necessarily in their job description. Great job candidates love challenges. Sell them on the ability to really stretch themselves and the ability to get very diverse experience.
Direct Relationship to the Outcome
Working for a small business allows you to have a direct effect on how the company performs. Unlike large companies that have lots of people making very little impact, in a small company, the job that you do can easily be correlated to the performance of the company. Great job candidates love knowing that the work that they do matters. Sell them on the ability to have a direct and measureable impact.
Direct Influence on Polices and Direction
Working for a small business means that everyone in the company has a voice that is easily heard. Unlike working for a large company where you can figuratively scream your head off and no one will take heed, small companies can’t ignore the feedback that they get from their people. Great job candidates love knowing that they can influence direction. Sell them on the ability to have a voice.
Personal Relationships
Small businesses have the advantage of being able to offer more tailored packages to their employees. Because there is a more intimate knowledge of the lives of the people in the company, owners can offer perks that will make a difference. One company I know of allows employees to take extra vacation days instead of extra pay for the overtime that they work. Another company makes sure that their health benefits plan has maximum coverage. Other companies that I know of also make sure to provide great retirement savings plans for their employees. Great job candidates will love the idea of getting special packages that really impact their lives. Sell them on the ability to get stuff that really matters to them.
Small businesses also have a tendency to do whatever they have in their power to keep their people employed. When things get rough for the company, they will most often take other measures first before letting people go. Great job candidates will love the idea of having job security. Sell them on the fact that large companies will not do what you will do to keep them employed.
Small companies tend to have more flexibility to the way work life is structured. Because they don’t typically have rigid H.R. departments, people are often able to work from home or work flexible hours. Great job candidates love the idea of having the ability to structure work their way. Sell them on the ability to get create their own way of working.
Small businesses have amazing advantages for job candidates. Convincing a job candidate that small business is the place to be is easy if you know what you’re competitive advantage. Luring people away from working for a large company is often just a matter of the right sales pitch and the belief that you have something to offer that is much greater than the big guy and clearly, you can offer perks that those big companies just can’t compete with.