How Today’s Small Businesses are Winning Talent Recruiting Battles in 2023

01.12.2023 Sara Brasfield4 min

If your business has attempted to hire for open positions in the past year, you’re probably well-acquainted with the challenges of the current hiring market. With low unemployment rates and steady job growth across the United States, prospective job applicants have experienced no shortage of options when searching for their next position.

But that employee-friendly market has created challenges for many small businesses, especially when it comes to growing the company and meeting revenue goals. According to a 2022 survey from PwC, 77 percent of companies cited “hiring and retaining talent” as having critical importance to that company’s ability to grow.

Following that logic, 60 percent of businesses reported that they were “investing a lot” into recruiting quality talent, more than any other category. With so much riding on your company’s ability to fill open positions with qualified workers, your hiring and recruiting strategy needs to be performing at its best.

Looking for expert guidance to improve your hiring results? Read on for some forward-thinking tactics that could help your business gain a recruiting edge.

Embrace Flexibility—Especially for Top Applicants

For many professionals, the disruption of the pandemic played a critical role in clarifying what individuals want from their jobs. Greater flexibility emerged as a constant point of emphasis across virtually every industry and level of seniority. This desire, combined with a favorable job market, has empowered professionals to seek out roles where employers are willing to offer more flexible terms.

For some businesses, this means allowing certain roles to move to remote or hybrid arrangements. In other cases, employees may be seeking out flexibility in when, where and how they perform their duties. Smaller but equally meaningful compromises may also include changes to how workers bank or use their annual leave, as well as an increased openness to sabbaticals and extended leave opportunities.

While your business may not want to offer up all of this flexibility in your job listing, articulating your willingness to be flexible—and following through on that promise when negotiating with candidates—could be the difference that leads to your dream candidate accepting an offer.

Create Recruitment Videos to Make Job Openings More Personable

To stand out among the glut of text-heavy job listings, businesses may want to consider creating recruitment videos that can help promote open positions with your business.

These videos can be used to speak directly to job applicants and create a more personable experience with your business. Your own employees can be featured on these videos, discussing everything from your workplace culture to your company’s values. Video can then be featured in job listings, on social media, and even in digital ad campaigns to maximize visibility and engagement.

Promote Internal Upskilling as a Path to Career Advancement

Aspirational, career-driven workers are often afraid of taking jobs that can’t help them advance their career. While businesses can address this concern by emphasizing internal advancement opportunities, your business can also invest in upskilling and other development strategies that will expand the skills and experience of your new hires.

Upskilling strategies—such as periodic training and retraining to acquire and improve specialized skills—will be an asset in your company’s recruiting efforts, but they can also increase the long-term value of the employees you retain. Investing in professional development gives your workers a reason to stay with your company, and as long as they’re employed by your business, those improved skill-sets can be used to advance your small business goals.

Foster (and Promote) an Inclusive Work Environment

Recruiting plays a central role in building an inclusive work environment—and your company’s commitment to these goals can drive higher quality applicants for your open positions.

To achieve this, job listings should emphasize your commitment to inclusivity, in detail. This can include describing how your company promotes team-based collaboration, how it embraces diversity, and how it enlists the voices and contributions of all of its workers in making your workplace more equitable for all workers.

Specialized trainings and professional development can also play an important role in building and sustaining an inclusive workplace, which can help with recruiting, retention, and employee satisfaction.

Use Targeted Advertising to Engage Promising Candidates

With low unemployment rates and constant competition for job applicants, small businesses need to invest in connecting with employed professionals who aren’t actively seeking a new job, but who might switch for the right opportunity. These individuals, better known as “passive job seekers,” comprise most of the workforce: research suggests that 73 percent of all workers meet this description.

Your business can improve its job applicant pool by finding these candidates and stoking interest in your openings. Targeted advertising is one way to achieve this: by targeting recruitment ads by location, employment history, education, income level and other criteria, you can drive ad visibility and engagement among a select group of candidates that fit your description of an ideal applicant.

As you refine your 2023 recruiting strategy, a digital advertising partner can help you optimize ad and marketing campaigns for improved results and recruiting ROI. Contact Cox Media today to find out how we can help.

About the Author

Sara Brasfield

Sara is the Content Marketing Manager for Cox Media’s corporate team in Atlanta, with a passion for writing and delivering relevant insights for advertisers. With more than seven years of experience in B2B marketing, Sara aims to help Cox Media’s current and future clients connect with their customers find new and unique ways to grow their business. Outside of the (now virtual!) office, Sara loves spending time running, reading and supporting her favorite teams (Go Braves & Gamecocks!).

View All of Sara Brasfield's Blog Posts

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