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30 Nov 4 Cost Effective Ways Small Businesses Can Recruit New Employees

In today’s tight post-Covid labor market, small businesses are finding it challenging to cost-effectively recruit new employees. And for good reason – it is estimated that the pandemic shrunk the U.S. labor force by five million people over the course of one year. Those who remain in the market are reluctant and much more discerning.

Their reasons for leaving the workforce were many – some had to switch to caring for children who were learning remotely or elders who needed extra help. Many that were laid off began receiving enhanced unemployment benefits and decided to wait it out. Others were simply uncertain about the potential health risks of returning to work during a pandemic.

Now that the post-Covid economy is showing signs of life, and pandemic unemployment benefits have ended for many, hiring rates are slowly rising. But how do small businesses attract still hesitant workers in a challenging market, especially when cash is tight? The following four cost-effective recruiting techniques can help small businesses attract and retain new employees.

1. Offer Alternate Work Arrangements to Attract Candidates

Successfully recruiting in the post-Covid job market requires flexibility on the part of small business employers. That now means offering alternatives to the traditional full-time, onsite work scenario. Many small businesses have found switching to a remote or hybrid work model to be a safer and more cost-effective way to attract and retain candidates. And in a vast majority of roles, employees have been shown to be just as, if not more, productive and satisfied with a remote work setup.

Part-time and job sharing positions are other tactics small business employers have used to help ease the transition back into the workplace. Most unemployment programs allow workers to still get a portion of their state benefit if they work part-time. If part-time isn’t an option, job sharing is another way to attract candidates. In this arrangement, two employees essentially share the same job, each part-time. In some job sharing positions, the part-time compensation is actually more than the full unemployment benefit, thus incentivizing workers to return to the labor force.

2. Recruit Potential Employees from the Local Community

Small business employers sometimes overlook local community outreach as a potential resource for talent, ranging from entry-level to skilled labor. Community groups and outreach programs are often eager to place qualified workers, and many offer on-the-job training and pre-training to ease the transition.

Local colleges and high schools are also a great resource for recruiting new employees. Most have work/study programs that enable students to get school credit for part time work. Community colleges also offer skilled labor education/work programs, enabling students to get internships and ultimately entry-level positions in their chosen field of study.

3. Match Unemployment Compensation to Aid in Recruiting

The reality of today’s labor market is that many workers want to return to work, but as long as their unemployment benefit is paying more than what they can earn, they will continue to stay home. For some, the enhanced federal unemployment benefit has already run out. But for those still collecting, it may be worthwhile for a small business employer to match the full benefit, even if temporarily, to attract quality employees.

If your small business can’t match unemployment wages, you might consider offering health insurance benefits, which happens to be the most requested benefit among job seekers. Doing so may attract talent at a lower wage rate, offsetting costs. Health insurance coverage for employees is also tax deductible, often making it a more appealing option than offering a higher wage.

4. Try an Enhanced Employee Referral Program

A tried and true recruitment technique is to offer some type of cash incentive to employees who refer a new hire. In the current market, however, it may be a good tactic for a small business employer with a referral program to step it up with enhanced incentives. Options include offering an hourly increase up to a certain amount of hours, an unexpected gift or prize, or funding a cause of the employee’s choice.

QuickBridge Supports Your Small Business Recruiting Needs

Despite employing these cost-effective recruiting techniques, you may find that hiring staff puts a financial strain on your bottom line. QuickBridge is here to help with customized small business lending options to help your business thrive. To learn more, get in touch with us today.

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