top talent There’s no denying the ubiquity of big companies like Apple and Google—heck, when a company becomes a verb recognized in the dictionary, you know that they’re kind of a big deal. For small businesses, it may seem impossible to compete with the status of these companies, especially when it comes to recruiting talent.

However, this isn’t necessarily the case. Small businesses have many advantages over large corporations, which—if utilized and communicated correctly—could seal the deal for talented individuals in search of jobs.

So what will make your company stand out? For small businesses looking to separate themselves from the pack and attract strong candidates, I’ve created The ABCs of Recruiting Top Talent.

A stands for “Adaptable”

Adaptability is your greatest asset, so use it! As a small business, you have much more freedom to accommodate the wants, needs and desires of a potential hire than a larger corporation. Big companies often lack the nimbleness to think outside the box, so use that as a selling point.

As a small business, you can create jobs and negotiate positions that companies with thousands of employees simply cannot. Perhaps you can offer more opportunities to work from home, or better opportunities for collaboration, or a work environment where their work will have a direct impact— whatever the case, you must think of ways that can compete with the salaries and benefits offered by big companies.

B is for “Brave”

You’ve taken the initiative and have the fortitude to start your own business, now you need to extend that energy into approaching potential new hires.

Assertiveness is your biggest ally in recruiting talent. Even if it makes you feel uncomfortable, reaching out to talented, creative professionals is the best way to build your business. Become a master networker, but don’t smooth-talk—present the position as a mutually beneficial collaboration. Reiterate the value you can offer that large companies cannot. If you’re compelling, potential talent will see your assertiveness as a sign that they’ll be valued at your company.

C is for “Curious”

You may have been on a date where the other person can’t stop talking about themselves. They’re awful, right? Showing an interest in a potential employee’s professional desires and goals will set your company apart. If you don’t show you’re interested, you’ll likely hear the same line as you would if you were the offender in that awful date: “It’s probably not going to work out.”

Put it to the test

Adaptability, bravery and curiosity are three characteristics that large corporations often forget. As a small business owner, you have these qualities on your side. If you present yourself (and your business) with an eagerness to engage with employees, you will have a great chance at winning over top talent.

You can check out a short video on this topic here.