I'm missing out on the top graduates in my industry because they are getting hired by my larger competitors. How can I attract better talent when I can't afford benefits such as a retirement plan?
Higher salaries and more extensive benefits are tough to beat, but small companies can compete with larger corporations on some intangibles that may be particularly attractive to younger workers.
For instance, a dynamic, growing firm is an appealing choice for graduates interested in being on the cutting edge of a particular industry. In a small firm, they'll be working directly with you and your top management team and they'll be privy to strategy, sales, new product development, and brainstorming. Most likely at a larger firm, they'll only hear about such decision-making from afar, and after the fact (see BusinessWeek.com, 8/14/06, "Small-Business Secrets to Hiring").
There is tremendous upside potential in a small firm as well, both in terms of ambitious young individuals who want to move up the ladder quickly—as opposed to crawling up laboriously over many years in a corporate setting—and in terms of sharing in the financial proceeds of later success. Although you may not be able to offer the larger salaries and more generous benefit packages of your competitors, look into profit-sharing, stock options, and performance bonuses for your employees for down the road. While you may not be able to promise such goodies immediately, you can let potential hires know that they are distinct possibilities eventually for employees who come on board now, while the company is still small.
Labels: Recruiting Methods
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