According to Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses Summit Report, 70 percent of small businesses struggle to find and retain skilled talent. That’s a remarkably high percentage and indicates that a majority of small businesses either fail to possess employment opportunities that attract employees or fail to leverage the possibilities that they do provide.
In order to help you find out how you can attract and retain employees, our team here at HJR Global has compiled our best practices for recruiting and holding onto qualified talent.
Emphasize Your Workplace Environment
Recruiters and branding managers are often told not to sell the environment of their workplace to potential employees, but that’s less true for small businesses than it is for Fortune 500 companies. Since small businesses are often run by entrepreneurs who treat their employees like family and have the potential to take off once they gain traction, don’t worry about emphasizing the grassroots authenticity of your small business to potential employees. This is particularly true for recent college grads or young professionals who usually jump at the opportunity to get in at the ground floor of a great startup or small business.
Stock Up On Employee Benefits
Providing fantastic employee benefits will not only help separate your workplace from larger businesses that might pay more but offer less, but it will also improve your revenue – studies have shown that employees who actually feel valued and appreciate their workplace perform better. Many small business owners underestimate just how much potential employees value benefits, particularly benefits that aren’t often provided by employers. For example, a 401k and a gym plan are nice, but what about a great health insurance package? Offering good health and dental insurance, significant paid vacation time off, and substantial paternal/maternal leave (which, sadly, is not common in the U.S.) are all great ways to attract or retain mid-career professionals. If you’re offering some amazing benefits to potential employees, brag about it. For example, if you offer a health insurance package that would save an employee of a larger company several thousand a year and make up for the salary hit they would take by working for you instead, show them that statistic. Potential employees won’t take advantage of the opportunities you provide if they don’t know that they exist. At the same time, don’t drown out the value of your employee benefits by surrounding them with the drawn-out, contractual language that so often surrounds benefits packages. Make understanding the benefits you offer simple and easy, and you’ll start attracting more potential employees.
Make Your Business Millennial-friendly
Millennials have now overtaken baby boomers as the largest generation in the U.S., and now that most of them are moving into grad school or have already graduated, they’re taking over the workforce en masse.
As a result, understanding what appeals to millennials will be vital if you want to grow your business.
For example, research indicates that six out of 10 young workers want to feel that their work is meaningful. This means that they want to work for a brand with values that they agree with. When hiring younger employees, emphasizing your brand values and how the work of employees is a key component to your success will make you an attractive option. While millennials have gotten a bad rap for job-hopping, this is often just a face-value judgment that fails to take into account why millennials switch jobs. The answer? Because they’re looking for a fulfilling career, and often find that lateral self-promotions pay more and provide better opportunities than sticking with one company. Use this to your advantage. Emphasize that you value long-time employees with substantial raises and increased benefits, and provide opportunities for employees to switch up their position if they truly feel like their current duties don’t provide them with value anymore.
Have Realistic Expectations
It would be great if every employee showed up on their first day with all of the skills and knowledge necessary to do their job, but the reality is that’s just not always – or even often – the case. This is particularly true for recent grads – whether they went to grad school or not – who will often lack some (or many) of the specific skills that their position requires. Don’t waste time searching for the perfect “plug and play” employee. The truth is, if you want to attract and retain employees, you’ll often have to train recent grads. Yes, it will be expensive and time-consuming, but it will more than pay off in the end. By having realistic expectations for new employees and your own small business, you can work towards building up a workforce of employees who are not only trained well, but also genuinely care about your business because they got in on the ground floor and were taken care of.
And there you have it, folks! These are the best practices for small businesses that want to attract and retain employees, but if you really want to get a leg up on the competition and keep a hold of the best talent in your field, why not give us a call? Our team here at HJR Global specializes in helping small businesses succeed, whether that’s through providing financial assistance or offering consulting services for a number of subjects – including recruitment and how you can grow your business. To learn more about what we can do for your small business, contact us now.
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