It’s not a secret that competition for exceptional talent is fierce, especially for small businesses. It’s a common thought that small businesses can’t offer candidates the same benefits as larger companies can like hire salaries, better benefits, time off, growth and development, and more. We are here to make the case for small businesses – why they’re great places to work and why hiring the right people isn’t as hard as some people say.

Why work for a small business?

Small businesses have a lot to offer job seekers. Just take a look at the list below.

  • Less bureaucracy

    There is a smaller gap between company leadership and employees. Generally speaking, that lends itself to a more flexible and efficient environment because there are less people to go through to get things done.

  • Have your voice heard

    With fewer middle managers and colleagues, it is easier to be seen and make a noticeable impact in a small business. Employees feel a greater sense of ownership over their work and can see how their contribution had a direct impact on the business and mission.

  • Not just a cog in the wheel

    Employees can feel close to the work they’re are doing. It’s harder to lose sight of the company’s purpose and mission when they work more closely to it, and they feel more important and needed.

  • Wider job responsibilities

    With fewer employees, work is spread out among employees, they wear many hats. It is an opportunity to learn about different roles and functions in the business they wouldn’t normally have in a larger company. A chance for employees to challenge themselves.

  • Learn more

    Closely related to the previous point, employees are closer to all of the action so they may have more responsibilities and steeper learning curve, but they are also gaining more experience. Not to mention, working alongside leadership offers meaningful mentorship opportunities. All of which gives them a leg up on when it comes time to finding their next job, or maybe starting a business of their own.

  • Closer to colleagues

    Many people say working at a small business fosters a family-like environment. When everyone is working closely together towards the same goals it creates a more intimidate, tight-knit setting that many people look for in a job.

  • More job growth

    In a large company, there’s more competition for promotions. Employees don’t encounter that with a smaller pool of candidates, allowing for the potential for more job growth.

What is it like to hire as a small business?

It’s worth looking at small businesses recruiting pain points to better understand how to hire the quality talent you want. It helps to see perceived limitations, and see how they can actually be great opportunities for the right people. But what are the limitations or blind spots?

Small businesses may struggle to hire, but they are growing. And that’s a good sign.

What channels do small businesses use to hire?







How to attract talent to a small business?

Just because you are a small business, doesn’t mean you are a start-up. In today’s world, start-ups are synonymous with a dynamic, youthful culture, cool offices. Not all small businesses are like that. And that’s ok. There people out there who want what you have to offer. The real question is how do you attract the right talent to your small business?

The key to remember is that you aren’t trying to hire everyone; you are only trying to hire the right people. Find out who those people are and what matters to them, and then find ways to use that to your advantage. If your business makes environmentally sustainable clothing, then your ideal candidates probably care a lot about the environment. You can promote that your company office is in an environmentally friendly office space and has regular company outings where employees can volunteer for causes they care about. Play up your strengths!

If you have a few good employees already, use them as a source for candidates. They understand what it’s like to work at your company and why they are happy there; they can take care of a lot of the selling for you. If this method works for you, consider offering rewards to employees that successfully refer star employees.

Don’t get distracted with “the warm body syndrome” aka just hiring someone to fill a position even if he or she isn’t a good fit. It’s a short-term solution that doesn’t produce a return on your investment. You don’t want someone who just takes up space, you want some engaged.

With limited resources or cash flow, it can be difficult to invest in recruiting and talent management. But a bad hire will cost you, and if you don’t learn what to do with the good people you hire, they leave.

Of course, the more obvious ways to attract talent also help, like offering higher salaries, emphasizing opportunities for advancement, and advertising generous benefits.