Attracting And Retaining Talent For Small Businesses

May 28, 2014

Managers of small businesses often worry about how to go about recruiting great staff, especially when they need high level professional people which may be few and far between.

The nature of a small business is that it often needs particularly strong minded self-starter type people who are trustworthy and reliable. So the question is; how do you find them in an environment where those people can earn more money at bigger companies?  It’s important to remember that circumstances aren’t always stacked against the small business in the way you may expect. Although it does take a little lateral thought to get and retain the great staff you need.

Firstly you have to think about what you are offering your employees beyond the normal salary and benefits package.  You may not be able to offer the highest salary or the best benefits but there are a number of other attributes you do offer as a small business that many larger businesses can give.

 

Some points to consider;

 

1. Target the right people

To reach the right people you’ve got to find out where they are: which websites they are on, which media they use. Some software programmes can help you find your target audience by seeking them out through their favourite websites. There are plenty of specialist organisations that can help you do this. Remember, a good ad in the wrong place is going to be pretty ineffective. Another way to find the right candidates is to ask current staff for recommendations of friends/family.

 

2. Recognise efforts

In most employee surveys the number one reason for staff satisfaction is recognition of their efforts.  Big companies are notoriously bad at noticing when individuals are performing really well and this is one area where small companies have a huge lead.  Passing down the corridor the MD is equally likely to notice the office junior as the top salesperson.  It is not difficult for the MD to give high level recognition to both of these equally. Listening to them and taking their views seriously gives them a sense of self-belief far more valuable than a pay rise.
 

3. Incentives

You can offer employees the chance to grow with the company.  So if they do a good job and hold skills which are well suited to higher positions within the team there shouldn’t be any restrictions on progressing in the company. The company grows through their efforts amongst the team and then they will benefit along with everyone else. If you like you can offer shares or share options to reinforce this but the most potent gift is to offer them new areas of responsibility as the opportunities arise.

 

4. Remuneration

In some cases you can avoid the necessity of a high salary at interview stage through offering commission, bonuses or shares if targets are hit.  This can delay money leaving the business until the employee has demonstrated their worth to you.

 

5. Team Building

Then there is “atmosphere”.  This is an area many companies fall down on but it doesn’t take much budget to create a great atmosphere.  What it does take is listening to staff, laughing with them, organising fun ideas like the Friday lunch curry, the charity walk or the silly hat day.  Perhaps allowing groups to decorate their office area to their design?  Or where possible, allowing staff the opportunity to work remotely, maybe they work better in their own comfortable workspace? There are many ways of helping team building positively, and in turn it gives a sense of belonging beyond what is strictly necessary to run the business.

 

So the most important thing is to identify these attributes before recruiting staff and make it a clear part of the offering, this way you will separate which possible employees are most suitable. Although it won’t convince every candidate – there will inevitably be people who chase the high salaries, it will help to find the staff who are attracted by a broader range of benefits. This is also help toward retaining great staff for longer periods of time. These people are the ones who are most suited to working at your company and they will appreciate all of the benefits that come along with it.

– Rachel King, breatheHR

Use breatheHR to effectively manage your team online. Take a 14 day free trial today.

 

 

LawBite can also provide employment advice, which includes a free 15 minute no-obligation consultation as well as employee contracts for your small business.

 

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