It seems like most of the conversations about recruiting top “A level” talent are written by and for large businesses with seemingly unlimited recruitment budgets. How can a small- to mid-sized business owner compete?
Doing it better and smarter is the quick answer, and let’s examine what that means, particularly if you’re on a budget.
Tips to Attract Top Talent
Here are a few tips that should help you spread the net “wide and wise,” in addition to more traditional recruitment methods:
- Be a great place to work. Survey your staff to see what they think about the company, its culture, management style, advancement opportunities and, in general, how satisfied they are. Pay attention to what they say, thank them for their feedback and start making some changes! When you’re ready, apply for local “Best Places to Work” listings and Small Business of the Year (SBOY) competitions. Promote these types of recognition internally and in recruitment. Add their logos to your email signature and have your employees do the same. Feature the information on your website. Additional benefits of the SBOY competitions are that you’ll learn even more about what your current employees think as well as what other winning businesses do.
- Enlist the help of your current “A” players and managers. Smart, effective people like to hang out with similar people. Ask them if they know people who would enjoy working with your company, even if they’ve never worked in your industry.
- Stay open minded. The most talented people aren’t always those who have spent years in your industry. Keep your mind open to the person, not just the resume.
- Ask business owners with great employees how they do it. You know other business owners whom you admire. Take them out to lunch to ask how they identify top talent.
- Fish where the fish are. Join and take leadership positions in industry and local business organizations where you’ll come into contact with talented people. Encourage your managers to do the same. Start a database with names and background on these prospects so you’re ready when it’s time to recruit. This is what the staffing professionals do – and so can you.
- Promote your company through local media. Nope, not advertising. Get news stories placed about new hires, new products, new clients – anything that will call attention to your company as an industry and business leader.
- Invite your best prospects to attend employee events. This exposure gives your prospects a great idea of what it’s like to be part of your extended family.
These are just a few ideas – certainly not an exhaustive listing. Do you have other ideas? Let us know in the comments below!