Low unemployment and increased educational attainment have given employees the upper hand in this job market. The ball is in their court as to where they are looking to work, and the prevailing thought is that they are salary-driven. For small businesses, it may feel like a challenge to compete in a world where high salary and benefits packages seem to attract employees the most. It would seem that larger companies and corporations will win out in gaining skilled professionals and new graduates. However, small businesses have a lot to offer in this competitive landscape. Here are six low-cost ways for small business owners to make themselves competitive in attracting talent.

Flexible Work Options

Small business owners who offer flexible work plans will be popular among new graduates, and skilled professionals who are seeking this option. Employees in a 2016 survey by Deloitte listed work-life balance as the most important factor in choosing a company. Letting employees work remotely, or giving them a choice of time schedules will make candidates in the job search take another look. Since flexible work schedules require motivated workers, this is a great way to screen out those who would not be a fit for this environment.

Offer Discounted Perks

While it may not be feasible to have an onsite gym or childcare facility, a small business could put some of its budget toward negotiating discounts with local gyms and daycare facilities. This can help employees take care of the costs of wellness and childcare options, and it shows the company still cares enough to make these perks affordable for employees.

Have a Relaxed Atmosphere

It may not seem that important, but having the right atmosphere can significantly reduce stress among employees. Something as simple as allowing employees to bring their dogs, or allowing 15 to 20-minute power naps will make a big difference in the lives of workers. Larger companies do not have the time nor space to enable workers to take advantage of benefits such as these, so this is where a small company can shine.

Focus on Advancement

In more giant corporations, there is a lot of competition for managerial and senior leadership positions. Employees will have to wait awhile for their chance to move up, especially if they are new to the company. Small business owners can set themselves apart by putting attention on advancement. According to a 2016 Gallup Poll, 87 percent of millennials said that development was important to them in a job. Allowing opportunities for employees to take on a task they are interested in, and preparing a short-term strategy for advancement will play well for Millennials and Generation Z. Small businesses also have more flexibility in tailoring jobs to employees since the company is smaller and nimbler.

Institute Profit Sharing

To make up for a lower salary, small business owners can establish a profit sharing program where they designate a certain percentage of company profits to distribute to employees. This will work more efficiently if owners let prospective hires know a ballpark figure of the profit sharing that has occurred in recent years to give them an idea of what to expect. For a highly profitable small business, this can significantly make up for a signing bonus or higher salary.

Generous Paid Time Off

Instead of the standard two-weeks off, small businesses can set themselves apart by offering more time upon hiring. Some companies even have unlimited time off. This requires companies to employ employees that can responsibly handle a work arrangement like this, but it makes the deal sweeter for prospective employees looking at their options.

Make a Deal They Cannot Refuse

Small businesses have a lot to offer recent graduates and skilled professionals. Salary is important, but it does not always win out when compared to generous work-life balance policies, discounts, and a relaxed work environment. Small business owners should know exactly what they can offer, and play this up in job descriptions and recruitment strategies. Understanding what truly matters to employees will go a long way in recruiting and retaining the right talent.

Sources

10 Ways to Attract High Quality Employees, www.thebalancesmb.com/top-ways-to-attract-quality-employees-2948197

How to Attract — And Retain — Staff When You Can’t Pay Big Bucks, www.entrepreneur.com/article/223516

Pros and Cons of Employee Profit Sharing, www.thebalancecareers.com/profit-sharing-1918230

1 COMMENT

  1. Thank you for these tips! A high salary is indeed important to many potential employees, but it’s not everything. In fact, there are many recent surveys and studies saying that many employees would take a lower salary if they would get more benefits like flexibility or the ability to work from home, which in a time of digital workspaces like Office 365, Workspace 365 or Best Place to Work should not be that difficult to offer (with proper guidelines, policies and training). I really like the “focusing on advancement” part. People want to grow and offering them the opportunity to grow, both personally and within the organisation would really help to obtain and retain talent. I also imagine it would give them a sense of accomplishment, which would make for happier employees.

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