How to Attract Awesome Candidates on a Budget

4 min read

Can’t afford top talent? Attracting rockstar candidates might not be as hard as you think. Here’s how to entice awesome candidates without breaking the budget.

Have you ever wondered how companies like Google and Netflix became the Disney World of the talent community?

These star-studded employer brands attract hordes of top performers from all over the world. But if you think you could never afford to recruit Google-level talent on a startup budget, don’t despair. There are plenty of ways to attract rockstar candidates when you’re not a household name (or even a leader in your market…yet!). 😉

Share employee experience

According to Forbes, 2018 is the year of employee experience.

And a Deloitte Insights report from 2017 found that 80% of executives considered employee experience either very important (42%) or important (38%). But only 22% believe their organizations rock at creating a unique employee experience — so why the gap?

For many companies, it’s a simple case of overthinking it. Despite the growing body of evidence proving there’s more to work than pay and perks, many employers still think they need to craft the perfect “initiative” before they can start attracting top talent. But wooing rockstars doesn’t have to be hard — that is, not if you’re willing to loosen the reins a little.

Candidates want to know what it’s like to work at your company, so why not let your current employees show them?

These are just a few ideas of how you can effortlessly improve the employee experience while using it to attract more talent. The important thing is that you aren’t afraid to color outside the lines and actively encourage your employees to speak up. The simple fact that you trust your teams enough not to censor them will speak volumes to potential candidates.

Keep it real

According to the CEO of TalentCulture, Meghan Biro, transparency is the key to recruiting young talent. “The job search has changed, and if you’re still trying to impress candidates with a sales pitch that’s anything less than 100% authentic, you will fail,” she says.

Gone are the days when recruiters would put their game face on and “sell” candidates using the same fluffy sales pitch. Millennials can spot a scam pretty quickly. And not telling the whole truth could definitely sink your credibility.

When it comes to attracting top candidates, transparency is king. And the great thing is, it’s also free.

So what if you’re not a big company? Instead of pretending to be something you’re not, why not show candidates how awesome it is to be part of an agile team free from the soul-crushing red tape and bureaucracy? Why not play up all the cool ways they’ll get to learn and grow? Not everyone needs to be greeted with golden Ube donuts every Monday morning. (Yes, it’s a real thing!)

Be honest about where you stand and become the natural choice for candidates who appreciate what you can offer. And if you need more inspiration, this interview with the founder of Crossword Hobbyist and My Word Search, Jonah Phillips is packed with great ideas to get you started.

Use your mission to connect with candidates

Unfortunately, as businesses grow, they often lose sight of what made them awesome to begin with. It’s the classic innovator’s dilemma.

But that’s not you. The upside to leading a small organization is that you know exactly why your work matters. And that’s a great way to connect with candidates.

Take a look at your company’s mission statement and ask yourself, “Is your mission engaging enough that it could persuade one of your closest friends to join your team?” If you want to expand your reach without breaking the budget, you need a clear and attractive mission that connects with candidates on a human level.

And make sure it’s consistent. Update your job ads and descriptions to communicate your mission the same way you talk about it in interviews and in your employee onboarding resources. By staying true to your mission, you open the door for candidates to form a connection with your company before they’ve even applied.

Recruiting on a budget doesn’t have to be hard. From choosing the right job boards, setting up your screening questions and automating your replies to applicants, Breezy knows what do to, even when you don’t.

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