3 Tips for Small Business Owners Trying to Attract Job-Seekers

With various job boards such as Indeed, Monster, ZipRecruiter, and Glassdoor, it can seem like your job ads often get lost in the endless sea of job listings. This is true to an extent, as not all job listings are seen by the right candidates. The good news is that there are other ways to let job-seekers know that your small business is hiring.

We are hiring

1. Focus on Your Target Audience

Not your target consumer audience, but your target job-seeking audience. As with your consumers, determining your target job-seeking audience is going to take some research to determine who exactly they are. For example, maybe you’re searching for employees who have already had some previous job experience, but they don’t necessarily have to have an advanced degree to work for you. In this case, you may want to seek out college students by posting an ad in their campus newspapers or by distributing fliers.

You may even want to consider inquiring about local job fairs (this will work even if your target audience isn’t college students). Job fairs are kind of similar to trade shows, but instead of impressing potential customers, this will be your chance to seek out and impress potential candidates for hire. College and other school campuses host job fairs, but so do many other organizations.

2. Employee Referrals Are Worth a Try

No one knows what it’s like to work at your company better than the employees already working there, so starting an employee referral program can be beneficial. This can be something as simple as asking your employees if they know anyone who would be a good fit for an open position, or you can offer some sort of incentive to those who refer qualified candidates. Their reward can be whatever you can supply as a business owner, whether it’s an increase in pay, more paid time off, a gift certificate, or whatever you think will give your current employees the incentive to refer your company to qualified individuals.

Of course, this method only works if you already have employees, and you must make sure that the employees you have feel valued. Those who enjoy working for you will be better able to refer new employees.

3. Offline vs. Online Methods of Marketing

Offline marketing (also known as traditional marketing) has been an effective method for advertising to both consumers and job-seekers in the past but has been recently replaced— almost completely— by online forms of marketing, or digital marketing. Here’s a look at the effectiveness of both types.

Digital Marketing

The reason digital marketing has been so effective in capturing the attention of both consumers and job-seekers is simply that you’re able to reach more people with digital marketing. The world has a population of almost eight billion people, and more than five billion have access to the internet. Of that number, about half are active on social media. This means that you can use the following digital marketing techniques to your advantage:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO marketing)
  • Pay Per Click (PPC advertising)
  • Inbound/Outbound Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Content Marketing (including social media)

Again, this goes for attracting both consumers and job-seekers, so all small business owners should take advantage of the various digital marketing techniques to understand the best practices for recruitment marketing and consumer marketing.

Traditional Marketing

While digital marketing is more effective, you don’t have to completely rule out traditional forms of marketing. As seen with the college campus example, putting ads in newspapers and handing out fliers can prove to be an effective way to attract job-seekers. Again, the key is to determine who your target audience of job-seekers is and find the best strategies to market toward them— which may include traditional marketing techniques.

One form of traditional marketing that is still widely used today is print advertising on billboards. Billboards can be seen along interstate highways and even on the streets of cities and towns, advertising a product/service, enrollment in a college program, and even job openings. Ads are usually sold by the month, and you should make sure that your message is clear and short with a strong call to action.

Just remember to keep in mind that you’re searching for employees that want to build and grow with you, not just the ones who are seeking a job for a short time. With that being said, if your target audience aligns more with college-aged students, you’ll want to let them know how this could be a good career opportunity for them. Short-term employees may be okay if you’re the manager of a business, but when you’re the owner you don’t want a high employee turnover rate.


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