Competing with the “Big Boys” for Top Talent
By Matt Poepsel, PhD
If you’re a small business leader, you may think it’s impossible to compete with the “big boys” when it comes to recruiting the best and brightest talent.
Who could blame you? MegaGlobalCo and Humungous Inc. have bigger budgets, Chief People Officers with dedicated Talent Acquisition teams and programs, and endless benefits. Midday massage anyone? Smaller companies like yours just don’t have those luxuries, so you’re relegated to their scraps. Right?
Not so fast. Small businesses can absolutely win the war for talent, even when they’re up against much larger competitors. To do so, you just need be on point when it comes to executing your strategy.
Rather than try to be something you’re not, start by figuring out what’s special about your organization. Every company has its own unique culture, and understanding your brand as an employer is the first step. You might not have 14 foosball tables and free lunches, but you have something else the right candidates want even more – greater opportunity to make a real impact.
Your employees have an opportunity to make things happen in your business, a chance to co-develop your unique brand, and the flexibility to change roles and move up quickly.
The notion that most candidates prefer large companies to small ones is poppycock. Strong words, I know, but big organizations used to offer stability and pensions, but a lot of that has eroded. Now many candidates prefer smaller shops where there’s more autonomy, more room for growth and more of an opportunity to make a difference and stand out.
The bottom line is that finding those top candidates all comes down to fit. You need to attract those individuals who will thrive when working at a small company – the ones who are versatile, passionate, collaborative, problem solvers and who have a David vs. Goliath mentality.
They’re out there, I promise. But you’re only going to find them if you tout the advantages of being small instead of bemoaning the fact that you’re not as big as the big boys.