The hiring conditions for small businesses are getting more competitive as the job market continues to tighten. According to Indeed, 56% of small businesses find it somewhat or very difficult to find the right employees for their business. So, how can you overcome these recruiting hurdles to find and hire the top talent your small business needs to keep growing?
Simply being aware of the recruiting trends impacting small businesses is the first step — then you can develop a well-informed hiring strategy that is aligned with them. We’re here to explore the five small business recruiting trends you need to be aware of today, and how a professional staffing agency or headhunter can help you stay on top of them to hire the best possible candidates.
Recruiting Trend #1: Remote Hiring and Employment Rates Continue to Rise
Remote work environments have been steadily increasing in popularity over the years, and robust work from home policies are now commonplace in nearly every industry. The rise of remote working isn’t slowing down. In fact, it’s estimated that 50% of the workforce will be remote by 2020. Businesses are catching on and tailoring more of their open job positions to be partially or completely remote to attract a wider pool of interested applicants.
While companies of all sizes report significant decreases in operating costs thanks to the remote working trend, it can be especially beneficial to small-to-midsize businesses. These businesses tend to have less space and resources to work with — and having fewer employees physically in the office means less desk space, equipment, and utilities are necessary.
If you do decide to include more remote positions in your hiring strategy, be sure that you’re also aware of the latest digital recruiting trends. This will enable you to effectively reach potential workers where they actually spend time and look for new jobs: on their mobile devices.
Recruiting Trend #2: Small Businesses are Increasingly Leveraging Freelancers and Contractors
In a time of incredibly low unemployment, small businesses must remain flexible when searching for talent to fill their open roles. Modern employees are increasingly moving away from full-time jobs to pursue more flexible options, like freelance or contract work. According to Upwork, half of all workers are predicted to be freelancers by 2027.
By utilizing freelancers or contractors, you are able to look beyond your local market and tap into talent that wouldn’t be willing to relocate for a job or isn’t available to take a full-time, in-office position. This can also save small businesses on both up-front and long-term recruiting costs. With freelancers and contractors, you aren’t committing to paying a full-time salary and typically won’t have to pay for benefits or match retirement savings contributions. Additionally, if you use a professional staffing agency to fill freelance or contractor positions, those hires typically stay on the staffing agency’s payroll for the duration of their contract, not yours.
Recruiting Trend #3: Sourcing for Potential vs. Experience
With unemployment still under 4% after the first quarter of 2019, small businesses will need to be especially creative about how they qualify candidates. It’s getting harder and harder to find that “perfect” candidate who checks off every single box on your skills and experience wishlist — and is actually looking to make a career move. The good news? There are other ways to find a candidate who is aligned with your goals, such as looking for potential, not just experience.
High potential candidates can make excellent hires, as long as they’re motivated, trainable, and are a good “culture fit” with your company. Consider expanding your search from simply “highly qualified” to also include “high-potential” candidates — you’ll have a much wider applicant pool, and just may find the right person who can be coached and molded to fit your business’s specific needs.
Recruiting Trend #4: Employer Branding is Gaining Momentum
It’s a job seeker’s market, which means you just aren’t choosing candidates — they are choosing you, too. It can be hard to set yourself apart from other small businesses in your area or attract top talent over industry giants. According to LinkedIn, 75% of job seekers consider a company’s brand before applying for a job, making it crucial to develop a strong brand as an employer.
There are many simple, cost-effective ways for small businesses to build their brand and attract top candidates. For example, regularly engaging with your customers through blogs or social media, clearly showcasing your culture and values through videos or online posts, or sharing information about the causes and philanthropic organizations you support.
Being clear and consistent in all of your communications creates a strong brand image — which can lead to candidates aligned with your goals and values discovering your company. If you’re leveraging a professional staffing agency for your recruitment initiatives, make sure they have taken the time to research and familiarize themselves with your employer brand so they are able to source candidates who align with it on your behalf.
Recruiting Trend #5: Heavier Focus on Recruiting Candidates Based on Culture Fit
For small businesses especially, company culture is incredibly important. Many small businesses feel like a tight-knit family, and when you have fewer people on your staff, each one makes a more direct impact on the overall environment. Bringing in a new hire that doesn’t mesh well with the rest of the team can make the working atmosphere uncomfortable or lower morale for everyone — and in a smaller office, this will quickly become noticeable.
That’s why cultural fit has become a key component of many small businesses’ hiring strategies.
Unfortunately, assessing a candidate’s culture fit isn’t quite an exact science. However, there are many ways you can gain insight into an employee’s personality before committing to giving them a salary and spending further time and resources on hiring and on-boarding. There are pre-employment assessment tools on the market that fit all needs and budgets which can uncover a candidate’s deeper motivations, preferences, and personality traits. Additionally, something as simple and cost-effective as chatting with a candidate over lunch or coffee, or inviting them to a company culture or networking event, can help you get to know them in a more informal setting.
Successfully Recruit Top Talent for Your Small Business with the Help of a Professional Staffing Agency
With so many current trends in recruitment to stay on top of today, plus future recruitment trends to get ahead of, it can be overwhelming for many small businesses to successfully recruit top talent. Additionally, with a smaller staff, time and resources are limited. An in-house recruiter at a small business may not be fully-versed in recruitment best practices or have the capacity to research and learn more about them. That’s why many turn to staffing agencies or headhunters that have this expertise and experience — plus ample time and resources to source from a vast network of qualified candidates.
At 4 Corner Resources, our passion is helping businesses of all sizes meet their hiring needs. We’re fully committed to placing the right candidate in the right position every time — which is why we have a reputation as a highly trusted partner to both our clients and candidates all across the U.S.
Do you want to uncover future recruitment trends so you can proactively get ahead of them, or learn additional ways small businesses can successfully attract and hire top talent? Reach out to one of our experts for more guidance or to get started utilizing professional staffing services in your small business today!