Perhaps it’s not too surprising that hiring and retaining the right people is one of the biggest challenges facing small and medium-sized businesses. According to research by Capterra, “Finding the right people for the job is a problem for 20% of the small businesses we surveyed and 21% of midsize businesses. In addition, retaining those folks once they show up is a challenge for 15% of small businesses and 21% of midsize businesses.” As your employee-base matures, it’s important to refresh your perspective on all things HR. Get in touch with your people to better understand their wants and aspirations. Only then will you be ready to seek out fresh talent which complements the existing culture you have created.
While medium-sized businesses are likely to continue operating like a small business, it’s important for organizations going through this portion of their growth cycle to take a step back and re-evaluate where you stand now that substantial milestones have been accomplished. Now is the time to reinvigorate your employees and take initiative to show them how they fit into your vision for your company culture. Capterra makes some notable distinctions between small and medium-sized businesses from a human resources standpoint:
“Whereas small companies are more concerned about hiring people, midsize businesses are more concerned about holding on to the talent they already have… We also found that midsize businesses are extremely concerned about ramping up sales teams in a way small businesses don’t yet care about.” ref
As your focus shifts towards those aggressive sales benchmarks, you will also want to do your best to have a sales team that connects with your engineers, project managers and the executive team. What better way to retain your best employees than tightening up your approach to recruiting and staffing? For example, consider investing in smart HR technology to get more done faster. Having too many manual processes can prove to be a challenge for small and medium sized businesses. Gaps oftentimes appear in documentation and tracking, so it’s important to think about ways to automate processes or optimize employee performance all fall under this massive umbrella of building a company that puts its employees first.
In any case, when it comes to optimizing your recruiting, here are some next steps you can pursue to make something special happen.
Have you ever thought about your employer brand? If not, we’re so excited that you are here! It’s natural that most of us think about our competitors and consumer perception when it comes to our company brand, and those are important to factor in but also think about what key messages you want your candidates to walk away with.
The reality is that most candidates will try to scope out your web presence to orient themselves; it's one of the most basic things they will do to learn more about you, so meet them halfway! Be intentional about your messaging to job seekers and highlight the best of what you have to offer to make an emotional impact. This can be done through your website, social media profiles and online reviews on sites like Glassdoor, Indeed and Linkedin. Most importantly, make sure that what you’re saying is consistent channel to channel.
Don’t treat your Careers page or job descriptions like a dull afterthought. Turn them into a landing page or shareable piece of content instead of just being a bullet on a list asking for a resume and cover letter. Get interactive by working with a recruitment advertising firm or hire a freelance art director who has some handy methods to unearth your brand values and express it online.
Paper resumes are great, but the point here is that you want your application process to be more of a memorable experience. Note that in today’s world, it’s not unusual to encourage your candidates to share their social profiles and passion projects.
Robust SMBs and medium-sized businesses can really harness a great look and brand tone to find the right fit. So don’t be afraid to get playful, add some personality and do make sure your pages are mobile-friendly.
Most importantly, focus on communicating your company values and shine a light for likeminds to find you. Remember to leverage tools to stay engaged with candidates who express interest through your blog, email list and social media channels.
Video continues to grow as one of the primary formats of content that is consumed online, videos will continue to play a significant role in the way people learn about potential employers. It may seem daunting to create a video, but you can do it! Some businesses can go all the way by developing a Youtube channel but all you really need to do at this stage (in our humble opinion) is invest in a one-off video that summarizes what your business is about and why your people are excited to come to work every day. You’ll come to realize just how versatile of a communications tool video can be for candidate attraction.
This video may require you to do some soul-searching but it will be worth it. Make sure you think about the formats and placements you’ll want for this creative asset. Popular routes include embedding it on your website, uploading it to Youtube and linking to it from your site and/or develop it in a vertical orientation as well (if you intend to use it on your IGTV for example). Remember also that Facebook and Instagram’s algorithms are bias towards native content, so also consider uploading it directly to those social channels for your candidates and community to see and engage with.
All in all, it takes a lot of work and commitment to stand out in today’s complex business environment. Become a progressive force in your industry by being mindful of the trends that you detect and work closely with the work force you have established.