Every business relies on the people it employs to be successful. Your employees are assets, and each has a significant value that you can measure. Of course, every company strives to find or develop the most talented members of staff. Creativity, drive, and loyalty are part of the package they expect. But what is the best way for a small up-and-coming business to attract such people? Is it the impossible dream, or is it really possible for your company to pluck the best from the best?
Your company culture needs to be able to stand out from the crowd. The culture you nurture and develop should aim to attract the type of people you want to have come to work for you. This can take quite some time to do. And it will depend a great deal on the people you already have contributing to your business. You’ll need their buy-in to any new ideas you have. Most importantly, you need them to lead the way and actively contribute to the cultural identity you’re trying to forge.
One of the biggest defining areas of company culture is your structure. Do you want a formal tiered management structure? Or would you prefer a lateral, team-based and collaborative approach to each project? There is no right or wrong answer here. But you need to consider the best personality for the company that will attract the personality types you’re hoping will work for you.
Your employees are more likely to enjoy their work if they can relate to and contribute to the company culture. This will help them to become more productive, and less likely to suffer from workplace anxiety or stress. If you want creative people, you need to create a creative office. You need a group dynamic that promotes creativity, and a working ethos that allows for that type of personality to flourish.
One of the biggest barriers to hiring experienced and talented people is the lack of a budget to pay what they ask. You have to remember that money isn’t everything to employees. The hours of work, flexibility in the environment, and the benefits package are just as important. Then, of course, is the company culture, the atmosphere in the office, and the ‘perks’ of the job.
Where you spend your money is up to you. It’s always worth putting a value on each person you hire. How much do they need to contribute to your company’s bottom line to justify their salary? What do you expect from them? Of course, hiring people with a proven track record and work history helps you to define and clarify this instantly.
There is another element of your budget you need to consider. Training and development are important for employees. They improve their efficiency and add to their skillset. Training can also help your workers unleash their talents and produce more of the standard of work you’re looking for. Consider what training your existing workforce could do for them and your business.
Where To Look
LinkedIn has become a firm favorite for businesses looking to hire. It’s easy to browse profiles and find the people that are actively looking for a new role. Best of all, you can find the people that your contacts have already worked with. Endorsements and recommendations are important when you’re about to invest a lot of money in a new recruit.
You should also check your trade magazines and journals. You can often find interviews and soundbites from the most talented people in your industry. Approaching them might be a challenge, though. You might need to offer more money than you were initially planning to spend.
Finally, consider using a recruitment agency with a specialism for the types of roles you’re hoping to fill. These agencies actively headhunt on your behalf. They might already have the details of a candidate that is looking to leave their active role. You will be charged a finders fee, but much of the stress and headache of writing up the role and hunting for candidates yourself has been eliminated.
How To Advertise
If you’re keen to find fresh talent with limited experience, then why not advertise yourself locally? Sometimes people just need a chance to shine. With a little nurturing and training, you might find someone that brings a lot of money into the company. Advertising in the right way is essential.
Don’t limit yourself to small ads, but don’t feel you have to go to extremes to be spotted in the local press. You might run a radio campaign as well, but bear in mind these can have a limited response. If you can figure out where people are that might be interested in the type of work you’re providing, you’re set. Reaching out is easy from that point.
Be wary of specifying the type of person you’re looking for. Instead, list essential skills and experience. Detail the role and briefly discuss the office culture and environment. It’s up to you if you want to put a salary on that. This can encourage some people and put others off. Of course, some candidates will ignore an ad that doesn’t specify the wage. This figure is a good marker for the seniority of the role and recompense for the responsibilities.
How To Look Good As A Small Business
Small businesses often operate from small offices. That doesn’t mean your office can’t look good! To attract talented recruits, you need to give your office the wow factor. Everything from the office cabinets to the desks should appeal to the type of people you think should be working for you. Think outside the box here. What about standing desks and collaborative working smartboards?
You might have a small canteen or dining area. What can you bring into this space that helps workers meet, converse, and relax? Are there formal meeting rooms, or do you have communal areas that can be used? It’s worth brightening up the place to promote creativity and to energize the workers. Think about the colors, the lighting, and the flow of the spaces you provide.
Of course, flexible working is really important too. Just how flexible can you be? Are you in a position to have workers at home as well as in the office? Is your tech good enough and secure enough to allow for this? Depending on the work you do, you might be able to encourage pets and kids to come to the workplace too.
How do you promote good health and fitness? Can you provide free fruit and vegetable snacks? What about exercise equipment or massage therapies? The more you expect of your workforce, the more you need to give back. This doesn’t have to be monetary, but it should be something your most talented employees will value. Show you care to attract the very best.
Be proud of your achievements and make sure you’re actively shouting about them. Enter for awards as often as you can. This might be people awards, business awards, or industry awards. Post copies of certificates and awards on the walls, and make sure your website brags about them too. This shows you’re working hard to achieve a lot and that you’re recognised for that. It doesn’t matter how small you are if you have recognition! This can be enormously attractive for any future employee.
Let Your Management Style Shine Through
Regardless of your preferred management style, do let it shine through from the very beginning. One of the biggest tests at the interview for a candidate is you. They want to get to know you enough to make a judgement! Ultimately, they need to work out if they can spend eight hours a day in your company or not. Nobody wants to work for someone they don’t like or respect.
You don’t have to be the most charming person on the planet. But you do have to prove that you’re keen to hear ideas and willing to listen carefully to them. Make sure your candidates know whether you’re hands-on or off when it comes to their workload. Ensure your recruits can relate to you and find you approachable. Finally, be certain you have clearly described the structure of the business. They need to know where they sit in the pecking order, who they report to, and what other roles they will work closely with.
There are a lot of considerations for a candidate. And it’s hard for you to show your business in the very best light all the time. Still, a general idea and feel for the place can be made by an interviewee in just a few minutes. Have you been welcoming and engaged? Is the building light, airy, energetic, and informal? Are the hours on offer comfortable and reasonable for the pay you’re offering?
The best way to attract the very best in your business is to put yourself in their shoes. What will be their first impression of you and your company? Do you like what you see?