hit the lineCollaborative recruiting is a great marketing term. But for small to medium businesses across the globe, it’s more than a nice, fuzzy term, it’s a reality. Why? Because competing against the Fortune 500 or even the Fortune 1000 for talent is tough. Smaller companies often have fewer internal resources, smaller teams, less brand presence in local markets and a host of other hurdles to overcome.

But the advantages of being an SMB are myriad as well. For example, talent acquisition teams within smaller companies have the ability to more easily affect culture, create innovative benefits programs and build onboarding programs within their hiring cycle. And of course, collaboration is necessary. Here are five tips on collaborative recruiting for SMBs:

1) Invest in social recruiting. This is a bit of a misnomer because social recruiting is often “free”. But adding social channels to your job postings is completely crucial. Why? Because it allows every employee to become an ambassador for the company brand and to help distribute job openings. Parature.com reported, “More than 50% of Facebook users, and 80% of Twitter users, expect a response to a customer service inquiry in a day or less.” If that’s true, imagine how candidates feel.

2) Build a free referral channel for your employees. Employee referrals continue to be a top source of talent for companies, and small companies are no different. Find a solution that allows you to share socially (see point 1) and rewards the employees that refer quality hires. Look for one with a notes function. According to CoursePark, 60% of jobs are never advertised because they’re filled through numerous contacts, including social media sites.

3) Create easy resume uploads. One of the top reasons small businesses choose our solution is email resume upload. Having an easy way for recruiters, applicants, hiring managers and even executives to get resumes parsed and into the system makes for a truly collaborative recruiting function. Many even incorporate notes and voting functionality on the back-end. Quick Tip: Most systems allow multiple users to access the same candidates’ information. You can browse files, give and leave notes, and stay up to date on which candidates are making the right impression.

4) One ad to rule them all. Find a platform that allows you to post on your career site and as many job boards as you want or need. Social sharing is important, as are employee referrals, but job boards still have an important place in the job search. Look for analytics that show which job boards are most successful in finding you applicants so you can more accurately direct your spend. Lifehacker shows candidate favorites in this post.

5) Communication is crucial. Many of the above are specific to recruiting but communication tools are really important for SMBs and while recruiting technology vendors are building these into their platforms, there are several standalone products that work with other enterprise software. Tools like Yammer that allow your team to be in constant communication and Skype or Google voice that give your team the ability to video conference in real time. Whatever solution you choose, make sure that you provide initial training for your team so everyone is comfortable.

Bonus: There are a lot of great services out there that are not only great for small businesses but actually better suited to them than large corporations. Some favorites include project management software Asana, screen-sharing platform Join.me and Dropbox for file sharing.

Do you have a favorite collaboration tool for recruiting in your small business? Share it with me in the comments.

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