For well-known companies, attracting top talent can be as easy as tweeting, "We're hiring!" and watching the applications pour in. But relatively unknown small businesses and startups often find it more difficult to get job seekers interested in opportunities. Instead of having an immediate influx of well-qualified applicants to choose from, as many larger enterprises do, startups may have to wait months for the right candidate to come along.

Why do some small businesses have such a hard time with the hiring process? Raj Sheth, CEO and co-founder of applicant tracking software RecruiterBox, said that most small businesses simply don't take the right approach to recruitment.

"[Job seekers] are not often sold on a job description," Sheth told Business News Daily. "Just the same way you would market your product to potential customers, you have to communicate your company culture to prospective candidates." [How to Find Good Employees]

Small businesses looking to attract candidates should participate in the communities that their potential talent pools belong to, said Sheth. Regardless of whether they're actively hiring, companies should make a constant effort to spark ongoing relationships and dialogues with individuals whom they've identified as potentially good fits for their team.

"If you're always participating, sharing what you're doing and answering questions, people will know who you are and what type of work you do when it comes time to hire," Sheth said.

Sheth offered four more tips for attracting talent using marketing tactics:

  • Refine your message. Talk to a marketing expert to understand how your message will look to people who will end up in your candidate pool, and what previous behavior, such as job history and online presence, you should be looking for and/or avoiding.
  • Treat all candidates with respect. Marketing and sales departments usually meet the brunt of customer dissatisfaction, but they know how to deal with it. Take this experience into consideration when it comes to contacting those candidates who didn't make the cut. Marketing can help you craft the message to get the point across in a gentle way.
  • Learn how to forecast. Forecasting in recruiting helps to determine multiple factors of the candidate search. Consider how much and what kind of information to give to job seekers. Candidates need to know when to apply to have the best chance, and how long it will take for you to complete the interview process. Explaining these concepts ahead of time goes a long way toward having a happy talent pool.
  • Understand what you're selling. The last thing you want a candidate to see is lack of knowledge within a company. Know the core benefits of what your company offers so you can clearly communicate with potential employees.

Originally published on Business News Daily.