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How SMBs Can Win In Today’s Hiring Climate

Are you prepared for the new hiring climate? Since 2010, more than 15 million jobs have been added. While some might feel we’re measuring unemployment incorrectly, the fact is, employers are going to have to compete in a completely new way in order to survive the (yes, I’m going to say it) talent wars that are coming.

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Small companies could find themselves hit hard during this time. Unable to offer compensation and benefits akin to their larger competitors, it’s crucial that these companies learn how to effectively compete in today’s workforce. Here are the things holding recruiters back — and what we can do to fix them:

Replace Outdated Technology

In our day and age, there is no reason to have this issue. While large companies can be faced with tedious implementations and service-level agreements with extremely long shelf lives, small companies don’t necessarily find themselves in this boat. This means small companies can choose one of the lightning-fast, inexpensive (or free) applicant tracking systems that come with all the bells and whistles — and that the big guys say they’ll have “next quarter.”

These systems come equipped with automated responses, integration with local, niche and national job boards, recruiting efficacy measurements and job ad builders. Even if you can’t afford a career site or fancy search engine optimization on your postings, recruiting technologies exist that can help for pennies on the dollar. Recruiting and HR technology groups on Facebook, Quora or LinkedIn can help you get a practitioner’s view on how these systems work in real time.

Related reading: Starting a New Business: How Technology Can Help You Streamline the Process

Make An Offer Faster

I’m not sure how or when it happened, but the time it takes us to make an offer seems to have gotten longer than ever. It takes an average company 23 days to screen and hire candidates. Why? Again, I can understand when it comes to larger companies: They have processes to adhere to, budgets to balance and internal recruiting to do when a new gig opens up. But for smaller companies, no such restrictions exist. If you’ve found someone incredible, don’t wait to send them an offer. When in doubt, remember the “Golden Candidate Rule:” Treat candidates how you wish you had been treated.

The sooner you send an offer letter, the sooner you can begin the onboarding process. At my company, we emphasize the importance of onboarding by keeping the process smooth and similar for all hires. Their first day on the job isn’t the beginning of the process: Rather, we begin our onboarding starting with the job advertisement, which keeps the flow uniform and ensures the candidate knows what to expect. Being a family business, we like to show how candidates can develop within the agency.

This post was originally published on Forbes. Read the rest of it here.