Common Recruitment Challenges for SMBs (+ How to Solve Them)

Joanie Turmel
July 6 2022

The race to recruit top talent is here to stay and affects companies of all sizes. Yet, talent acquisition in an SMB is a bit different than in a larger company. 

Your SMB encounters difficulties structuring and optimizing recruitment processes? Learn about 5 common recruitment challenges and how to address them proactively. 

By tackling the main challenges related to hiring, your organization will be able to attract skilled candidates to fill your team.

Challenge #1: Implementing a Well-Defined Recruitment Process

Small business employees tend to wear more than one hat and engage in several tasks simultaneously. Therefore, hiring new employees can be hasty and unstructured without a clear framework.

This is where the recruitment process comes in. It allows your business to make better and faster hires while improving your employees’ retention rates and job satisfaction.

But how does one implement an effective recruitment process in a small business? 


First and foremost, you must clearly define the main steps of the process and the individuals in your organization who will be in charge of their implementation. A hiring process is usually divided into 4 phases:

  1. Identifying and analyzing recruitment needs;
  2. Writing and sharing the job offer;
  3. Selecting candidates;
  4. Welcoming and integrating newcomers. 

That being the case, you will want to decide on a recruitment model that suits your needs and suggest guidelines and objectives for every step.

Structuring a recruitment process certainly requires its share of effort. However, it can add real value to the organization when adequately planned.

Challenge #2: Attracting the Best talent & Growing your Candidate Database

Expanding your applicant database is a major challenge for small and medium-sized businesses. Indeed, nearly 84% of SMBs struggle to find enough candidates to interview. Increasing the visibility of job postings is not always easy, and in the current context of labour shortages, recruiters must double their efforts to attract potential candidates.

But how can one address this issue and draw more qualified applicants?


Take advantage of a combination of recruitment methods. Recruit internally by offering the position to a current employee as a career development opportunity or by setting up referral programs to benefit from your employees’ network.

Nevertheless, don’t overlook external recruitment and think about investing in an outsourcing partner!

Online resources, social networks and staff augmentation companies are all relevant tools that can easily be combined to increase the visibility of your SMB and reach a greater number of applicants. 

To stack the odds in your favor and help you stand out, you’ll also want a strong employer brand, which brings us to challenge #3.

Challenge #3: Building an Authentic Employer Brand

A strong employer brand is the cornerstone of a successful recruitment process. It helps you attract and hire suitable candidates by making your organization attractive.

Did you know that according to LinkedIn, 72% of hiring managers worldwide recognize that employer branding has a significant impact on recruitment? It is often the aspect that will impact whether qualified candidates will decide to join your team or not. 

But how does one go about it?


he first step is to gather your competitive advantages, your company’s core values, and your actions to promote the well-being of your employees. 

You will then want to promote these actions and benefits through various marketing strategies: known as HR marketing. You will also want to target the appropriate communication channels based on the candidate profiles you seek. 

Remain authentic to keep your messages aligned with reality: this will give your company credibility and guarantee greater long-term employee retention.

Challenge #4: Reducing Hiring Costs

Inefficient recruiting processes can take a huge toll on an SMB’s budget. Whether it’s the unnecessary duplication of tasks or the countless hours spent sifting through resumes, it’s undeniable that time and costs add up quickly. 

So, what are the best ways to limit your recruitment expenses?


One of the most effective ways to reduce hiring costs is to go digital! Automating various tasks allows for an excellent time and money savings: hence the relevance of investing early in a good ATS (Applicant Tracking System).

Folks offers an applicant tracking system for small businesses that optimizes the recruitment process. This HR software made for SMBs allows you to sort profiles, create personalized questionnaires, communicate through a single interface, and easily plan the interview process.

With these features, Folks ATS allows you to dematerialize the recruitment process and save time on application processing. Moreover, it will enable the entire process to be centralized in one platform to further reduce costs and staffing requirements.

Challenge #5: Creating a Pleasant Experience for Candidates

Since the recruitment process is the candidate’s first contact with your company, make sure it meets their expectations. As a matter of fact, creating a pleasant experience for a candidate during the recruitment process is one of the first steps your company can take to make a good first impression.

But how can one make the recruitment process enjoyable for prospects? 


The solution: It is fundamental not to lose sight of the human being behind the candidate. Communicating and being transparent with applicants at every stage is key: hence the importance of having an effective recruitment process established from the start.

Using an ATS like Folks ATS will also make your life easier when returning emails. You can contact candidates (selected or not) directly from your platform with personalized emails or by building email templates. This feature allows for quick feedback, which your applicants will greatly appreciate. 

Moreover, the automation of specific steps will allow you to improve the human aspect where there is a substantial added value.

The recruitment process can sometimes seem somewhat overwhelming, even intimidating. However, overcoming the key hiring challenges leads to effective applicant management. 

SMBs face many HR challenges. To learn more and discover solutions, read our article on this topic!

Want to discover how Folks ATS can optimize your recruiting practices?

Our solutions simplify the entire hiring process!



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