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Business Leader Roundup: How Do You Recruit the Best Candidates?

Community Manager
Community Manager
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Recruiting can be a major challenge for small and midsize businesses. Not only is the labor market tight, but many SMBs compete for talent against larger corporations that can pay higher salaries or provide more robust benefits.


So, we asked SMB leaders for their tips and strategies for finding and attracting talent. Here’s how they responded:


Offer an exceptional work environment and benefits

“We’re a small, advanced manufacturer in central Wisconsin with a strong demand for machinists. We focus on having a large presence on professional networking sites and a friendly and clean work environment that people enjoy being a part of. We also offer great benefits, such as putting an additional 25% of employees’ earnings into their retirement plan without requiring them to contribute themselves. We know our applicants typically have other options and are interviewing us as much as we’re interviewing them. So, having an incredible work environment with solid benefits puts us very high on their list.” — Kylan Hastreiter, Vice President, Hastreiter Industries, Marshfield, Wisconsin


Allow for remote working

“We provide computational biology contract research services to universities and the biotech industry. The competition for top talent in our industry is intense, and because we’re based in the Florida panhandle – far from any biotechnology hubs – recruiting outstanding people to move here is difficult. As such, we have been an all-remote company from day one, which is unusual in biomedical science. Our team works largely asynchronously, so the flexibility is enormous. This has helped us recruit exceptional people.” — Grant Belgard, Founder and CEO, The Bioinformatics CRO, Niceville, Florida


Individualize your incentives

“We look at the skillset of the individual we are looking to hire and craft an incentive plan specifically for that role. The most highly qualified individuals are provided with high-end job security and the best incentives.” — Brett Helling, Founder, Ridester, Omaha, Nebraska


Write stronger job listings on recruitment sites

“We have a six-location, fast-casual restaurant chain in New York City, and competition for talent has never been so fierce. While we have posted on recruiting sites like Indeed and Harri for many years, we recently began tweaking our job listing titles. For example, cashier is now amazing cashier, and shift leader is now fantastic shift leader. This helps our job listings stand out from our competitors’ listings and usually lands them high in search results on those sites. We now get significantly more applicants than we did previously.” — Brian Kelly, CEO, Kobeyaki, New York City


Partner with universities with the right types of graduates

“As a company that provides translation services, we have been very fortunate to be involved with several area colleges and state universities that offer degrees in translation. It is a really nice relationship. We offer internships and give talks at the university, and they help us to find qualified candidates.” — Peter Argondizzo, Founder, Argo Translation, Milwaukee


Leverage your personal and professional network

“We are a global boutique recruitment firm that specializes in engineering professionals, but we use the same general principles when recruiting for our company. Hands down, the best ways to find great talent are through leveraging your personal and professional network or hand-picking professionals directly from a competitor or a company that is in a highly relevant industry or space.  — Saoirse Downey, Founder, Treasure Search Partners, San Francisco