How to attract the best talent to your small business


min read

How to attract the best talent to your small business

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Recruitment is one of the most important duties a business owner has—employees, after all, can be your greatest asset or your biggest liability. For small businesses with fewer employees and lower budgets, there isn’t much margin for error, which means attracting high-quality candidates is critical.

Here are five tips for making your business stand out in the recruitment process.

You get what you pay for

When looking for the best talent to add to your business, you’ll fall at the first hurdle if you don’t compete on salary. Bigger companies typically offer higher wages, but it’s still a good idea to make sure you’re competitive with businesses of a similar size and in the same industry as yours.

One way to figure out the going rate is to compare adverts on sites like Indeed, Reed, and Totaljobs for positions similar to yours. Keep your searches fairly local, as salaries can vary depending on location. You don’t want to be paying London wages in Lancashire. Research by Glassdoor suggests that it may be a good idea to be transparent about pay in your adverts, as it gives job seekers an idea of whether the role has long-term potential.

Explain bigger isn’t always better

One benefit of running a small business is that you can make each employee feel like a valued member of a close-knit team instead of just another cog in the machine. It’s important to make it clear how new employees could potentially grow in their roles, as one-third of job seekers need this type of openness to prevent them from jumping ship.

To hang on to top talent, you can offer perks that they might not find in a more corporate environment, such as bring your dog to work days, flexi-hours or work from home days, and a casual dress code.

Make your business stand out to potential employees by clearly describing the perks in your job advert. Try to avoid vague comments such as ‘fantastic working environment’ and instead let candidates see that your business is a great place to work by showing them what they can expect.

Show candidates a path for progression

Nearly a third of employees look for a new job because of a lack of career progression. Strong candidates want to know they can grow within your business, yet nearly half of jobs fail to provide decent career development.

It may be difficult to offer a clearly defined path if your small business doesn’t already have the structure in place. If you can’t tell your potential new employee what their future job title will be, you can still give them the motivation to forge their own path and assure them that progression is a possibility. This is something you can mention in your job advert and talk about in more detail at the interview stage.

Create a cool company culture

As a small business owner, you have the power to create a fun environment that keeps your employees engaged and builds morale and team spirit. Research has found that the three most important aspects of employment are positive work experiences, flexible hours/the opportunity to work remotely, and feeling valued and recognised for your work—three things that won’t drain budget and shouldn’t be too difficult to implement. Tick these boxes and you’ll entice talented people into your business. Word will travel fast, especially as websites such as Glassdoor can help you quickly build a reputation for having a great office culture.

Impress the candidate in the interview

Nearly 4 in 5 candidates say the interview is an indicator of how a company values its people, so put your best foot forward. If you can conduct an enjoyable interview, your job offer is 38% more likely to be accepted. Try to make candidates feel welcome from the start by showing them around and introducing them to key members of your team.

Summing up

Bringing someone new into your team can be an exciting experience, but also a time-consuming and expensive process. To make sure you’ve got the best chance of attracting the right people, think of recruitment as a two-way matchmaking process. Candidates want to work in a company that cares about its employees and has the passion and potential to grow, while you want to find talent who can help you take your business to the next level.

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Article updated on:
January 20, 2020

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