Big companies obviously have an edge when it comes to attracting top talent. These are businesses with employer brands that most people can only dream of being a part of. They weave compelling stories of opportunity and success to engage and seduce the marketplace. To the rest of us – employers and recruiters – it can often be intimidating. Can we really compete with the big boys and prove that we’re viable alternatives?
In a word, yes.
Big businesses don’t own top talent. Play to your strengths and you may find that you have something fresh and exciting to offer. Educate your recruitment agency about your employer brand. The first impression most candidates will get of your business is through your recruiter, so it’s essential that they sell you in the right manner. Step one of any recruitment process is finding a recruitment agency that cares about your business. That doesn’t mean breaking the bank either. There are plenty of modern recruitment agencies that can find top talent for a one-off, low-cost flat fee. And by paying a fixed rate, it’s easy to keep track of your costs per hire.
Now, here are some top tips on how to build on your strengths and attract top talent.
Develop a seductive brand story that demonstrates your company’s potential.
Skilled and ambitious candidates are always looking to be inspired and join a company that has a promising vision. At bigger companies, good workers can often get lost in sea of talent. Joining smaller companies is a chance for them to take the lead and shine even brighter. To develop an effective brand story, you must sell your business as the next big thing in its field; a company with unlimited potential. Here are some things to remember when building your brand story: clear objectives; ambitious growth and revenue plan; new or improved products and services; a floatation or takeover strategy. Sell the vision and let your employees make it a reality.
Kibosh the idea that small companies are risky to join.
We’re always hearing stupidly negative statistics like 99.9% of all businesses fail on their first day. People seem to forget how many companies thrived during supposedly adverse times, such as the dot-com crash and the recession. Business failures are nothing to do with the size of a company; a good product or service doesn’t just fail. All businesses come with a risk; make sure you sell yourself as a safe bet.
Engage candidates on a flexible basis.
Why insist on a 9-5 regime if it’s not necessary? Most skilled workers crave autonomy. By allowing employees the freedom to work on a flexible basis, you make yourself more enticing to the marketplace and allow yourself access to more top talent. If this means some employees are contracted, so be it. Although contractors can be expensive, their pay is almost always performance-based, making them more self-motivated.
Reiterate the advantages of working for a smaller business.
Some of the biggest benefits of working for a smaller business are more autonomy, more exposure, more varied work, and more flexibility. This can be very satisfying for ambitious workers, who will enjoy working more closely with other teams, or even the product itself, especially if they can track the results of their labour.