Survey: Savvy Small Companies Adopting Big Business Recruiting Tactics

December 12, 2014

Small companies are catching on to recruiting secrets previously thought to be the purview of big business.

In Q3, we surveyed more than 4,100 talent acquisition decision makers in 31 countries across 14 industries, including more than 1,800 respondents who handle recruiting and recruiting budget decisions at small businesses -- those with fewer than 500 employees. With respect to small businesses, we found that:

  • They’re hiring -- 66% of small businesses plan to increase hiring during the next 12 months, more so than their larger competitors (60%).
  • They aren’t settling for second best -- They want top talent. That’s not surprising since hiring the wrong person can make or break a small business. Their top two priorities for the next 12 months are recruiting highly skilled people and improving quality of hire.
  • They’re struggling to find quality hires -- Why? They say their top three obstacles are competition, compensation, and lack of awareness within their talent pool.

To turn the tides, small businesses have adopted two important recruiting techniques.

First, our data shows they’re prioritizing and pursuing passive candidates (the majority of the workforce not looking for a new job but open to discussing relevant opportunities) at nearly the same rate as their larger competitors. Sixty percent of small businesses are doing passive-candidate recruitment, compared with 62% of large corporations.

That’s surprising, given small businesses have fewer resources than big organizations, and passive-candidate recruitment requires more effort than simply posting a job on a job board and praying qualified people apply.

Second, small businesses are investing in talent brand -- the way the company is perceived by external candidates as an employer. That’s a smart move considering 56% of professionals say a company’s talent brand most influences their decision to accept or decline a job offer, according to our Q4 13 survey of 18,000 fully-employed professionals in 26 countries.

Here’s why small businesses are investing in talent brand:

  • 73% say talent brand has a significant impact on hiring
  • 51% say it can help increase awareness within their talent pool
  • 43% say it’s because they’re hiring (and they know talent branding will help)

To make it even easier for small businesses to recruit passive candidates and showcase their talent brand, we recently introduced a Small Business Hiring Solution -- a package that combines several recruiting products including Recruiter LiteJob SlotsSponsored JobsWork With Us ads and a LinkedIn Career Page. To learn more, visit the LinkedIn Small Business Resource Center.

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