Good employees are critical to business growth, but finding them can be challenging, especially lately. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were over 10 million job openings in the country this summer, marking the highest number ever on record. With more jobs available than people searching for them—and with millions of Americans quitting—small businesses are struggling to find and hire new employees.
To capture the attention of job seekers in the current climate, business owners need to stand out and offer the right incentives. Here are four smart ways to attract qualified candidates (beyond just posting a job ad):
1. Expand your online presence
Expanding your business’s online presence takes upfront work and consistent effort, but it’s an effective way to draw potential employees in. These four strategies can help your business become more visible and memorable.
- Post frequently on LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the platform for job hunting and referrals, so it’s a good place for employees to learn about your business. In addition to posting job ads and industry updates, you may want to spotlight employees, feature positive customer reviews, and share your business’s accomplishments or achievements.
- Tap into social media: Social media is one of the easiest ways to get in front of prospective employees. When you’re brainstorming post ideas, think of how you can get job candidates excited while staying authentic to your brand and style. If you run a bakery, for example, you could share a behind-the-scenes video of how you make your croissants. If you operate a dental office, you could make an infographic that breaks down your employee benefits and workplace perks.
- Improve your website: Your business’s website is usually the first place job candidates visit when researching an open role, so it’s crucial to make a positive impact. Start by revamping your landing page so it’s visually intriguing, scannable, and informative. Next, update your “careers” page with more information about your business, workplace culture, and employee benefits. You may also want to update your business’s “about” section or include relevant keywords throughout your site to improve SEO.
- Alert the presses: Positive press can pique the interest of job seekers. Consider writing a press release to announce good business news, like an expansion or new product launch. You could also reach out to local news outlets to pitch a story about your business.
2. Share job ads with niche communities
Posting a job ad on a job search website is like shouting into the void; your post can get buried under thousands of other similar ads. Instead of relying solely on job search sites, make an effort to show up in the places where prospective employees spend their time.
Start by listing out the skills, qualifications, and experience level necessary for the roles you’re hiring for. From there, research activities, communities, and groups that line up with the skills and qualifications you outlined. For example, if you need hard-working summer staff for your beach cafe, you could post a flyer at a nearby high school. If you’re looking for employees with basic medical knowledge to work at your orthopedic practice, you could share your job ad in the local university newsletter or campus pre-med Facebook community.
3. Lead with your values and workplace culture
Employees today have higher expectations for the businesses they work at. The majority of employees want three things, according to a 2021 McKinsey report: a better work-life balance, more flexibility, and more emphasis on well-being at work.
To attract job candidates, it’s important to explain what you can offer employees beyond a paycheck. On your business website, in your job ads, and on your online platforms, work on the following:
- Share your business’s values: Employees want to work for companies that align with their beliefs and support causes they care about. By openly discussing your business’s values and bigger purpose—whether it’s to expand education or support your local community—you can attract job candidates who will be excited and motivated to work for you.
- Highlight your workplace culture: Describe your unique workplace culture on your website and in your social media posts and job ads. Maybe you give employees flexible arrival and departure times, for example. Or maybe you encourage everyone to share ideas in company meetings or take a certain amount of time off every quarter.
4. Revisit your compensation structure and benefits package
It doesn’t matter how often you post on social media or how widely you distribute your job ads—if you don’t offer competitive compensation and attractive benefits, you’ll have a difficult time filling open positions.
Restructuring your compensation and benefits offerings may require you to drastically change your budget and company policies, but taking action now can pay dividends in the long term. Here are three tips:
- Consult your accountant: To figure out what you can realistically offer current and potential employees, start by examining your finances. Meet with your business accountant and ask what’s feasible. Can you bump up the base salary for certain positions, for example, or give quarterly bonuses to employees who reach specific sales targets? It’s also important to look at industry standards and check out what your competitors are currently doing.
- Ensure pay equity: Consider hiring an outside expert to review your compensation plan for equity and inclusivity. An expert can assess whether there are any pay gaps, then give you practical recommendations for resolving them.
- Reevaluate your benefits: According to a 2020 study from MetLife, a comprehensive benefits package is the number three driver of employee well-being. To reevaluate your offerings, do some industry research or survey your employees to ask about their needs. Then consider what you can offer in addition to health insurance. The possibilities are endless. Think: extended disability leave, stipends for mental health services, reimbursements for fitness subscriptions, paid lunches, and additional vacation time.
Finding qualified employees to fill the gaps in your business can be tricky—which is why it’s critical to put just as much effort toward employee retention as you do recruiting. Once you hire your employees, aim to do the following:
- Invest time in proper onboarding and training, so employees understand their roles and responsibilities.
- Regularly check in with employees to find out what they need.
- Give employees opportunities to grow professionally and personally.
Disclaimer: Fundbox and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.