Competitive Recruiting: How Small Businesses Can Outmaneuver the Tech Giants

  • Competitive Recruiting: How Small Businesses Can Outmaneuver the Tech Giants

    Competitive Recruiting: How Small Businesses Can Outmaneuver the Tech Giants

    It’s no secret that the tech sector has an abundance of job openings but a serious lack of qualified talent to fill them.

    Obviously, small businesses need great programmers and engineers as much as any organization, but it’s not easy to attract top talent when you’re competing against the likes of Amazon, Google, or Facebook. Here’s a quick primer on how you can set yourself apart in the competitive tech marketplace.

    First, realize that you can’t always compete

    It’s a tough pill to swallow, but if both your startup and Google have your eyes on the same candidate, you probably won’t win. Don’t let the Good Book fool you—Goliath crushes David nine times out of ten. And for your recruitment purposes, that’s okay. You don’t need to beat the giants, you just have to figure out how to market your organization to make employees want to come to you.

    Don’t worry, with the right strategy, that battle isn’t as unwinnable as you might think. As great as employment at Amazon or Google might sound, not every candidate will be happy working within such a huge system. Many employees will be happier (and will perform better) at smaller shops where they can feel the direct impact of their work. Plus, you have to consider that employees with skillsets that are prized by tech headhunters may not have the right skills to bring your startup to life.

    Identify your own advantages

    Just because you can’t match the big-box tech companies on salary doesn’t mean your startup can’t compete in other areas. Sure, Facebook might offer a salary two to three times higher than what you can provide, but it might come with the addendum that the employee punch in every day for a 9-5 grind.

    In this case, your startup could compete by offering unlimited flexibility in their working schedule, letting them come and go as they please. This type of benefit can go a long way—research on small business success by The Hartford found that in 2013, nearly a third (32 percent) of organizations surveyed attributed their growing success to having fewer rules and regulations. This is a perk that startups can confidently promote as an advantage over the big name tech brands.

    But don’t stop there. Think about the other ways you could sweeten the deal outside of the traditional salary and perks packages:

    • Providing a more laid-back work environment
    • Giving them agency to coordinate their own teams when working on projects
    • Having regular office parties, get-togethers, paid lunches, and sponsored social events
    • Filling the water cooler with Smart Water that’s packed with electrolytes for maximal business performance

    You get the idea. Anything can be a benefit if you know how to sell it. Identify the key aspects of your company culture that set you apart and use them as points of competitive differentiation.

    Differentiate yourself in every way

    Remember, you won’t be able to compete with the big companies by playing by their rules: Offering better salaries, more perks, etc. But you can compete by making it clear that your organization is cut from a different cloth and can provide a better working environment than what they’re used to. To do this, you need to differentiate yourself in every way, including the emails you send, your messaging subject lines, your startup’s website, and your recruitment process overall.

    This is why it pays off to have a clearly defined company culture—knowing the strengths and features of your own organization makes it easy to differentiate yourself without going too crazy or going “off-brand.”

    When you understand your own organization’s culture, it’s a simple task to tailor your messaging to the candidates you need. Only by identifying your own company’s points of differentiation can you know how to compete with the companies that have unlimited resources. And if you’re struggling to pinpoint these features of your business, feel free to contact Urgenci for an assessment of your recruitment strategies. We’re here to help.

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