How To Attract Top Talent on a Budget: A Guide For Small Businesses

How To Attract Top Talent on a Budget: A Guide For Small Businesses

By Admin 4 min read

Attracting top talent on a budget is not impossible, far from it. What’s more, it’s a necessary skill for a small business. With these tips, from hiring in house, to implementing an internal mobility strategy, to investing in an ATS (we recommend Pypa Hire, but we might be biased), you can learn how to attract top talent on a budget. Let’s take a look at how you can hire top talent without breaking the bank:

Audit Costs

Your first step in hiring on a budget is auditing your current hiring costs. Calculating cost per hire is particularly useful. Here’s how you calculate cost per hire:


Internal recruiting costs are costs that occur within your organization (e.g. recruiters’ salaries, referral bonuses). External recruiting costs are costs that occur outside of your company (like posting on job boards and outsourcing).

However, cost per hire isn’t infallible, because it doesn’t factor in how spending needs will vary for different positions (for example, they are likely to be higher for more senior positions).

This means it may be more useful to look at hiring metrics (e.g. hires per job board) individually. External hiring costs (as well as hiring reports) can be generated easily by hiring software.

You may find in your audit that you have to change your recruitment process to make it more effective, but that’s what this guide is for.

Hire in House

A big way to cut hiring costs is to stop outsourcing your hiring process. With the help of a handy ATS like Pypa Hire, you don’t even need to!

There are some ways you can make hiring in house easier, like consulting with employees who have similar jobs to the one you’re hiring for (and, of course, using Pypa Hire).

Have an Internal Mobility Strategy

Internal mobility is important for a lot of things, including retention and employee engagement. It’s also a great way to hire top talent on a budget, as you already know your employees’ skills so you’re less likely to make a costly hiring mistake (and don’t have to post on job boards).

Use Employee Referrals

Another way to avoid extensive advertising for an open position is to encourage employee referrals. An employee referral is when one of your employees recommends someone for a job opening. You can incentivize referrals by giving bonuses for successful hires.

However, there is a downside to employee referrals: they tend to produce candidates who are similar to the employee who referred them, which may be a problem if you already have issues with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Use Free Job Boards

Free job boards are your friend when you’re hiring on a budget. Fortunately, there are still plenty for you to choose from. More importantly, niche job boards, which are useful for hiring for certain industries, and job boards for diverse candidates are usually free.

Write Stand-Out Job Descriptions

Especially if you’re using a free job board, you need to stand out, and there’s no better way to do this than to write a stellar job description. This is easy:

  • Write well

    Write a simple, jargon-free, job description that displays your strong culture and employer brand.

  • Optimize for SEO

    Optimize your job posting for SEO by including keywords that are relevant to the job and industry (though don’t go overboard with buzzwords).

  • Check for DEI

    Don’t include unnecessarily gendered terms. Make sure the job description is accessible.

  • Not too many requirements

    Don’t make things that are nice-to-haves into requirements as this can put off candidates.

  • Disclose the salary and benefits

    Candidates don’t want to waste time applying for a job that may not pay very well. Avoid this by offering a competitive salary and disclosing it in the job description.

Streamline Your Recruitment Process

A complicated recruitment process takes up unnecessary time and money. This is easily solved by streamlining your recruitment process by using Pypa Hire, which takes you through the complete recruitment process from candidate sourcing to job offers. Pypa Hire also has a scheduling calendar so that you can avoid admin delays in getting back to your candidates—meaning you can snatch up top talent before big companies who have lots of red tape.

Use Social Media and Your Website To Cultivate a Strong Employer Brand

Social media’s the perfect way to advertise your jobs and your employer brand (because it’s almost free). Use social media to cultivate a stronger employer brand and give potential candidates a good understanding of your culture (for example, by sharing employee profiles). Good use of social media can generate interest in your employer brand, helping you attract top talent.

Your website is another great (and cheap) place to cultivate your employer brand and advertise your culture, since most candidates will look at your website when applying for a job. You can also put information about benefits on your website. Make sure your website is inviting and that the “careers” section is easy to find (and remember you can use the same content you use on social media).

Emphasize Your (Free) Benefits

While you may not be able to compete with large companies for benefits, you can still show off all the (low-cost) benefits of working at a small company (such as a unique company culture). Tangible benefits might include flexibility around start times and the ability to work from home, as well as perks like a pet-friendly office or free food which contribute to employee engagement and wellbeing.

Use an ATS

Using an ATS can help you streamline your recruitment process, saving your hiring department time (and therefore money). What’s better is that an ATS doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg—Pypa offers a free unlimited version of Pypa Hire, perfect for small businesses, and Pypa Hire Premium (ideal for larger companies) only costs $20/user/month (which we think is still a pretty cost effective solution).

You can hire top talent and attract candidates on a budget, it’s just a question of strategy. With strategies like hiring in house, using free job boards, and investing in an ATS like Pypa Hire, hiring top talent as a small business is easy. Wondering if an ATS is right for you?—Register for Pypa Hire now!

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By Admin 4 min read

Originally written 17 Mar, 2022 . Updated on 17 Mar, 2022

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