How your small business can attract top talent

Often small business owners worry unnecessarily when it’s time to hire employees. They fear because they can’t offer the same high salaries and impressive benefits of a large company, they won’t be able to attract skilled workers.

Fortunately, for many young workers these days, the ideal job doesn’t necessarily come with a big salary. Often it’s the opportunities and experiences a smaller company can offer that will pique their interest and win their loyalty.

If you’re looking to hire, be sure you feature these perks to spark interest in your small company.

1. Flexible work hours

Work-life integration is a concept embraced by many younger workers for whom round the clock connectivity is the norm, and who desire a more flexible work schedule.

For some, the need to care for their families make flexibility a priority over salary when job seeking; for others, the ability to telework – saving time and the cost of a daily commute – can easily outweigh the draw of a larger paycheck.

Offering potential employees the freedom to work from home can also be a plus for you. Hiring remote workers will eliminate the need to reconfigure your work space to accommodate new staff or rent a larger office space.

2. Vacation time

Paid time off is a huge plus for many workers and a great incentive to stay with your company long-term – especially if you offer earned extra vacation days over time.

Providing more than the standard number of vacation days is a win-win for both you and your staff. It’s been shown that employees who take regular vacation days are less prone to illness and absenteeism, and enjoy improved mental health and greater productivity.

3. Shared values

Performing meaningful work that provides a strong sense of purpose holds great appeal for millennial workers. In fact, according to a recent Fast Company article, more than 50% claimed they would take a pay cut to join an organization that shared their values.

Consider instituting paid volunteer days and other opportunities to give back. As a side-benefit, activities that support community causes increase employee engagement, which can improve team building and productivity.

4. Professional development

Offering personal and professional growth opportunities is another simple way small businesses can attract employees.

Let potential hires know you’re committed to providing co-leadership, mentorship and training opportunities – and when it’s time to hire management positions, you’ll be looking to your staff for advancement.

Letting employees take on greater responsibility shows you value their contributions and want to invest in their future – something that can be missing in larger companies who hire externally when recruiting senior positions.

Final tips

Nurturing a positive work culture can be a real competitive advantage when hiring new staff and can help with retaining employees long-term.

Think about how you might make your workplace more inclusive, social and fun. Consider organizing a monthly social event, Friday potluck or pizza lunch. And be sure to ask your employees for ideas on what a more appealing work culture would look like.

Last but not least, encourage open communication and recognize your employees for their hard work – key ways to maintain a friendly workplace, keep your staff motivated and minimize turnover.