Before we start, let’s look at why SMB employees chose to work at small businesses or start-ups over big enterprises.

In LinkedIn’s 2018 Employer Value Proposition (EVP) survey, 62,000 small business employees and 88,000 enterprise employees were surveyed about their priorities when considering a job. It turned out that talents who chose to work for SMB instead of skyscraper corporations value the purposeful mission of the company (5% more), the meaningful impacts of the role to the company success (4% more) and open and effective management style (4% more).

In many cases, small businesses have not yet had an enormous chunk of cash flow for salary, and fortunately, salary is not make-or-break for employees who have opted out of an enterprise’s life.

Let’s say your company has that great meaningful mission, exciting projects and flexibility that people are fantasizing about. How you can go about expressing them, especially in the job postings where job seekers usually first find out about your recruitment news?

1. Be a better writer who truly understands the inspiration for people to work in that role
Read the job posting below.

Here is what I feel. This job description fills me with excitement of what I can contribute to the company and a first glance into the company culture – light-hearted, flexible, and self-driven. So, how can you excite the job seekers with the art of writing?

As suggested by Katrina Kibben in her “Job posts rewrite workbook”, the job posting does not have to be impersonal and bulleted to be professional. As it is the first conversation the company has with the job seekers, be engaging by speaking the language of the people working in that role.

This starts with asking human questions about the role while writing the job post, an example is “what happens on a good day and on a bad day?” instead of “what are the day-to-day tasks?”. From there, rewrite the bullet points to be projects/impact oriented rather than skill oriented.

Take the job postings as your first pitch to the job seekers about what impact they can make and what exciting projects they are going to take the lead on.

LinkedIn 2018 EVP report also reports that one of the biggest advantages that small business employers have over big companies is a single person can make an sizeable impact, and their work often has a direct effect on the company’s mission.

No one is longing to work because of the bulleted list of tasks or skills. That scared the daylight out of them! Instead, people are fantasizing about the change they can make, the future they can create.

Show them that fantasy right in your job posting!

2. Become a “filmmaker” of your company and your phone is all you need
In case you are wondering why we are talking about videos here, take a look at this blog for statistics and impacts that a recruitment video will have to not only your recruitment strategy, but also the entire corporate branding. (add link)

A dollar saved is a dollar earned for small businesses. Hiring a production team or agency which can cost upwards of $10,000 is usually not an option. Although, it is worth noting that there are low-budget, yet good-quality recruitment video agencies out there such as SkillScout with a starter package as affordable as $3,000.

The other option may seem intimidating at first, but producing the video yourself using your own phone is totally feasible.
The first step is to start filming or taking photos of as many things as possible. It can be a photo of your colleague’s dog, a 10 second film of your weekly team meeting, or a after-work drink selfie. You will be surprised how this footage comes in handy when you edit the video later. And remember, practice makes perfect.

There is no single formula for a successful corporate video, except that they should all eventually answer the question: “why do people want to work for your company?”.

A fail-proof approach to an amazing recruitment video is assemble your tiger team of enthusiastic employees, ask them “what do you love about working here?”, and then simply let them tell their stories!
– LinkedIn Recruitment Video Playbook –

In case you want to visualize exactly what the process will look like for you, your phone and that tiger team, here is a 3-min video that explains the process from shooting to final videos along with some technical tips like camera position and lighting.

Final words
Next time you are tasked with writing a job description and find yourself in monotony writing a lifeless list, step back and think about you would want to read if you were on the other side. The same thing goes with videos: even if it’s the first video you make, think about the impact it could have and put on your job seeker/employee hat to think like your audience. The extra effort will make a notable difference, you will know it when the applications come rolling in!

1. LinkedIn, “LinkedIn’s 2018 Employer Value Proposition (EVP) survey”
2. Katrina Kibben, Three Ears Media, “Job Posts Rewrite Workbook”
3. LinkedIn, “The Recruitment Video Playbook”