Attracting and retaining high-level talent is a crucial component of any startup or mid-sized business’s success. However, that is, in many ways, much easier said than done. Now that jobs are posted online and applicants can apply for a job with a click of a mouse rather than traipse to the post office to send in their application and CV, the volume of applicants have skyrocketed at a time when HR resources haven’t necessarily kept apace. All this means it’s no surprise that “42% of small businesses list hiring new employees as their biggest challenge” and that “62% of small business owners feel they have made a wrong hire.”
And indeed, when an SME needs to hire more staff, that usually means it’s because it’s scaling up quickly. Having a short timeline to work within when it comes to new hires makes the challenge even more daunting. You don’t want to make an investment in someone only to find out two weeks into the job that their attitude isn’t quite in line with company culture.
According to the website Glassdoor, employee engagement—or the act of piquing the interest of qualified applicants, attracting or keeping those talented people on board—is a significant challenge for HR companies. Surveys find that “While 90% of executives understand the importance of employee engagement, fewer than 50% understand how to address this issue,” and that “Two-thirds (66%) of HR respondents report they are updating their engagement and retention strategies.”
So if you are an SME on an upward trajectory of growth, you’re probably looking into how you can rapidly improve your engagement and retention programs in order to bring in and keep the best talent around. The challenge is two-fold: you need to both attract the right kinds of people to apply and have the resources and tools to sift through your applicants and find those quality prospects. What’s more, you need to do this in a job market which has been changed considerably by the startup culture, where impact and company ethos has become as important as salary in many cases.
Here are some of the digital tools and tricks you can use to up your recruitment game:
Think beyond recruiters: If you’re relying solely on old school recruiters to find your best candidates, you could be missing out on a new crop of prospects who don’t look to recruiters for their next role. Online platforms like ZipRecruiter use algorithmic methods to help applicants and employers find the right match. And the pool they draw from is the largest online: according to company data, ZipRecruiter is “The #1 rated job search app on Android & iOS,” with “over 7 million active job seekers each month and over 40 million job alert email subscribers.” Using algorithms to wade through this large pool is a much more accurate and inclusive method than traditional recruiters.
Think about your online brand: As much as you are looking for talented applicants, those same talented people are looking for dynamic and appealing companies. Websites like Glassdoor, which provide reviews of companies by current and former employees, and social media chatter about your company or brand can certainly affect whether or not a talented applicant will be interested in your role. It’s up to you to investigate what people online are saying about your company, and make changes if your company doesn’t sound like an appealing place to work.
Think beyond salary: Traditionally, salary was the main draw for talented and high level applicants, but that is changing. According to INC, there are five main factors that applicants are increasingly taking into account beyond salary. They include: career growth opportunities, work-life balance, location /commute, and company culture and values. If your job listing or position doesn’t emphasize these elements in addition to salary, that could be why you are missing out on great applicants.
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