Staffing for the Small and Mighty-Promoting Your Small Business

Small businesses have challenges competing for talent. Particularly in Silicon Valley, applicants can be wooed by larger organizations with larger budgets, more perks and perceived better career paths. Often, larger organizations are just better at recruitment marketing. They have dedicated personnel who handle career sites, company pitches and promote perks in a public manner. However, small businesses can be competitive in the job market with these same promotion techniques.

Promote your small business by:

  1. Creating an appealing job description! Smaller companies have fewer regulations and hoops to jump through so you should have the upper hand in creating a winning job description. Most simply don’t know how to. Before you copy and paste a job description template off the web, compile a document that will help you to write with personality, showcasing corporate culture. Here are three key points;
  • Talk to the person as if you were a friend. Using a casual tone to explain how the person fits in or the importance of the job gets applicants excited. Is the Office Manager the “go-to person of the office”? Will the Assistant Manager, “Work hand and hand with the General Manager to set the strategy ….”?
  • Keep them short and sweet. Devoid of lists and paragraphs of must-haves. Describe the role and then add desirable personality traits. If technical skills are required break them out into headers that deviate from the normal “Requirements” such as “Your technical toolbox” OR “Extras that make us take notice”.
  • Check for mobile optimization. 83% of people now use smartphones or tablets for their job search. Can you read your ad on your phone? How many times do you need to swipe?

2. Sell the advantages of working in a small business.

  • Skill development. Small businesses can be fantastic for skill development. Often employees can touch more areas of business operations than in larger companies. Typically, the larger the company the narrower the scope of responsibility. Do you offer cross-training? This can be a great way to introduce an employee to a set of skills they wouldn’t otherwise have.
  • Personal relationships. Often times, working in a small business you may know everyone who works for the company. Everyone! Stressing the ability to create personal relationships and be a “known entity” is a real advantage.
  • Work impact. In a small business, an employee can have visibility into how their work impacts the business. Every sale, customer, partner interaction makes a huge difference. Executives/Owners/Managers can clearly see your results and so can employees.

3. Sell your company in particular.

Share your company's story

Know the why! Not just why ABC company, but why ABC company and not Google, Oracle, Facebook, etc.  Here are a few points to consider:

  • When was your small business established? Been in business for 30 years? Silicon Valley has lots of shiny start-ups with the promise of stock and wealth. How many of them still have funding two years later? Five years later? How about merger and acquisition activity in the marketplace? Likelihood of moving jobs to lower-cost operation centers?
  • Industry highlights. Sometimes low tech industries can be sexy too. Is it a product or service that everyone needs? Are you industry experts at your niche? Do you excel at quality craftsmanship?  Are you innovating in an otherwise stagnant industry?

4. Compete on culture.

Create an employee-centric office culture. Small businesses can offer a lot of the same employee perks allowing you to compete with more well-known brands. Do you celebrate achievements, hold all-hands employee meetings, and offer a casual dress code, flexible work hours and/or telecommuting?   Compete in the areas that affect work/life balance like scheduling, vacation and dress code. Often, applicants would be willing to accept less pay for great work/life balance and time off.


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