The class of 2016 has just started its final year of college, but the recruiting software company Jazz recommends that small businesses start preparing now to compete for the talent that will be graduating next spring.
Jazz, which claims to have helped fast-growth startups, well-established brands, and presidential campaigns make more than 100,000 hires, says small businesses need to leverage their brands and social media networks, express their unique company culture, and articulate to young people the long-term benefits of starting a career with a small business.
Jazz offered Yahoo Small Business readers these 5 tips for beating bigger brands in the contest to win the best and brightest young people:
- Showcase opportunities at your company for guidance, mentorship, and skills development. New recruits at large companies can be shuffled into a silo and constrained under a hierarchical structure. If working for you will offer exposure to many different parts of the business, be sure to highlight that advantage. A smart young person who gets the opportunity to learn about all aspects of an operation might discover entirely new career paths. In the job interview, hammer home the point that the chance to take on greater and more varied responsibilities in a fast-paced environment can help propel a career and give even someone just starting out a chance to make an impact.
- Be honest and transparent. Share everything you can with potential new hires about your company, the team, what you do, and where you’re headed. If you’re an early stage, fast-growth startup, say so. If you’re an established small business looking to maintain your brand, break into new markets, or expand to new regions, share this from the get-go. Talented candidates know what kind of challenge they’re looking for, and they won’t stay with you long if they’ve been misled.
- Communicate your brand with messaging that matches your culture. Use bold and unique language to describe your business, and make your recruiting pitches visible on the right job boards. From the go-to platforms like LinkedIn to the lesser known or up-and-comers like LookSharp, Careerjet, and JobInventory, reach out on the channels that make sense.
- Use social media to engage in job seekers’ conversations. Big brands with recruiting teams have figured out the value of channels like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ for plugging into college students and recent graduates’ conversations. Get creative with hashtags that tie into trending topics to promote your employer brand.
- Look beyond smarts and skills to hire candidates you can retain. To find people who are as happy working for you as you are to have them, consider what kind of person makes the best entry-level hire for your organization. Qualities could include strong enthusiasm and positive attitude, team player, eager to learn, lack of ego. Look around your organization to see what types of people have succeeded and what characteristics stood out among those who left quickly to avoid repeating your mistakes.
For more recruiting and hiring tips, check out the Jazz blog.