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How Small Companies Can Compete for Talent Against Big Brands

Being a small company often means you have to compete with the larger players in your industry for everything, including top talent. That can be intimidating and quite challenging, especially since you only have a fraction of their budget. The good news is, you can use size to your advantage in getting the best professionals onto your team.

Here are a three simple tips:

Promote the benefits in your job postings

There are so many benefits to working in a small company that we don't talk about enough, so start highlighting them more. Your company actually has more of a lot of intangible assets that big brands can't offer -- more variety, more responsibility, more access to senior-level management, and more team collaboration. How many of your job postings are showing that?

Get your jobs out there

Recruiter announcing a job

You may never be able to afford giant billboards or be a presenting sponsor to a conference, but there plenty of low-cost and free ways you can promote yourself and still break through the clutter.

  • Go beyond your job board. If you're a small business, few people are seeking out your careers page and, unless you've invested a lot into SEO, you probably aren't showing up in Google. If you're only posting to your website, you might as well not post at all. Get your name onto the aggregators like Indeed, Simply Hired and Eluta. For the important roles, invest in advertising on major job boards. Don't forget to have the best job posting possible.

  • Don't be sketchy. Yes, you need to post your job in more places, but not the smaller places. When you post your job in the same place people are selling used cars, you lose credibility.

  • Increase your social media presence. If you only post jobs to social media, they won't reach anybody. You first need to build a following. Do that with engaging posts, competitions to get more followers, and creating content that people will want to share with others.

  • Leverage your team. We mentioned the fact that small companies have more to offer. Use your team to promote that. Encourage them to network in the industry and keep them happy. The more you keep your top talent and have them promoting your company, the easier it will be for people to come knocking at your door.

Act big in a little way

When candidates come for interviews and go through the hiring process, let them know that you're still as serious and successful as any of the other big players. Keep a big company feeling with formal interviews in a nice office, but also give them benefits that large organizations can't offer because of their extensive processes. You likely don't need the long, exhausting procedure that consists of eight levels of interviews. You can also be flexible in your scheduling, as well as flexible with the job description to include some extra responsibilities that would motivate the individual.

Don't let being a small company keep you from attracting the best talent possible. Many applicants will think they want to work for a large organization, thinking "bigger is better", and not realizing what they can get with a smaller team. If you can demonstrate the benefits, you're sure to win over some outstanding performers.