5 Tips to Help SME’s Compete in Hiring Top Talent

bigstock-Businesswoman-standing-in-hall-17000981Cutbacks to small and medium-sized businesses’ human resource departments have been considered a mandatory budget cutting measure for some companies over the past several years.  While, business owners continue to scale back on HR budgets, savvy hiring managers look for ways to not only pick up premium talent in a labour market that favors employers, but also to save their company money in the process. Yes, a thriving company culture, benefit programs and raving reviews from current employees all help immensely, but those all take time to build and cultivate. Here are 5 tips for small and medium-sized businesses to better compete with larger firms when hiring immediately:

1. Offer Attractive Salaries, Benefits and Better Work Environment

Today, many job ads will attract hundreds of applications, compared to the dozen or so returns the same positions yielded just a few years ago. However, with Canada  experiencing the highest unemployment rates among young people in a quarter century, there is still no certainty that vacancies will be filled with higher quality candidates than one of your larger competitors.  Large firms generally spend more on marketing their company as a great place to work and when it comes to entry-level and junior positions larger firms will often pay their new hires $5,000 to $10,000 more than a small to medium-sized firm that operates in a similar space.   One way to compete is to more closely match the salaries offered by your competitors to get young hires in the door to experience what your firm has to offer–but Hiring Managers are usually forced to pay what the company can afford.   Here is where government grants for small business can help.

2. Access Small Business Grants for Hiring High Demand Positions

To make up some of the difference competitive SMEs are tapping into small business grants for hiring recent grads. Government small business grants will pay for up to 50% of the salaries of recent graduates, offering competitive SMEs a golden opportunity to compete for the best talent available.   Programs like CareerConnect offer up to $16,000 for information and communications technology and e-Health positions, while programs like GEI/ iSTEM will take care of most of your “STEM” (science, technology, engineering and math) related positions, and YMCA HD-YIP small business grants for hiring will take care of many of the other high demand positions in between.

3. Leverage LinkedIn Free Job Posting for Finding Students/Recent Grads

UPDATE: Please note that this free promotion is no longer available, however LinkedIn is still a great tool for finding talent; the cost is now around $400 per posting.

As you might know, posting job ads on LinkedIn can be effective due to talent matching features but these services come at a cost. What you may be unaware of is that postings for interns and entry-level positions are actually free as of the time of this blog post. LinkedIn’s Student Jobs Portal offers employers the opportunity to post job ads free of charge, giving employers the opportunity to reach millions of students and recent graduates from the site’s fastest growing and most engaged segment. In addition to posting on LinkedIn’s job board, it is also recommended that employers post the position periodically from their status update, on their company page, and to related LinkedIn groups.

4. Utilize the Best Tools Available to Maximize Your Social Media Efforts


If you haven’t already implemented a social media management system to schedule postings to your various social media networks, you are wasting countless hours of your workweek. Hootsuite is a social media management tool that you can use to schedule posts to all of your company’s social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn simultaneously. There are also a number of apps and add-ons that can help you automate parts of your content marketing & competitive research, and for a small monthly fee you can also add multiple users.



5. Stop Spending So Much Time Posting Job Ads

Tired of manually posting jobs to multiple sites?  Try ZipRecruiter.   This simple online software will allow you to post your first two jobs ads for free with just a few clicks of your mouse. Within minutes, your job ads will begin showing up on all of the most popular job boards and search engine sites such as Monster, CareerBuilder, Indeed and more. Some extra advice, to improve your ad’s search engine results remember to use targeted keywords, and consider the fact that job ads offering multiple positions and locations tend to land closer to the top of search engine results for job search engines like Indeed.

Connect with Mentor Works and Find the Best Small Business Grants for Your Business

Mentor Works’ Business Funding Analysts are experts in the selection and accessing of the top small business grants and loans programs offered across Canada. To stay up-to-date on the latest Canadian small business grants and small business loans news, sign up for our Canadian Government Funding E-Newsletter, and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.  For more information on small business grants for hiring interns and recent graduates, please contact a Canadian government funding expert and share with them the pertinent job title and description to see if your business qualifies for one of the many available opportunities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *