Strategic recruitment plan and digital recruitment strategies for small businesses

Simple Digital Recruitment Strategies for Small Businesses 

Digital recruitment strategies are taking over. Technology dominates a huge portion of our lives and, if you know how to leverage it, it’s an incredible advantage to small businesses. Traditional recruitment is outdated and no longer the most effective for finding the “perfect fit” team member. Often, a strategic recruitment plan aimed at a digital audience is more cost-effective and accessible to small businesses, given the wealth of “do it yourself” tools available online. 

Here are some key digital recruitment strategies to boost your current plan and help you get the results you need to drive your business forward. 

Small business digital recruitment strategies 

There are a number of things, big and small, that you can change or introduce into your recruitment plan to get better results for your business, namely: 

Engaging candidates for future hires 

If you’ve recently run a recruitment campaign and had to make a tough decision between two great candidates, it’s well worth engaging the unsuccessful candidate for future hires. For bigger businesses, this is the process of talent pooling. But, for those with fewer resources at hand, it starts with simply asking the candidate if you can contact them for future vacancies that may come up. If they were willing to work with you once, they’ll likely want to work with you again. And, taking interest in their skills and experience is a good move for your business reputation. 

Consider setting a calendar reminder to send a short, friendly email to the candidate again in a few months time to let them know that you haven’t forgotten them and still have their resume on your radar for future opportunities. 

Providing a good candidate experience 

Make the recruitment process as painless as possible for your candidates. Start with simple things like enabling the “instant apply” button on job boards. Think of the jobs you’ve applied for where you could apply with just your SEEK or LinkedIn profile. It’s a breeze, and thus encourages more applications for your role. 

Another key consideration is optimising your job ad for mobile. It sounds technical, but it just means testing how your job ad looks and functions on a mobile phone. Walls of text without line breaks or any bold print are annoying to read on mobile and turn candidates away from your role. Plus, mobile devices comprise more than 50% of all internet traffic globally. You can’t afford to forget about it. 

(Click here for tips to optimise your job listing for better results). 

Finally, always communicate consistently with candidates. It takes some time, granted, but making the effort to let candidates know that you’ve received their application, whether they are unsuccessful, or next steps after an interview, goes a long way for your business. 

Using different platforms for active candidates 

Not all job boards are created equal. Rather, not all job boards attract the same candidates. If you only post your vacancies to big boards like SEEK and Indeed, you’ll miss out on great candidates who prioritise specialised job boards, like Ethical Jobs, or OurMob. If your business fits into a more niche category, you can use that fact to increase the chance of hiring someone who’s highly engaged with your mission. 

Don’t forget to leverage social media, either. LinkedIn is an obvious choice for attracting people to your vacancy. But, Facebook and Instagram can be useful too on account of their targeting capabilities. They allow you to put your job ad in front of specific demographics, people with certain interests, locations, job titles, and so on. People give social platforms incredible amounts of personal data, and that enables you to use it to your benefit. 

Considering flexibility and what it can do for you 

By now you’ve undoubtedly heard that candidates demand flexibility in the workplace. For a small business, this might sound like a barrier to hiring. But we challenge you to not only consider offering flexible arrangements to new hires but to consider what flexibility can do for you. 

Perhaps your business runs slightly outside of normal hours, or your team can work asynchronously without causing chaos in the business. These can be drawcards to candidates looking for roles that support their version of work-life balance. 

Remote work is a major drawcard at the moment, and huge companies like Atlassian have enjoyed much success with their newly-launched “work from anywhere” policy. Could this approach work for you? 

Similarly, consider working with part-time or freelance team members, perhaps even from other countries. Having ad hoc support could close critical skills gaps without breaking your budget or introducing traditional recruitment challenges. 

Targeting passive candidates online 

Not all eligible candidates are scouring job boards for their next career move. Some of them already have jobs and, whilst they’re performing well, they’re thinking about making a change to suit their life, their passion, or their location. 

Key amongst these digital recruitment strategies is headhunting online. The process sees you or an affordable recruitment service provider reaching out to suitable candidates online and sending them personalised invitations to apply for your vacancy. If you’re not doing it, be assured that your competitors are. It can be time-consuming, so this is one strategy that’s worth outsourcing to a professional for support. 

Leveraging online skills testing 

Take a leap of faith and go all-in with your new strategic recruitment plan. It’s an incredibly competitive market right now. So, try casting your net wider and considering candidates from all walks of life. 

Some will be overqualified but are looking to downsize to prioritise their family, hobbies, or mental health, for example. Some will be from a totally different industry, but they’ll have a load of transferable skills that suit your role. Some might have no formal qualification but a few years of experience and a dedication to developing their skills in their personal time.  

Leverage online skills testing to get an idea of each candidate’s hands-on skills. What they have on paper is often less relevant than what they can achieve in the real world, after all. And, you’re more likely to find a new superstar for your small business with this open-minded approach. 

Using your status to your advantage 

In the past, candidates had to articulate their value to their prospective employers. But the tables have turned and the onus is now on you to articulate your value to prospective applicants. That is to say, it’s not just about a competitive salary and benefits. Obviously, those things are incredibly important, but job security, a sense of trust, achievement, empowerment, and purpose are high priorities for candidates post-2020. 

As a small business, you’re uniquely positioned to demonstrate a clear path of value from employee to client. They can more easily see the real-world impact they’re having on your valued customers. You can use this, as well things like a close-knit team, social responsibility, and ethical practices, for example, as a ticket to attract highly engaged candidates. Make these emotional benefits clear in your job ads, interviews, and even your marketing materials. 

As a small business, you’re uniquely positioned to illustrate a clear transference of value from employee to client. Use this to your advantage and make it clear in your job ads, interviews, and even your marketing assets. 

A strategic recruitment plan for your small business 

If you need support achieving your recruitment goals, consider working with an affordable recruitment service. Your time is precious and so is your money, so spend both wisely with a low-cost flat-fee recruitment service that helps you drive your business’s growth. Our team of consultants draws on decades of combined experience hiring for small to medium-sized businesses across Australia and New Zealand. Reach out to us for more information about our budget-friendly recruitment service and how we implement digital recruitment strategies to get better results for your business.