5 Tips for Recruiting Big Talent in a Small Town
When you’re a big fish in a small pond, recruiting the right people to fill senior-level positions can be a problem. After all, the smaller the town, the smaller the talent pool is to draw from.
Here are a few tips for finding top-notch employees in this scenario:
- Offer referral bonuses. Tap into your existing employees’ networks by asking them to email your job listing to their friends or post it on their social networks, such as LinkedIn. Offer a financial incentive if their referral leads to the person you hire. For instance, Intel lets employees choose between a $1,000 travel voucher and a home-entertainment system. The policy works: Half of Intel’s new hires come from employee referrals.
- Spread the word through social media. Your town’s most tech-savvy residents are likely to use Twitter and Facebook. Use these platforms to share a link to your job listing. When using Twitter, make sure to use relevant hashtags, so that you can be easily found — and ask key users in your town to retweet you.
- Sponsor or attend an industry event. Need to hire a web programmer? Sponsor or attend a tech-focused event in your town or the nearest city. Talk to people about who they are and what they do, and be generous with your business cards. Even if the professionals you meet are gainfully employed, they may have highly qualified friends who would be interested in working for you.
- Offer ample perks. Of course, a generous salary can draw top candidates to a small town, especially if the cost of living is lower than where they live now. However, if you can’t pay top dollar, woo them with other perks, such as free lunches, a gym membership, or even unlimited vacation time.
- Make the position work remotely. Can’t find a qualified local applicant? Consider whether telecommuting is an option. If so, post your listing on industry-specific national job sites. You’re likely to attract a greater number of capable candidates. As long as you work out the logistics of managing a remote employee — using tools such as Skype and Basecamp to communicate and track projects — you can take advantage of technology to find the perfect person for the job anywhere in the world.
Kathryn Hawkins is a business writer for Intuit and is passionate about solving small business problems.