Recruitment is exciting. It’s your chance to find an amazing new hire who will help your business grow in (hopefully) new and unexpected ways. For a small company, it’s also a huge decision.

For smaller companies, in particular, recruitment can also be complicated and expensive. We’ve talked about the 5 best job posting sites for you to advertise your vacancies, but smaller companies may need a more flexible approach to get the results you need.

Where can smaller companies advertise jobs?

As a smaller company, you have a smaller recruitment budget that must be spent wisely. This might mean you have to be more thoughtful and creative in how and where you advertise.

Here are some options you might not have considered before and some different approaches to more traditional methods.

Social media

Social media is almost unavoidable for businesses now, especially smaller businesses or those that are primarily local. If you’ve spent time creating a great social media presence for your business, why not take advantage of it for your recruitment needs?

We’ve already discussed the benefits of creating a great employer brand, including the value of allowing your employees to speak authentically on your social media. When it comes to recruitment, this practice can pay dividends.

When potential new hires see an advert on your social media account, they already have a sense of the culture and outlook of your organisation. This helps ensure that your applicants are people who will thrive in your workplace.

You’ll already be aware that social media companies are making it even harder for organisations to operate for free on their sites. A free advert is still worth having. It’s free, after all. A quirky or tongue-in-cheek advert will often gain more interest and applications if it fits with your branding.

Even paid social media adverts can be great value for money for a small business. Just make sure that you set your budget carefully to avoid any unexpected expenditures.

Internal recruitment

One of the challenges of having outstanding employees who are great at their jobs is that, eventually, they will want a bigger challenge. In fact, a lack of advancement opportunities is the most common reason employees look for a new job.

Internal recruitment helps solve two of these problems at once. You can keep great staff and fill challenging roles by recruiting existing staff.

Internal recruitment isn’t without its challenges, but it can be an excellent solution for smaller businesses that can’t afford to lose the knowledge and skills of a long-term employee.

Your recruitment process must be transparent and fair if you want to recruit internally. Having one person in mind for the role can inspire resentment in other staff who were also interested in the opportunity.

It’s also important to ensure that your existing team member has the skills required for their new role or to provide the training they need to develop them. This helps you avoid the Peter Principle, where staff are promoted beyond their competence level.

Referrals from existing team members

One of the most effective (and often underused) opportunities for finding new candidates is through referrals from your existing staff.

Referrals from your team members come with a few advantages. First, you are likely to find motivated, hard-working candidates. Few employees will be willing to damage their reputation by recommending someone who isn’t up to the job.

Referrals are also more likely to settle into their new role well, as they probably have at least some understanding of the workplace they are joining. They may have an unofficial mentor within your organisation (in the form of their friend) who can provide additional support and information.

Despite these advantages, it is worth being cautious with referrals. If you already have a diverse and inclusive workplace, referrals will hopefully reflect this. However, referrals might be a step backwards if you’re trying to improve diversity.

Previous unsuccessful applicants

Outstanding candidates can sometimes feel like buses — you don’t see any for ages, and then three come along at once.

Don’t waste great candidates who just came along at the wrong time or weren’t the perfect fit for the role you were advertising at the time. Instead, keep a file of these candidates (adhering to GDPR of course!) and contact them when you have a position they’d be great for.

Remember that these candidates are already interested in working for your company. They’ve already applied once. If you’re worried about the effect of rejecting candidates, read our post on when to notify unsuccessful candidates to maintain a great relationship.

Be aware that candidates may have raised expectations if you contact them to ask them to apply for a new role you’re advertising. Being rejected a second (or even third) time is more likely to erode their goodwill, especially if you reached out to them. Be sure before reaching out.

Industry blogs

If you have an especially niche role to fill, industry blogs can be a fantastic place to advertise. Potential candidates reading those blogs are likely to be highly self-motivated, dedicated individuals who care about doing more than the bare minimum.

Many smaller blogs are labours of love and focus on improving and covering their industry rather than making a profit. Reaching out to these sites directly and offering to pay for your advert is often welcome and can be a very cost-effective way of finding new hires.

Don’t feel you have to go it alone

Small businesses are used to having to do everything for themselves. In many cases, it does make sense to keep all tasks in-house to minimise costs. But when it comes to recruitment, you have affordable, flexible options.

Recruitment can be make-or-break for small businesses, so you need to get it right. The best way to do that is to keep learning about the industry. At crooton, we’re passionate about keeping recruitment professionals informed with our blog. There, you can find tips, strategies, and advice to help you create the teams and the culture your organisation needs to thrive.