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  • Sally Evans

Recruiting Ideas for Small Businesses Post-Pandemic

Updated: Jul 23, 2021

The global impact of the pandemic has left many St. Louis small businesses struggling to find employees at every level. Working hands-on with business owners on digital recruiting efforts, we understand the hurdles many companies are facing as they focus on finding qualified candidates to fill newly reopened or brand new positions in a post-pandemic world.


Virtual recruiting creates immediacy in harder-to-fill positions.
Virtual recruiting creates immediacy in harder-to-fill positions.

Nearly all small businesses we've talked to are struggling to find new hires now. And it's no surprise why. How can a company recruit new employees when every other business nationwide is hiring at the same time? While not easy, it is possible to stand out with unique and targeted approaches to hiring (and retaining!) skilled employees in the wake of the pandemic.


According to data from the National Federation of Independent Businesses and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost half of all companies in the U.S can't fill all of the open positions they have available. Most hiring issues are due to rapid re-openings of businesses, ongoing supply chain issues and a reluctance to return to the workplace for unemployed people.


To help small businesses connect with job-seekers more effectively, here are a few Hot House Digital-proven strategies to find, hire, and keep talented employees now.


Ditch the Dull Content


As recruiting and digital communication pros, we do comparative research for any job posting we manage. After hundreds of searches one thing is clear; most job postings are too brief, uninspired or boring.


Before the pandemic, workers were high in demand and short in supply. So, recruiters and hiring managers didn't have to put much thought into their messaging for available positions. This means that job seekers are finding themselves faced with monotonous job postings that lack personality. Job seekers also aren't given enough information about a position or a company. They want to know where they will be working, who they will be working with, and how things may have shifted over the past year.


By being descriptive and creative with your job posting content and imagery, you can attract top talent who are looking for more out of the next company they interview with. Testing out new job titles and formatting can be effective in connecting with folks who might have otherwise skimmed past your job postings in the past. This also applies to your company profiles on Indeed, LinkedIn, and social media sites.


Embrace Immediacy


With so many small businesses hiring at the same time, you need fast response times to connect with job seekers before another businesses hires them first. Recruiting webpages and job posting platforms should be monitored daily. Messages should be responded to as soon as possible. Is a qualified candidate not responding to your latest message? Don't shy away from calling or texting them instead. Using multiple channels of communication helps to keep the conversation moving, while allowing job seekers to respond in their preferred method.


Same day virtual introduction calls lasting about 15-30 minutes have been particularly effective for recruiting hard-to-fill positions like taxi cab drivers, restaurant staff and landscapers.


As soon as a job seeker expresses interest in an open position, keep the conversation going. This includes scheduling virtual interviews or phone calls on weekends or after business hours if necessary, to accommodate a busy job hunters own schedule.


Scout Schools


Find new hires beyond the job market at local schools and colleges. Connect with local community colleges, technical schools or high schools and you'll find recent graduates and students looking for work. Virtual classes and evening programs allow students to work while they go to school.


Start by finding programs relevant to your industry offered at schools in your area. Reach out to program directors and teachers to share career opportunities that would work hand-in-hand with courses being taken. Your company could also offer to host a tour or teach a guest lecture. Many schools directly assist students in career searches. Make sure your jobs are among those opportunities for students and recent grads.


Modernize Your Messaging


Recruiting should be an omni-channel effort, especially for those difficult to fill positions. Highlight your current employees, company culture, and achievements wherever you can. Use your website, social media pages, Google My Business profile and brick-and-mortar spaces to give insights into what a career looks like with your company. By now most businesses should have at least one social media profile (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn). Make sure some posts are dedicated to recruiting, posting about open positions or celebrating your top employees.


Modern recruiting messaging goes beyond text. Photos, videos, and graphics should be compelling and easy to understand. Consider each social media post to be a "micro-experience" that tells some part of your company's story. Speaking of micro-experiences....


Visualize your company as the one being interviewed. Is your office clean and welcoming? Or, has it gotten cluttered and chaotic during the pandemic. Do you offer hand sanitizer, disposable masks, or a beverage to candidates during in-person interviews? Small gestures have a big impact on first impressions; which might be the only chance you get with a qualified candidate. Interviewing and recruiting candidates is time-consuming. Nevertheless, those leading the interview are ultimately in-charge of this critical first impression to candidates. Make it a good one.


All of these elevated recruiting tasks take time to develop, publish, manage, and coordinate. We combine recruiting with optimized digital messaging to help clients connect with people online; customers and recruits. Pressed for time and need recruits now? Contact us about omni-channel recruiting.

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