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Can a small business really attract big talent?

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The one thing any successful business needs in order to stay top of it’s game? The right talent. No matter what industry you operate in, from b2b services to an ecommerce operation, your company is only as strong as the people it employs. Your growth, reputation and productivity depend on hiring people who are the right fit for your organisation and who have real skills to contribute which will advance your operations. The question is – how do you attract the top talent as an up-and-coming business? Can you really compete with the big corporates? And once you have them through the door, how do you retain them? The truth is that great people with relevant candidate experience  know they’re in demand – but that doesn’t mean you can attract them. Agile, growing businesses have a lot to offer outside of salary bandings which can’t be matched by larger companies. If you can position yourself correctly, attracting the right people is entirely possible – and it can have a transformative impact on your business fortunes.

Show your convictions

Too many recruitment processes are shrouded in mystery from all sides, but finding the right person for the job requires you to be clear about the convictions your company has – the vision and values which make your business what it is, and the change you’re aiming to make in the world. Sure, this clarity can seem daunting when you want to appeal to everyone – but it will weed out those candidates who never would have fully aligned – and the remaining ones are likely to be attracted to your company because they hold the same values. This ‘fit’ is the secret to retaining top talent on a longer basis. Your recruits need to feel that what they – and the business – are doing, matters. Everyone is drawn to authenticity, and by acting in alignment with your business values, this is exactly what you will demonstrate. Treat people well from the word go – getting back to them when you say you will, providing updates even if there’s an unexpected delay to the hiring process – and you will build a reputation for integrity which goes further than you might think when it comes to recruiting quality new staff.

Show flexibility

The age of traditional office structure and 9 to 5 hours is disappearing before our eyes. What the top candidates in the market usually value now are having a work-life balance and working for companies who embrace flexible working. The culture of presenteeism is on a decline. It’s now all about project outcomes, tools to enable remote working, and supporting your employees as individuals. Small things such as allowing staff to set their own working hours where possible, giving them time to pursue personal passion projects or charitable causes, and championing their individuality will go further than you think in creating employee loyalty and attracting great new recruits.

Use your staff as ambassadors

If you’re employing the right people, you should be proud of them and their contribution to your organisation. What better advert for what you stand for and what you do than the people who already make your business what it is? Use your employees as the star turn in your recruitment drive by selecting some employee ambassadors – they can make videos describing their work and what drew them to the business, speak at recruitment events, or reach out to potential new hires on platforms like LinkedIn. Making them the focal point in your content will speak volumes to new applicants and show that people really are at the heart of what you do.

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