In today’s economy, as industry giants are faltering, much of our hope rests with the small and medium sized business owners across the country. Small businesses have the ability to adapt to the current economic environment and provide consumers or other businesses with exactly what they need at this integral moment. Small businesses can rapidly change direction and point their bottom-line at goals that fit niche necessities. Big business wears the iron-clad boots of shareholders, age-old assembly line processes and unwavering corporate management; they are hardly in the right position to navigate the narrow straights of this economic downturn.
The question is: how can small and medium sized business (SMEs) stay competitive with larger firms, who posses far more resources to hire the best talent out there? It is in the talent acquisition arena that SMEs need to utilize every advantage that they can get their hands on to lasso the brightest minds available. They must guarantee that productivity is at a constant increase and that all of their human capital is being utilized to the utmost. This is harder said than done, considering that the pool of job applicants for SMEs is dwindling due to international outsourcing. It is a never ending challenge for SMEs to increase the quality of their hires, while at the same time keep their costs at a healthy minimum.
The key to an SME’s advantage is the utilization of technology- more specifically web technology. Web 2.0 is a term thrown around quite a bit, but for small businesses it has a very specific meaning. New web technologies symbolize the new-found ability for SMEs to compete with big business in various arenas – from hiring and recruiting to mass production and advertising. Need to get out a press release? No longer does a small business need to hire a fancy PR agency. They just need utilize a web product like PR Web, which enables a business to blast out news to thousands of online sites for a fraction of the cost. Need to design some brand apparel like a T-shirt of coffee mug? No longer does a business need to outsource to an expensive design firm. Online start-ups like Cafe Press or Zazzle enable SMEs to mass design and produce apparel on pre-set molds.
The situation is no different for hiring. New web technologies enable SMEs to handle their applicant management, applicant tracking, and recruiting needs for minimal costs. Cutting-edge, yet easy-to-use, new Recruiting and Applicant Management solutions enable small businesses to manage and track a a central database of potential candidates. Many of these solutions live completely online, much like their Web 2.0 brethren, which cuts down the barrier to install and access hires.
Also like modern Web 2.0 social networks, new recruiting software solutions promote collaboration. The ability for hiring mangers and recruiters to collaborate with one another with the end goal of finding the best hire is probably the biggest advantage that web technology bestows on SMEs. Even though big businesses have more resources to put towards hiring, modern recruiting technology allows small business to gain the edge.