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How to attract top talent to your small business

Small business operators can feel outgunned in a market vying for top talent. While big businesses offer name recognition, industry leading salaries and perks, small businesses struggle to compete with limited resources. Where deep pockets and recognition are hard to overcome, there are certain advantages that small businesses have in a quest to recruit top talent.

1. Decision Making. The smaller the company, the more likely that members of your team will handle certain decisions. While a senior manager may have some authority in a large business, the corporate bureaucracy can temper that freedom. For small businesses, the only person your team may need to run key decisions by is you, the owner.

2. Autonomy. Large businesses thrive on structure but may give their top talent little room to work outside of certain key parameters. Not so with small businesses, many that must grant a measure of autonomy to key employees.

3. Kinship. Small companies are often big on employee loyalty – so much so that you are more likely to be treated as family. The familial aspect of a job is important to some workers and can be used as delicious bait to attract top talent. Pay may be important, but coming to work each day where you are treated as a member of the family is an invaluable experience for some people.

4. Opportunities. The corporate ladder can be appealing, but it can also limit key candidates vying for a restricted number of positions. Those that lose out may be consigned to finishing their careers in relative obscurity. As a small business operator, you can provide the position and recognition a larger business may not have offered. You won’t be able to match pay and perks, but you can deliver opportunities not found elsewhere.

5. Flexibility. The same job title at Big Corporations can be offered by Small Businesses, but beyond the title, the responsibilities may be far different. With the corporation, an employee may handle a few important tasks throughout the day. At the small business, those tasks may be supplemented by other responsibilities including special assignments and the chance to undertake new projects as they arise. Diverse job requirements can trump salary and perks for certain top talent.

The Advantage

Instead of focusing on what your small business lacks, you can emphasise its benefits to your job candidates. You won’t be able to attract every ideal candidate, but you will be able to bring in certain leading performers that prize your company’s culture and want to contribute to it.

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