I hear so often how difficult it is to find talent for the small landscape company. I often tell my clients, it’s not that hard if you have your magnet out to attract. I received a question from a potential client last week….His question was….
How do I turn my recruiting challenges into recruiting opportunities?
While many small companies typically lack the resources to provide the perks and benefits of a larger rival, there are plenty of incentives you can offer as a small employer to attract talented employees. While smaller firms come out of the gate with a disadvantage, there are really plenty of benefits of working for a small-to mid-size company that many large companies cannot offer.The key:
“Creating an exciting opportunity for a potential hire does not need to be just about money, you need to put emphasis on company culture, personal, professional and financial growth”
One of the biggest complaints I hear from small business owners are problems finding talented employees. I often advise my clients to place emphasis on those things that you can offer which will help you tip the scale of interest in your favor.
Here are 8 common small-company benefits worth promoting to potential candidates:
1. Story Telling- Share the history of the company, share with the candidate how you started your business, where your business is today, and where you see it in the future- Sharing the ‘Vision’ is what will hopefully capture their attention. Share how they can be a ‘key-contributor’ in the process of growing the company. It does not matter what level you are recruiting for, everyone is a contributor in a company.
2. Transparency- Access to management- One of the nicest things about working for a smaller company is usually the accessibility to management. Smaller companies do not have layers of management structure which are common in larger firms. Your ability to interact, contribute and learn from leadership will be more likely. Smaller companies are often more willing to operate with transparency, thus being more receptive to share things with its employees.
3. Personal & Professional growth- Your ability to grow in a smaller company happens in many ways. I like to share with perspective candidates how they can not only grow personally, but professionally.
“Personal growth is an ongoing process of self-discovery and crucial to achieving success in every area of your life”
Jim Rohn, known as America’s foremost business philosopher, said it best: “You must constantly ask yourself these questions: Who am I around? What are they doing to me? What have they got me reading? What have they got me saying? Where do they have me going? What do they have me thinking? And most important, what do they have me becoming? Then ask yourself the big question: Is that okay? Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”
Professional growth is allowing employees the ability to grow. The days of the factory-worker mind-set are over. Employees want a succession plan for the next opportunity and will often want to be shown an example of your company’s employee growth process. Small companies can typically offer an accelerated or ‘fast-track’ growth plan vs. larger employers.
4. Job responsibilities- The ability to ‘pitch-in’ and help is a great way for an employee to showcase his/her wiliness to help. The ability to do this is less rigid at smaller companies, which mean employees can jump in and help with tasks that don’t necessarily fall under their job description. This can translate into exposure to a variety of new and interesting projects. Also, when workers are on a smaller team, they have more opportunities to learn about and assume more challenging tasks earlier in their careers. This can be appealing to ambitious candidates eager to put their knowledge to the test and advance professionally.
5.Playing a role in the company’s success- Because there are fewer levels of approval at small firms, good suggestions can be implemented more quickly. For that reason, employees at small companies generally have an easier time seeing the effects of their work. As their proposals come to fruition, they can watch their ideas change and improve the way the organization handles its daily business. Few things provide more motivation or satisfaction at work than contributing to the success of the company as a whole.
6. Less bureaucracy, a little bit of drama- In general, while the small company has less bureaucracy than its larger counter parts, there will be fewer hoops to jump through, which means things can get done at a quicker pace. Just keep in mind sometimes in the smaller company there is a bit more ‘drama’ relating to the different personalities in the organization so you must always be cognizant to remain neutral and clear of conflict.
7. Recognition for your hard work- Office politics in small and midsize companies are often less of a concern simply because there aren’t as many employees. If someone makes a notable contribution, they’re more likely to get credit because there’s a good chance that coworkers witnessed the success (or at least the work that led up to it) with their own eyes, making it more difficult for someone else to take responsibility for an achievement that wasn’t really their own.
8. Company Culture- Employees at smaller companies have more opportunities to get to know everyone in the organization on a bit more of a personal level. While you might have an immediate supervisor, engagement is often not limited to working with your ‘boss’, you are often engaged with other departments and management personnel. An example might be an operations manager may sit in close proximity to sales, marketing or other staff. Asking for help or advice from a colleague in another department can be as simple as turning to the person in the next cubicle. When there’s a company gathering, people know one another. All of these factors can make employees feel like they’re part of a family that’s striving toward the same goal, which in turn can provide a great deal of job satisfaction.
I view recruiting as an opportunity to really showcase a company. You need to make sure you put emphasize on each one of the 8 benefits. When creating your job offerings, craft your ads so they clearly communicate the advantages of joining your company. Key words, are the best way to attract best candidates, you will surely see motivated individuals applying. When you interview potential job applicants, I often suggest meeting off-site initially, based on the outcome of the first interview, if you would like to proceed with the candidate then schedule a time for the candidate to come to your office to meet with your employees, and let your people help sell your company. Current TEAM members will be the best voice for the company and to talk about the everyday benefits of work life at a small organization.
In closing; always remember, let the opportunity sell itself; don’t work too hard to convince a potential candidate to join your team. The benefits of working for your company will be many, but candidates need to see that for themselves through their own eyes.
Looking for a good book on the subject, suggested reading;
- The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It Paperback – by Michael E. Gerber