Small business recruiting: Make the most of your size

By Robert Half on 31 May 2023

More than 60% of small businesses are trying to recruit talent in today’s competitive hiring market, according to research from Robert Half. And if you’re one of those small business owners, you know all too well that it can be tough competing with larger and more resource-rich companies to secure skilled talent.

How can your small business gain an edge? With creative, comprehensive small business recruiting techniques and effective employee retention strategies, you will be well-positioned to attract highly skilled candidates and keep them on your team for the long term.

Following are some strategies you can start applying immediately to help step up your small business recruitment success.

Recruiting for a small business: 3 ways to amplify your strengths

Here are some recruiting basics to help you add more power to your small business recruiting efforts:

1. Make being small a big selling point

When interviewing candidates, be sure to highlight the many benefits of working for a small business. For example, because you have a lean staff, your employees often perform functions beyond their stated job descriptions. That business need can translate into a career booster for motivated professionals, enabling them to rapidly acquire new skills and develop a broad range of abilities.

Also, because your small business likely lacks a lot of hierarchy, talented employees can quickly advance to positions with more responsibility. That can help keep their job satisfaction high, and employee turnover low.

2. Focus on building brand awareness

Create a pipeline of skilled local job candidates who want to work for your company by making your small business visible and top-of-mind in your market. This effort entails building up and highlighting your company’s reputation.

For example, perhaps your small business is known for its great customer service, innovation in the marketplace, or leadership in promoting employee work-life balance.

3. Expand your digital presence

Your company’s website and social media presence can be vital tools in helping you to meet your small business recruitment goals. They can help you build brand awareness (see #2 above) and communicate your strengths to job candidates. You can post detail-rich information about your company’s mission, corporate culture, history, successes, ongoing community involvement, current activities and more.

Other ways to increase your company’s visibility include executive bylines in business and trade publications, website content focused on topics where your company has demonstrated expertise, and the sponsorship of forums or workshops for professionals in your industry.

Additional tips for recruiting for a small business successfully include:

  • Offering schedule flexibility, which many professionals specifically seek today
  • Being willing to train or upskill high-potential talent so that you can move faster to staff critical roles
  • Hiring contract professionals who can help you keep projects moving forward during a candidate search and ease the burden on your core staff; you might also end up hiring these workers for full-time roles


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