Since small businesses provide two out of every three American jobs, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, they shouldn’t underestimate their ability to attract America’s best and brightest.
The unemployment rate is over 5%, still, 60% of small business owners and managers say finding skilled workers is their company’s greatest challenge when it comes to hiring and managing staff, according to a recent Robert Half poll. And while it may seem small businesses are at a disadvantage, there are several unique small-business attributes they should emphasize:
1) Little Bureaucracy: Employees who complain about rules and regulations usually do so because they have no say in how they were made. Small businesses should point out that their employees are asked for regular feedback on how things are run at the company. Employees who feel they have a voice are more likely to stay.
2) Advancement Opportunities: Large companies have a notorious reputation for stalling promotions or completely ignoring them. Smaller businesses should emphasize their career advancement opportunities by showing how and when current employees have risen through the ranks. Prospective employees, especially those who consider themselves to be top-tier, want to see that their hard work will be noticed and appreciated.
3) Offering Competitive Compensation: Although it may seem impossible to compete with big companies financially, strategies such as offering creative benefits, perk packages or equity in your business can be an extremely powerful motive for somebody to pick a small company over a larger one. Employees will also be more invested in the company, which will lead to a stronger work ethic.
4) Get your Organization’s Name Out in the Community: Small business owners should get creative here. They can start a company blog, promote a business on social media and leverage their own personal networks to get the company name out there. Small businesses can also increase brand awareness by sponsoring forums or workshops, or other community groups/activities, such as a baseball team.
5) Existing Employees Are a Small Company’s Best Ambassadors: Companies should consider incentives for existing employees who play a role in recruiting. For instance, each employee who refers someone who the company ends up hiring may get a cash bonus.
Next week, tune back in for a more specific approach to attracting top talent through LinkedIn.