How can a small, relatively unknown business use technology to attract the best talent?
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. Source Online and Build Relationships in Person
My friends at TangoSource have done a great job sourcing talent by creating a community through events. These events provide mutual value for talent and the many notable businesses in attendance. They use social media, specifically LinkedIn and MeetUp, to attract talent to the events. Once at the event, they are able to cherry pick talent and build a relationship with attendees.
Small business can offer something that others can’t: growth. Employees want to evolve and grow, and small businesses can offer that at a much faster pace than a larger company can. One of the biggest reasons someone looks for a new job is the lack of growth opportunities at their present company. Highlight that and you will get people who value it and want to invest themselves in your business.
3. Build Community on Social Media
If you are the little guy, you’ll need to create superfans on social media in order to attract top talent. Building community on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter gives your company a human advantage that larger competitors can’t pull off. Why not start a podcast or a blog that will attract people who are constantly consuming content to make themselves better? This is where top talent lives.
4. Partner With Organizations on an Email Blast
First, identify who you’re looking to hire. Then identify where they hang out online. What do they read? Identify some organizations that you can partner with to reach your target audience. Whether the organization is a specific college career center or a media outlet, there’s sponsored (or free!) opportunities to get your employment opportunities a mention in an email newsletter.
5. Publish a Technical Blog
The vast majority of the people applying to work for us have found us through our blog. We blog about the technologies we are using, open-source libraries we are writing and anything else interesting within our field. Not only does this get us traffic to our website, but it shows prospective hires what to expect before they even submit an application.
Side projects are great for marketing your brand, both to potential customers and potential team members. If you create things they love to use, you’ll build up your brand to them. Then, add a CTA that states you’re hiring and get your users to send in some applications. Buffer does this well on their dashboard, and Crew uses their side projects like Unsplash to gain traction.
If you are using an open source stack for your company and you want to attract the best talent, start giving back to that community. Either offer to host their meetup groups in your city and sponsor the pizza or offer to contribute code to their projects, if you have the technical expertise and the bandwidth. Either way, give and give until they line up to be part of your team.
After the market crashed in 2008, many experts decided to take their skills online in order to work a more flexible freelance schedule. These incredible professionals are easy to find on freelance job platforms. Outline the specific talent you need and then post those job listings. Interview a few experts to find the right fit for your company.
I love Toptal, the network of freelance software developers and designers, for its ability to connect me with only the top tech talent out there. It’s a great source for talent that has already been screened, saving me time and money on the search.
There is no correlation between the size of a business and the ability to think outside the box. If you spend time making videos and content that no one else has done before, you’ll skyrocket past your generic, templated competitors.
Leverage AngelList. A surprising number of companies fail to complete their profile, but we built an amazing profile that helped us to tell our story so that potential hires understood our mission, culture, team and stage. Then we ensured that we were regularly featured on the platform in order to gain more exposure and attract the best candidates.
12. Show Personality Through Interactive Apps
Employees want to work for companies where they can make a big impact, grow, and where they are compensated well. Small businesses that want to attract the best candidates need to emphasize that people can make a big impact and grow their career. Businesses that show authenticity on a platform like Snapchat or who include videos on their website usually stand out to candidates.