A person with short brown hair leans on a counter at a cafe and types something on a laptop. The person is wearing a white collared shirt and a brown apron. Beside the laptop on the counter are a point-of-sale terminal and a white mug on a saucer. Behind the person are shelves and a counter covered with bottles, jars, and bags of coffee, an industrial sink, and a chrome coffee machine.
The career page on your website could be the first stop for many applicants, so make sure it accurately reflects the available position and your company's brand and culture. — Getty Images/Erdark

Nationwide, many businesses face challenges attracting the right candidates for vacant roles. With most applicants deciding whether to apply for a job within a mere 14 seconds, businesses need to optimize their hiring efforts to ensure their listings are attractive to their target talent pool.

Here are six recruitment strategies to help your small business stand out from the competition.

[Read more: 4 Ways to Improve Your Talent Acquisition Strategy]

Create a hiring plan

Start your recruitment process by crafting a comprehensive hiring plan that outlines key aspects of your recruitment process, such as a goal-oriented timeline with specific milestones, the responsibilities of the role, and the financial framework of the recruitment process.

To create an in-depth and accurate job description that will appeal to your audience, speak with both former and current employees who can detail the exact qualifications necessary to fill this position; doing so can attract candidates who are well-suited and well-prepared for the role.

Develop a career page for your website

Oftentimes, your company's career page is the first stop for potential applicants, making it crucial to provide all the necessary information that could assist them. A poor career page might deter talented candidates, resulting in both time and financial losses for your business.

To captivate and engage applicants, add team photos, videos, and testimonials to depict life at your company and make applicants more interested in the position. These elements demonstrate your business’s personality and can significantly increase the interest of candidates in your job openings.

[Read more: The Best Tech for Talent Management and Recruitment]

Develop your employer brand

Recruiting top talent is easier when your business has a clear employer brand. According to Devika Brij, Founder and CEO of Brij the Gap Consulting, today’s small businesses should focus on establishing a strong brand, including its mission statements, values, and company culture.

“Employees want to know they are doing meaningful work,” Brij told CO—. “Mission statements enable employees to tie back purpose to their specific roles and responsibilities.”

You can leverage your social media channels to create engaging content featuring your employees, which gives prospective applicants a real sense of your workplace atmosphere. Authentically showcasing your company’s work environment and culture can make the prospect of joining your team appealing to potential candidates.

If employees are investing their time in a small company, they want to know they can grow within it at a steady pace.

Devika Brij, Founder and CEO of Brij the Gap Consulting

Invest in career growth and professional development

A small business can differentiate itself by promoting its expedited career development path and accessibility to learning resources.

“Companies are now investing in early career professionals instead of only focusing on leadership development for managers and above,” said Brij. “Candidates attribute access to career development resources as one of their top three benefits when evaluating whether or not to accept a role. If employees are investing their time in a small company, they want to know they can grow within it at a steady pace.”

To that end, demonstrating how an employee’s role and professional skill set could evolve within your small team is a great way to attract talent to your organization.

“If your small business does not offer learning and development opportunities in-house, consider offering an annual stipend for employees to invest in their development including coaching, courses, and attending conferences,” Brij added.

Create authentic job posts

Many job postings fall short of showcasing a business's true identity, often featuring stiff, formal language and generic descriptions that fail to reflect the company's unique character. These postings, devoid of personality, are often ineffective, leaving candidates confused and wondering if they truly align with the job's requirements.

However, by incorporating your company’s distinct tone and personality into your job postings, you can differentiate your business from competitors and attract your target audience. Focus on highlighting your company culture in your recruitment initiatives while ensuring your job descriptions are comprehensive and straightforward.

[Read more: A Complete Guide to Recruitment Marketing]

Manage the process using online recruitment software

The recruitment process is lengthy and requires strategic organization and efficient communication. To ensure the fair treatment of candidates, enlist the help of online recruitment software to manage applicants and facilitate a streamlined hiring process. This technology helps keep track of candidates' details, including resumes, applications, social media profiles, and references, preventing any loss of vital information in the hiring pipeline. Plus, it provides a comprehensive platform for hiring managers and team members to record notes and other pertinent details, enhancing the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the recruitment process.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

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