It’s no secret that small businesses find hiring to be a top HR challenge. In fact, a recent ADP study found that 40 percent of small businesses believe filling an open position is more difficult than expected and 32 percent said it took longer than expected.
However, despite the fact that recruitment can be challenging for small business owners, they employ nearly half of the U.S workforce, and account for more than 60 percent of the private sector’s net new jobs. Perhaps this is because small businesses are unique in that they can offer compelling opportunities that larger corporations cannot.
Related: The Key to Hiring the Best Employees
Sure, large companies offer great benefits and competitive pay -- but small businesses can offer those too. A recent ADP study reveals that 75 percent of small businesses (those with between 10 and 49 employees) currently offer health insurance -- and one of the top reasons they gave for offering health insurance is to stay competitive with other companies vying for top talent.
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But the recruitment opportunity doesn’t end there. By the nature of their size, small businesses can offer employees important advantages they won’t find at a larger organization, including:
- Less bureaucracy: Small companies typically have a flatter organizational structure, offering a closer working relationship between leadership and employees. This can be an important selling point for many recruits, who might rarely interact with leadership in larger organizations.
- Broader job responsibilities: In a larger company, most jobs are specialized. But in a small company, jobs often have broader responsibilities, offering employees the opportunity to build a wider array of skills.
- Room for growth: If a small business is growing quickly, the right recruit can realize tremendous job growth. That’s something larger companies can’t typically offer at the same magnitude.
- Flexibility: Small businesses are often more open to creating flexible work arrangements to meet an employee’s needs, such as telecommuting one day a week or offering “Summer Friday” hours. This can be extremely attractive to potential employees.
- Work with a family feel: A small business often treats its employees like family. This can be very appealing to a potential employee, especially Millennials, because they want to work for companies that value their well-being as a person, not just as an employee.
These unique advantages can be very important to the right job applicant, so it’s critical that small businesses market them to potential employees. How? By being proactive and highlighting the important elements that make your company culture unique. And, whatever you do, make sure it’s authentic. Today’s consumers and the workforce will look elsewhere if they perceive that a company doesn’t reinforce its words with action.
Related: How to Hire Like a Pro
Every small business offers unique employment opportunities and those opportunities can be more appealing to some employees than what they might find in larger corporations. Understanding your company’s advantages -- and communicating them clearly during the application and interview processes -- can help you attract the right person for your business and compete effectively for talent.