How to Compete with Large Companies for Talent During COVID-19 Pandemic

As companies start their hiring processes again, the competition for talented candidates is high. Larger companies often offer more opportunities for growth, professional development, and competitive benefits potential employees are looking for in their next role. How can small companies and startups compete? 

Clearly Share your Company’s Mission

Talented people join small companies and startups because they feel they can make a great impact in solving important problems and be a part of a company’s growth.  This starts with a leader being able to clearly and concisely articulate your company’s mission, and the compelling problems you are solving.  Look at examples of successful companies and leaders and dig into how they articulate this, and spend time with your team creating your own example of this.

Share Transparently with Candidates.

Most candidates understand the constant changes that are occurring for businesses due to a global pandemic. Working remote, changing projects, etc. are commonplace.. Although this is often understood, it’s important to transparently share your plans – both current and backup – with potential employees. What actions has your company taken to ensure employees working remotely are supported? What adjustments have been made to accommodate clients who might be having financial difficulties? What long term changes is your company considering to support employees (mental health support, child care, etc.)? Openness about your company’s plans can show potential candidates your forward thinking and support.

Emphasize growth opportunities.

Often candidates are looking for a company that promotes from within and offers professional development opportunities for further growth. If your company already has this in place – great! If not, consider  creating a professional development plan for employees that will also help entice highly qualified candidates to your open positions because they see a path to growth in your company.

Streamline your interview process.

In a past post we talked about how to hire remotely. Being flexible in this process and finding ways to streamline your interview process for your mostly remote team can make hiring easier. Finding the right interview process is important – this could mean initial phone interviews with video call interviews for top candidates – each company’s interview timeline will look different. Flexibility is also key – both with your interview committee members and the candidates. Hiring remotely might not be your company’s norm, but making it work can lead to finding great candidates that are the right fit for your organization.

Small companies need to stand out to compete for top talent during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Finding ways to attract candidates and make the interview process as streamlined as possible can lead candidates to see the benefits of your organization.