2 Jan 2013
By Lance Trebesch
Unemployment has flooded the market with millions of jobseekers, but the type of quality employee that many small businesses tend to fancy remains a rare breed. For every talented young Python-savvy programmer who’s looking for work, there are about ten small tech firms that would do anything to hire him or her.
This makes filling your ranks a bit of a challenge for any small business owner. That’s why when it comes to recruiting and hiring top talent for your company, it helps to get creative – and more specifically, charitable. After successfully founding and growing my own online business, I’ve found reaching out to the community through charity and sponsorship to be an incredibly effective way of recruiting great employees.
When you boil it all down, recruiting for small businesses is all about peacocking. The flashiest company with the most to offer will win the prime employees. Reaching out to the community is a vital part of this equation. Here are the two big reasons why: Facebook and Twitter.
Thanks to the Internet, everything is social these days. Before anyone considers responding to your job posting, they’re going to check you out on their social networks. In fact, a recent study by hiring site Jobvite found that 52% of job seekers used Facebook to find a new job and that the majority of quality hires are made through social networks. Because of this, you want to make your social networking profiles look as appealing to new candidates as possible – and a great way to do that is by showing how much you care for your community.
For example, our office is located in Montana. Many of the people we recruit come from rural backgrounds. Many of them hunt, and those that don’t are advocates for wildlife conservation. As a result, TicketPrinting donates 5% of its net annual income to conservation groups like the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation every year.
In return for the donations, we receive a number of complimentary articles and great pictures that we can post to our website and – more importantly – our social networks. When a potential hire looks at our blog, they can see that we’re not just another faceless tech firm but a company of caring individuals who are as beloved by their community as they are by their customers.
So how effective is community outreach to your company’s hiring system? It’s hard to say at the moment, but initial studies point to the fact that it’s just as important for employers to have an attractive and appealing networking presence as it is for job seekers. According to the Jobvite survey, one in six job seekers credited a social network for leading to their current employment. It also found that most companies will make 73% of their hires through social networks.
It’s reasonable to say that if you want to recruit great talent in the coming years, you need to get your social media presence into shape. Though showing potential employees that you care for your community is only a part of a larger equation – it’s an important part. So get out there and start helping. Donate to a charity. Clean up a park. Sponsor a little league team. Then share it on the Internet for all of your potential new hires to see. You’ll be surprised what kind of talent you can attract to your business.
Lance Trebesch is the CEO of Ticketprinting.com.