HR & Staffing

5 Ways Small Businesses Can Attract Top Talent

Written by Felix Yim

If there is anything more difficult than attracting top talent for your business, it is attracting top talent to your small business. When the majority of graduates are shooting for large conglomerates, small businesses end up with the aftermath. 

We’ve compiled the 7 most successful strategies when it comes to attracting top talent to small businesses AND keeping them! 

Streamline Your Processes and Workload 

When surveying graduates on what influenced their decision to leave a company, the biggest response was the processes and workload. This can be broken down into components: 

●       Was there proper onboarding and training? 

●       Are the business processes organised and systematic? 

●       Is the workload unnecessarily high and stressful due to poor systems? 

If your small business does not have ERPs (enterprise resource planning) in place, your operational systems may be outdated and very unattractive to top talent. Enterprise resource planning tools are the antidote to chaos – essentially software that tracks and streamlines all your processes. 

Inventory Management Systems 

If you or another employee is manually counting stock every month, perhaps it is time to adopt an inventory management system. Think of inventory management systems as your automatic personal warehouse manager, at only a fraction of the price of a real one. 

They can automatically update stock with each sale and shipment arrival. Inventory management systems are extremely useful in helping track reorder points when your stock runs low for a specific product, and even send new purchase orders to your suppliers. 

Customer Relationship Management 

Have a large number of customers? Do you ever forget to follow up with customers and have a high drop-off rate? 

Customer relationship management systems allow you to streamline all the leads and contacts going through your sales funnel from the moment they enter your website (or physical store) to the moment they purchase (or drop off). 

These platforms are very powerful, they allow you to segment customers and tailor your remarketing efforts to nurture them into happy, paying customers. What’s better? You can automate the entire process rather than manually send emails. 

Learning Opportunities 

You learn to be very good at one specific skill in a large business. In a small business, you learn how businesses work. Talent in large firms can easily become a machine cog performing one monotonous role until they get promoted, fired, or leave.  

Working in a small business often means working in multiple roles. Employees will be exposed to much more, and learn a wider spectrum of skills. This allows them to connect the dots between everything and see the big picture of how a business actually operates. 

Workplace Culture 

If you think culture is unimportant, many employees cite their reason for leaving a business  primarily due to the company culture or the lack thereof. 

It is much easier for a small business to craft a positive and inclusive culture compared to a large company with many different departments. This allows you to sell the positive culture aspect of your business, which is one of the most important considerations of potential hires. 

Multiple things can influence the workplace culture; management styles, the personalities within the team, and even the company brand and mission statements. 

Hire Fast, Fire Fast  

Hire Slow and Fire Fast portrays a tried and tested approach to hiring without spending too much time, effort and money. It boils down to slowing down how often you hire, and firing the moment you’ve confirmed that they aren’t qualified and won’t be able to upskill into the role within a reasonable time. 

However, modern day hiring has changed and actually recommend Hire Fast Fire Fast over Hire Slow Fire Fast for small businesses. Here’s why: 

  1. The faster you hire, the larger your total net for capturing the top talent which you are looking for. 
  1. Whoever you hire now will likely have a senior position once the small business becomes a big business. It is important to not settle on the first person, instead hire fast but also fire fast. 
  1. You won’t run out of people looking for jobs. The list of potential employees is inexhaustible. 

Whilst it may be time consuming to hire fast, the key is to fire fast before expending unnecessary time and energy on training applicants who aren’t fit for the job. 

Office atmosphere matters 

Have a messy lobby or reception? Don’t have air conditioning on hot or cold days? Say goodbye to keeping top talent. Office atmosphere is an overlooked factor – it is very important when attracting new talent and retaining existing employees. 

Whilst you may not have a big budget, you may need to give your property a face-lift every couple of years.  

Even simple things such as investing in a better office layout, having an employee lunch area or upgrading the flooring from carpet to timber, can give the office interior a significant change in atmosphere. The movement towards more naturesque interiors in offices, showrooms and stores have become much more evident within the last decade. 

Here are some top methods of improving your office setting: 

●      Splash Some Colour – Colour can affect our mood: cool colours evoke calm, whereas warm colours encourage energy and happiness. Consider painting walls, furniture or adding other colourful additions. 

●      Sufficient Lighting – Have employees dozing off? Perhaps it is time to check your lighting, since our circadian rhythms are closely associated with the amount of light – especially natural light. 

●      Offer Amenities – Whether it’s tea, a coffee machine or cookie jar, your newest talent will want to stay if there is free food or drinks on the table. 

Final Thoughts 

The biggest question is, which of these hiring strategies will you implement?  

Hiring top talent is definitely not an easy task for small businesses. The key is to find the right way to portray your company – will you have great learning opportunities? Are there management roles available for career progression? Is it a rapid growth company? 

Good luck! 

“The opinions expressed by BizWitty Contributors are their own, not those of BizCover and should not be relied upon in place of appropriate professional advice. Please read our full disclaimer."

About the author

Felix Yim

Felix is a young aspiring design student. Having recently graduated from university with a finance degree, Felix actually found his calling in interior design and aspires to have a career in the industry. In his spare time, he likes to write for his supercar blog.