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Given the competiveness of the current job market, employers need to have a solid game plan if they’re going to attract the best talent for their companies. As an employer, you’ll have to ask yourself what makes your company or business culture different or better from all the others? Can you compete with the bigger name companies with their bonus packages, flexible work arrangements, and little need to recruit because of name recognition?

Small to mid-size companies may be challenged to find enough perks that may entice the same potential employee who might be getting a little more salary or an extra week of paid time off from a larger company. But, remember: whatever your company does (product or service) or stands for might be the tipping-point to a potential superstar hire for your business.

Ready to get started? Below are seven focus areas our recruiting team and sales managers find success in that may help you step up your recruiting game too.

  1. Online Job Boards 101
    When you post a listing on Indeed or LinkedIn, try to paint an accurate picture that tells the story of your company’s value proposition, what you stand for in the community, and the job itself. Try to stray from the typical to stand out, but don’t go too crazy, you still want potential employees to know the requirements and details of the position. Make sure you list all the more interesting benefits, aside from a 401K and health insurance. What makes your company attractive to a job-seeker? If you’re going the sponsored post route, target the right audience: who are the ideal candidates that you want to see your ad?
  2. Job Fairs
    A well-organized job fair is a great way to open your doors to potential talent. Schedule some speakers, invite some current employees, serve some snacks, hire some live music, and mingle. Let them get to know you and your culture, as you get to know them. Make note of potential fits and have your radar on to detect high performers who could slide right in to open positions or ladder-up to a future leadership level. Advertise on your social networks, target the event details to local talent on LinkedIn and Indeed, and get the word on the street through your leaders and current workforce. Make the event a regular occasion and keep it fresh.
  3. Networking
    Social media networking is important in this day and age, no question. But, what about old school face-to-face? It’s still relevant. You’ll have some of that at the above mentioned job fair, but you can also get out in the community at other events or conferences and sell your company to potential hires. If you’re looking for business analysts or graphic designers, go find them. Do some research online and look for conferences or Meetup groups (nationally or locally) and bring your stack of business cards. If it’s a trade conference of some kind and your company has the budget, sponsor a table or a speaker. It’s a good way get your name out there to take the pulse of industry as you look for the best talent.
  4. Get Local
    When you do good in the community, you position your company’s brand as part of the fabric of it. Having your company, whatever size it is, make a profit might be what it’s all about, but if you have a positive community presence as both a contributor and supporter of its people, charitable organizations, schools, sports teams, etc., you’ve got a step up in your recruiting process. They might not know what’s behind the glass doors (yet) but your involvement in the community will only strengthen your ties to it and connection with future local talent.
  5. Current Employees Are Your Competitive Advantage
    There aren’t better brand ambassadors than your current batch of employees, especially if you keep them happy. Allow them to tell your company’s story on their social media accounts and do some recruiting for you. Did they have a great team-building event or were they recently travelling to a high-profile conference? Encourage them to share their enthusiasm with their friends and social media connections. Also, give your leaders face-time with the broadcast media and make them available as thought leaders to online and print publications. (It need not be The New York Times, it could be an online community newsletter or local magazine.)
  6. Employee Referral Programs
    Offering employees a cash bonus, gift card, or other incentive is a great way to keep your brand ambassadors in the game as recruiters as their circle of friends and ex-co-workers might just be the next great hire. If they’re going to put themselves on the line for this potential hire, there’s a good chance that this person will be a fit for the position and a cultural match for your company. Who knows your company better than a current employee? Not only will it lead to a work culture of inclusion, encourage some spirited competition, and perhaps dial-up the talent level, it will save you some time and effort.
  7. Research
    How do your benefits stack up? What should you pay an entry-level analyst or bookkeeper? Even if you can’t give new employees the highest salary or every perk imaginable, you can get a good idea by seeing what others offer. If you have connections at employment agencies, they would also be a good resource to let you know what’s going on in the market as far as new hire salaries and benefits. Sometimes being competitive is all it takes, you need not best everyone out there.
In the end, whatever the size of your business, remember you have something unique to offer. Let everyone know why’s it’s great to work for you.