Small businesses don’t often spend a ton of time focused on promoting their company culture. Often, they don’t give it much thought, as they are so busy running their business and getting things done that the concept of company culture may not even cross their mind. However, when recruiting applicants, a small organization’s company culture may be their biggest asset.

Opportunity to Do More

By virtue of their size, employees at smaller organizations often wear many hats. At times this means a large workload, but it also means an opportunity to learn and grow. Instead of a job with narrow responsibilities that makes growth difficult. Smaller organizations often put you in a role that forces you to stretch into other areas. You are also working in a less layered environment, meaning the steps from you to the CEO are fewer. It is likely that you will get to know the CEO/Ownership personally, and they will get to know you, opening doors for you as the company grows.

The Ability to Make an Impact

Access to your superiors also means you can express your ideas for how the company can make changes that will impact growth. If you’ve ever worked for a large corporation you know that often things that are obvious to those in the trenches go totally unnoticed by those up the chain of command. Just as often, trying to find a way to express your ideas to those a level or more up brings with it a minefield of issues that are risky to your employment. In most smaller organizations the management structure is flatter, meaning grabbing a cup of coffee with the primary decision maker gives you a chance to have an impact on the business.

Getting It Across in the Hiring Process

When creating your job description and candidate ad, you need to do what you can to highlight the industry need and impact within the job description, on the company website, and during the interview. You need to get the candidate excited to be a part of the company from the start, and the right data points should make them even more excited. During the interview, t would be helpful to have a few examples of current employees making and impact and having a voice.

You’ll need a tool to figure out who the right candidate is that can take on responsibility and look for opportunity if that’s what you want. You can use tools like StrengthFinders 2.0 to  and create a test for this.

The Interview Style

The job application process is a slog for both companies and candidates, and many great candidates get lost in a sluggish, outdated interview process. Many people enter into interviews already in a defensive mode because they aren’t sure what they are getting into (which is why getting it right from the start matters). Interviews at larger corporations tend to be made up of multiple rounds, and include multiple trips to a business. Try to speed the initial round by keeping the conversation shorter and creating an environment where open honesty is encouraged.

Allow for vulnerability; you may think that every candidate wants to work the bigger company to get that name on their resume, but if they perceive that they can be more honest and open at a smaller company, they may be more encouraged to choose it.

If the right candidate comes along, don’t drag your heels. You can often beat the big guys with speed, agility, and opportunity. Making an offer to a candidate who is on their 5th interview with a mega corporation may very well win you the top candidate.

Blog originally published on WorkConnect.