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3 min read

What Strategies for Small Businesses to Recruit Top Talent on a Budget?

What Strategies for Small Businesses to Recruit Top Talent on a Budget?

Small businesses can face many challenges, among the top is recruiting. The U.S. has been fluctuating around full employment since 2018, which has made small business recruitment an even bigger challenge.

Added to the tough recruiting climate, financial constraints are a major factor in small business development. As a result, small business leaders must develop strategies to recruit and retain staff under pressure. 

Businesses are now turning to compensation strategies, employee perks, and employee incentives to keep attracting top talent even on a budget. In this edition of nSider, Suzette McDowell, Senior Marketing Manager at nTech Workforce shares some tips on what small businesses can do to keep up with recruiting top talent while on a budget and how working with a staffing agency can help.


What Perks Can Small Benefits Offer to Attract Top Talent? 

Not every business can afford a six-figure salary for recruiting top talent, but there are still some ways that small businesses can get creative in building an attractive compensation and perks package.

According to McDowell, these techniques can include:

  • Flexible Work Arrangements: Provide flexibility in terms of remote working options, flexible hours, or compressed work weeks. This lets employees have a better work-life balance and can be a significant selling point.
  • Professional Development Opportunities: Offer opportunities for employees to enhance their skills and knowledge through training programs, workshops, or conferences. This can demonstrate a commitment to employee growth and development.
  • Employee Recognition Program: A recognition program that acknowledges and rewards employees for their hard work and achievements can help to build company culture and also incentivize performance.
  • Work-Life Integration: Encourage work-life integration by fostering a supportive and inclusive work environment. Allow employees to bring their pets to work, offer flexible parental leave policies, or find your unique way of creating a family-friendly workplace culture.
  • Social Impact Initiatives: By participating in volunteer programs, organizing team-building activities for a cause, or supporting local charities, employees will feel a sense of purpose and contribution through their belonging to the company.
  • Casual and Fun Workplace Culture: Organize team-building events, implement a casual dress code, and bring recreational spaces into the office so that work can have an element of play without sacrificing productivity.

Developing employee satisfaction requires a better understanding of the preferences and values of potential candidates, and aligning the unique employee benefits with their expectations.


Is a Strong Employee Brand Important? 

According to McDowell, “When it pertains to captivating top talent, the significance of branding cannot be overstated.” One study estimates that 75% of job seekers research a company’s reputation before applying, and 50% won’t even bother with a company that has a poor reputation.

For McDowell, the importance of strong company branding rests in the fact that job seekers “yearn for a  sense of alignment between their identity and the company they choose to associate themselves with.”


What Can You Partner With Local Organizations for a Wider Talent Pool?

To be able to attract top talent on a budget means that small businesses will have to get creative with their sourcing methods. McDowell suggests that “organizations, regardless of their budgetary limitations, actively engage in their respective communities.”

Why engage with community partners? “By actively participating in local initiatives, such as partnering with their local chamber of commerce, collaborating with their economic development office, and establishing connections with local community colleges through volunteering and networking endeavors, companies can gain access to a pool of local talent,” says McDowell.


Is Employee Development the Answer to Attracting Top Talent?

Employee satisfaction is linked to the perception of value that an employee draws from their experience in a given position. However, that value can be derived through several avenues.

While “employee development plays a significant role as it demonstrates a commitment to the growth and advancement of employees,” says McDowell, “other factors such as a competitive compensation, a positive work culture, work-life balance, challenging projects and opportunities for career advancement also influence top talents’ decision-making processes.”


Should Small Businesses Work With a Staffing Agency if They're On a Budget?

Working with a staffing agency can offer a few key benefits even if companies are on a budget. According to McDowell, these benefits include:

  • Time and efficiency savings: The average interview process takes 22.9 days, taking time and attention away from running the business. However, when businesses partner with a staffing agency, they can stay focused on running the business while hiring experts are working as effectively and efficiently as possible.
  • Greater access to talent: Staffing agencies spend years cultivating their talent network through referrals, networking, and regular conversations with job seekers.
  • Expertise and support through the process: Staffing agencies gather tons of market data and contacts which can be a huge asset to businesses.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Staffing agencies can save companies money when there is a high variance in hiring needs, such as for seasonal jobs, project-based work, or periods of rapid growth. 

If your small business is looking to hire on a budget, reach out to nTech Workforce to find out how we can help your business find top talent, your way.