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How can small businesses beat the heat in a competitive job market?


A heatwave is bearing down in the workforce. Will small businesses be scorched in the hunt for top talent in a competitive job market? The end of June 2021 saw 10.1 million open employment positions. July unemployment data revealed a pool of only 8.7 million potential candidates for those positions.

Together, these data points confirm that talent has the upper hand in today’s competitive job market. So how can small businesses have a competitive edge in a hot job market?

What Does a Hot Job Market Mean for Small Businesses? 

Simply defined, a hot job market has more open positions than qualified candidates. This allows applicants to explore multiple options without feeling pressure to accept the first offer that comes their way. In more competitive industries, top talent can often increase demands as businesses struggle to fill positions. 

Large corporations can typically fan the flames of a hot market with additional cash flow. But when it comes to small business recruitment, having to muster up additional resources to attract and retain talent can be taxing and unsustainable. This is especially true if you’re already short-handed. 

And even once you’ve finished hiring employees for your small business,  new hires could be out the door just as quickly as they entered it. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a bad hire can cost 30 percent of the employee’s potential annual earnings.

Having to start the small business hiring process all over again can drain resources and lower morale.  To add insult to injury, current employees may be tempted to test the waters with a competitor or even a new industry in a competitive job market.

The good news is that you don’t need a huge team or monstrous budget to compete in a hot job market. Here are three tips to give your small business a competitive advantage.

3 Tips for Mastering Small Talent Acquisition 

Brand your ad

It takes more than your logo to brand a job advert. Just like your website and social media posts, the content you put out to attract talent should represent your business. Use a tone that best conveys your culture, making it easy for potential candidates to get a feel for your company’s mission and working environment.

If a larger competitor’s job ad is cookie cutter and a bit dry, you’ve found an easy way to stand out.

Research your competitors

Speaking of competitors, what are they up to? In a hot job market, they may be offering higher salaries to attract talent. But we’ll let you in on a little secret. Not all applicants will take the financial bait. 

How small businesses can compete with larger payrolls is through a unique combination of non-monetary perksWith fewer employees, you can get a bit more creative with your benefits package.

Can you spring a free employee lunch day once a month? Have you considered becoming a pet-friendly office? Are you comfortable with offering employees more freedom over their schedule?

Utilize tech

Tech is your best friend when hiring employees for your small business. With the right recruiting tools, time-consuming tasks can be whittled down to just a few clicks.  If your business isn’t very tech-savvy, consider starting with a project management program.

These allow you to a build pipeline that makes it easy to monitor different projects and processes, like onboarding new hires. When it comes to training, consider online training options. Turn to a platform that offers already-done training for your industry or utilize a service that helps you create custom training videos. 

Smaller businesses can utilize recruiting software to also make better hiring decisions by eliminating unconscious biases and missed opportunities. The data-driven AI tools identifies and adapts to your specific needs, allowing access to the same resources as larger corporations. 

Learn more about Arya and start a free trial today to level up your talent search. 

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