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News-Strategy

Engaging job seekers takes connections, innovative hiring strategies

Only one in 10 companies have begun adopting recruitment strategies to utilize untapped talent pools

Even as the number of employers facing talent shortages continues to rise across the country and only one in 10 companies have begun adopting recruitment strategies to utilize untapped talent pools, Michigan has capitalized on collaboration between the public and private sector to reverse both of these trends.

In early May, around 50 small business owners and alumni of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program gathered at Automation Alley during the Talent Resources Summit to learn about ways to engage job seekers, develop a unique brand for their small business, and connect with regional resource providers to help grow their company.

Coinciding with National Small Business Week, the Talent Resources Summit was a joint venture between the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, Macomb Community College, Oakland Community College, and Oakland County Michigan Works!. Genna Hines, alumni manager of the Goldman Sachs-Detroit program, saw great value in connecting business owners with resources to help them grow.

“Some business owners struggle to find the help they need and being able to provide them assistance all in one place was what made this event successful,” Hines said.

For many small business owners, performing the function of human resources manager is one of several important roles played by just one individual within the organization. Couple this with increased competition with other businesses and global corporations, and the prospect of finding qualified candidates can seem overwhelming.

“Many today are seeking opportunities either to move away from the large corporate structure or to be able to be in on the ground floor of a small, growing company,” McClary said. “Don’t count yourself out just because you’re small; target the right audience with the right message.”

But small business owners like Jess McClary, CEO of McClary Bros. Drinking Vinegars, says that money is not the only motivator for job seekers. At McClary Bros., the hiring process is focused on branding career opportunities to those who fit the company culture.

“Many today are seeking opportunities either to move away from the large corporate structure or to be able to be in on the ground floor of a small, growing company,” McClary said. “Don’t count yourself out just because you’re small; target the right audience with the right message.”

The bulk of the morning sessions featured presentations and panel discussions on employer branding and innovative hiring strategies. Immediately following lunch, business owners were able to network with a number of regional talent resource providers, convened by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

The panelists and resource providers had one unifying message – small business owners are not alone in their endeavor to hire top talent.

“The goal was for business owners to think about the hiring process differently,” Hines said. “These were not the conventional ideas of hiring, but completely out-of-the-box hiring practices.”

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