The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Attract Top Talent

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It breaks my heart when I hear small business owners are frustrated because they think the best employees always work for the big companies. That’s simply not true. Yes, it might be more difficult for small business owners to attract top talent if you focus on comparing your compensation and benefits to that of the larger companies. But you can compete for top talent too, and here’s how.

There are other benefits to working in a small to mid-sized business. Some of the best employees out there know it and they want to work for you. Here are a few tips to focus on when hiring in your company so you can attract top talent.

4 Tips to Attract Top Talent

Look at Your Current Talent First

It costs a lot more money and time to hire a new employee than it does to promote from within. Employees want to progress in their careers and if they feel they can’t do it within you company, they will find somewhere else to grow. Especially as a small business owner, consider the loyalty your current employees already have for you and your business and nurture it by providing opportunities for advancement.

Also look within your company for recruiting opportunities. Your employees know you best and if they love their jobs, they will be happy to recommend you to other talented people.

Know Your Purpose and Talk About It

What gets you excited to wake up and go to work every day? Why did you start this business in the first place? Make sure you know what your business’ purpose is and find people who are passionate for that same cause.

Related Article: 25 Employee Retention Ideas

Have your mission, values, and goals align with your purpose and make sure this is clearly communicated and easy to find for prospective employees. Talk about it in your interviews. A lot of top talent interested in working for a small business are looking for meaningful work. They want to make a difference and when they find the right company that allows them to do so, they will be excited and happy to come to work every day.

Be Open Minded

You should have some set criteria outlining what you’re looking for, but don’t disregard every candidate that can’t check all your boxes. Some of the most talented people have no formal education or might even work in a different industry. Skill can be taught but you cannot teach someone to be motivated and feel passionate about your mission. That needs to come naturally to your employees.

In order to get the top talent working in your small business, sometimes, you might have to get a little creative and at least give an unlikely candidate a chance. But, the right candidate (even if they don’t have the formal skills or education) should always have an obvious flair for what you’re looking to get from the position.

Be Proud of What You Do Have to Offer

Don’t beat yourself up thinking all the best talent go to work for big companies. That’s simply not true. A lot of incredibly talented people actually prefer to work for developing and dynamic small to mid-size businesses.

You might not be able to offer the same salary or benefits as some but you can offer an excellent culture and work/life balance, great people to work with, and meaningful work with a purpose. Not to mention the opportunity to get in early on a growing business. Be proud of these things and don’t settle for employees who won’t appreciate what you have.

Knowing your purpose and what things you actually do have to offer employees is a great place to start. Potential candidates will see that and want to jump on board. You might need to keep an open mind to unlikely candidates but you also might find the best talent are already working within your company. Any small business owner can attract and keep top talent, you just have to take a few strategic steps in the right direction.
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