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Attracting Top Talent When You Don’t Have A Huge Budget

hiring concept drawing

Your team can be the most valuable asset for your business. With the right talent, any product or service idea can be successful. 

But top talent costs a lot of money. Right?

Not necessarily. People have different incentives when they choose whether or not to work for you. Moreover, with a remote workforce you can have access to extremely talented people from all across the world, without breaking the bank.

So in this article, we’ll explore how we hired extremely talented people even if we wanted to stick to a tight budget, and we’ll show you how you can do the same.

How We Hire Talent On A Budget

Our process for finding valuable team members without spending too much money relies a lot on training our employees and collaborators. This is only possible by identifying potential in candidates, and narrowing down our geographic scope.

So the first step is to look for people from Eastern Europe. It’s a developed region with decent infrastructure, access to information, and a lot of talent, especially in the digital sector. But the cost of living in Eastern Europe is much lower when compared to the US, Western Europe, or similar places in the world. You can check out this podcast to learn more about how pro recruiters do it.

This means that people from this region will thrive with the same salary that would not be enough to support someone from the UK, or the US. In turn, you can get more value for the same money.

Second, we’ll focus on internal training. We can hire people with little or no experience, as long as we see that they’re willing to learn and have a go-getter attitude. We even give our freelancers unrestricted access to the courses we create. As long as you can identify potential in someone, you can help them grow into a top talent, without spending too much money.

We also require our candidates to go through a testing platform that assesses their cognitive behavior. It’s called Wonderlic, and we found that it’s a great indicator of someone’s potential to grow in your company.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be Wonderlic. But if you want to attract top talent when you don’t have a huge budget, you’ll need to look more for potential rather than expertise.

And overall, that’s how we do it. Now that you know the process let’s break it down.

Where Can You Find Top Talent?

We like to hire top talent on a budget from Eastern Europe. Like we said before, there are a lot of promising individuals there, and the cost is lower when compared to workers from other regions. 

That being said, Eastern Europe is pretty close to our timezone. If, on the other hand, you live in the US, it might be hard to coordinate a team from Europe. That’s why the region itself isn’t set in stone.

If Eastern Europe works for you, Jobrack is a good site to find candidates from the region, at lower prices. Alternatively, Indeed and WeWorkRemotely are good alternatives as well, but the candidates on WWR usually expect higher salaries.

You can also look for candidates locally. That’s especially true if you don’t need a specialized employee (like a content writer, or an SEO), and rather need something like a management assistant.

Generally, you’ll be looking to hire remote workers, however. And from specific regions that fit your timezone needs, and have cheaper talent.

Your Cards On The Table

We can talk about screening candidates all day long, but if you don’t have something to offer to true talent – if you can’t actually attract them to your business – you won’t find top talent. 

So to attract top talent on a budget, you must first start with the things you bring to the table. Even if you can’t offer above-average remuneration, you can leverage other features of working at your company.

The learning experience is definitely a good start. But you can’t just claim that a job at your business will be a learning experience – technically, that’s true of all jobs. You need to actually be mindful about the learning experiences you can offer, and highlight them in your job descriptions.

If you don’t have courses of your own, and you can’t afford to pay for them, coaching and feedback can be a learning experience in and of itself. For example, we’re currently looking for a writer for one of our niche sites. One of the perks we use to attract our future writers is the fact that we offer extensive and timely feedback.

Anyone that sees good feedback as a perk is a person with potential.

But you can go further than just learning experiences. Depending on your niche, you can mention things like:

  • The exciting products and services future employees will work on
  • Your company culture
  • Your work environment
  • Opportunities for growth (as long as they’re genuinely there)

And these are just general examples. Think about your day-to-day operations, and try to identify what makes working at your company unique and fulfilling. Lead with that.

Job interview vector illustration.

The Screening Process

You can say that identifying talent in someone is hard. And it is. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible in a hiring process. 

The trick is to look beyond expertise and certifications. They’re important, and you can even have them as a baseline that candidates must fulfill. But in your interviews, test assignments, and mail communications with candidates, try to identify what their values truly are – who they are as a person.

If you can see integrity, determination, and a willingness to learn in someone, they have potential, even if they’re less experienced or haven’t finished formal education.

You can even ask these things out right.

In the interviews you have, ask candidates about a time in their life they failed, and how they reacted, as well as what they learned from that experience. It’s a good way to gauge how introspective, and prone to finding solutions people are.

Problem solving, proactivity, and the ability to recognize one’s shortcomings are clear indicators of top talent. And if you can guarantee guidance, you can attract them without a huge budget.

Making Good On Your Promise

If you want top talent on your team without breaking the bank, you need to offer something more on the side. Guidance in someone’s career, coaching, growth opportunities, access to educational materials – whatever it is, you need to make good on that promise.

It’s not just because you want to treat your employees with respect.

You can be completely selfish with this too. If an employee is unhappy working with you, they’re going to talk about it. They might even leave a public review.

And in your next hiring round, that’s going to come up, and make it harder for you to find top talent, with or without a budget.

In Conclusion

Attracting top talent when you don’t have a huge budget is possible. As long as you look for candidates from specific regions and backgrounds, offer something on top of your remuneration, have a strong screening process and make good on what you promise, you can pull it off.

It won’t be a walk in the park. It will actually be probably much harder than if you had enough money to entice veterans in your niche.

But you can pull it off.

If you found this piece informative, we’d love to help you grow your business in the online medium. We publish content free of charge, for that purpose, on our site. For example, you can check our list of the best online marketing tools.

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