Small Businesses Need to Get Smart to Compete for Best Job Candidates

Millions of small business owners across the country may now be in a better position to bring on more workers as a result of the increased improvement in the economy over the last several months or more, but may not be able to attract the most qualified candidates. As such, they might want to do a little more to ensure they're able to compete with larger companies for the best applicants.

Recent polls show that three in five small business owners and executives think their companies' greatest challenges relate to hiring and managing their staffs, and this may be particularly true of entrepreneurs who want to hire highly-qualified, well-educated workers, according to a report from the Washington Post. While the unemployment rate nationwide still remains relatively high when compared with historical norms, that for slightly older workers (those aged 24 years old and up) with college degrees was at just 3.8 percent through the end of July. This indicates that there is now something known as a "specialist economy."

Essentially, what that means is that people with very narrow skill sets are being sought after by companies big and small alike, the report said. This may be bad news for small businesses in particular because it's very likely that larger competitors would have the edge when it comes to attracting the top talent, but independent companies can certainly do more to show why they would be a preferable career choice.

For one thing, small businesses can make their size one of the main attractions for some workers, the report said. For example, giving them the idea that they'd have more of a say in what they do as well as the direction of the company, and take on a larger role more quickly, might appeal to many particularly ambitious workers, who might value that kind of thing more than being one of many people doing the same thing at a larger company. In addition, smaller companies will certainly need to do more to get the word out about the opportunities they present, such as by utilizing social media, developing their own websites, and even hosting industry workshops and forums.

Bringing aboard top-quality workers is a great way to improve a company, but owners might also want to look into ways in which they can reduce their small business insurance costs to make their enterprises a little sleeker. More affordable liability insurance and other coverage could give businesses the added flexibility they need.