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How To Attract Staff To Your Small Business

Small businesses can have a hard time finding good employees. After all, the best graduates and jobseekers typically gravitate towards the biggest companies due to the prestige and higher salaries. As such, it can feel like there’s not much room left for the smaller companies to thrive. However, we need these small businesses to stay afloat – after all, they provide valuable jobs and an economic boost. But how can such businesses drive up their recruitment?

Connect With Universities

One way to attract potential candidates is to build up good relations with universities. This will enable representatives from SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) to visit undergraduates and give career talks.

Students who are still at university will be keen to have a job offer in place before they graduate, so it’s good to scout some potential candidates early.

Start Recruiting Early

Actually, early recruitment in general would be a benefit to SMEs because they need that edge over the bigger companies. This can include recruiting placement students – which is also cost-effective – and having an early “open day” where people can come and see the inner workings of the company.

Additionally, be sure to advertise that you encourage diversity and that employees from all fields are welcome, as this will help to boost applications.

Develop Your Unique Selling Points

In order to be appealing and attractive to jobseekers, smaller businesses will need to show why they are better to work for than the bigger companies. Find a selling point and pitch it to all potential candidates. You can show them how friendly and tight-knit you are as a team, or the emphasis you place on balance with work and personal life. Even little things like having a friendly receptionist can affect the candidate’s opinion about your business.

Offer Incentives

Although salaries are a big factor in deciding where to work, smaller businesses can elevate their appeal amongst candidates by using incentives. These can range from regular social gatherings and opportunities to longer paid vacation time or even gym memberships.

Conduct market research at universities and find out what is important to the people you want to recruit. This way you can offer them lots of different things that bigger companies might perhaps overlook.

Ensure Your Employees Are Satisfied

Keeping your employees satisfaction high is the best angle for smaller businesses. For start-ups it’s even more important to have a good workforce. The people who are interested in start-ups and smaller businesses are usually people who want to actually make a difference and contribute. You can use this to your advantage by having fast promotions, new skills learnt by employees, and options for personal development.

Make Employees Feel Useful

Another thing to keep in mind is handing out positions of responsibility. People who work for bigger companies tend to feel like cogs in the machine for a long time, but if you give your employees a level of independence from the start, they will feel important and valued.

This is also great for all SMEs because higher-ups will be able to see different employees’ strengths early on and can provide relevant training.

All in all, to compete against the giant businesses the emphasis should be on the individual candidates and their needs. Check out this handy guide on how to deal with employees in a small business for more inspiration.


Tooba Kazmi likes writing ‘how to’ guides. She writes for GKBC about a variety of different things.