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15

DEC

2015

Size doesn't matter!

Dave Rees

They say size doesn’t matter - but what about a small business competing for the very best talent against big brand multinationals?

Before we get into the ‘how’, ponder the following questions:

  • How much ‘extra’ do your very best people add to your organisation? What if you had more like them?
  • What impact would attracting and hiring more of these people have on your organisation’s financial performance, culture, brand, and reputation?
  • If your three lowest performers were replaced by three great people, how would this affect your business’s performance?

Whatever the size of your business, the quality of the people you employ will determine your company’s level of success. However, there’s no doubt that large corporate companies have easier access to the highest calibre candidates. As a smaller business with a lower budget and fewer resources, what can you do to compete for the same high performing candidates and make sure those top people choose to work for your business – even when large multinationals are after them as well?

Think about it from the perspective of the future ‘best employee’ who is looking at new opportunities. What are they looking for as they evaluate their options? Of course, they want to know about the nature of the business and the job, the culture of the organisation and the story behind the company; where it stands in its market. But, more than that, top talent looks for a current or future success story. They want to be part of a journey towards a goal that unifies the company in a single objective. In other words it’s about communicating your company’s long term goal and vision for the future. Presenting the story of your company and where it’s heading provides a reason to join you on the journey. Share your vision, your innovations and how they can contribute to this future success.

In our experience, the best candidates also look for companies that stand out among their peers. This extends beyond having a distinct competitive advantage. It also encompasses the way business is conducted: the values that are lived by, and the standards that are adhered to. Get stories from your customers or clients about your projects, products or services or let your employees tell the stories – bring your business alive with real clarity in the message and get connected with your future best employees.

There is no escaping the fact that some investment involved here, but getting the best talent needs real investment - so ponder the questions above again to see if it is worth it. Over time, establishing a strong employment brand proactively attracts top talent, so remind yourself that having attraction through your employment brand hands down beats traditional recruitment, which can be costly and clumsy - wouldn’t it be great if top talent approached you - and right from the start have people who want to join a workplace that people enjoy working in - which just compounds the attraction of your employment brand.

Naturally getting great talent needs more than just a great employment brand, but it is the start of the process. Of equal importance is how you communicate with great talent through the interview and selection process and how you bring the people on board. Also don’t forget that once you have invested all this time and resource of getting the top talent you need to work on retaining them - give people reasons to stay committed. Today’s top talent want interesting work, they want to feel valued and respected and know that they’ve made a difference. When did you last tell one of your people that you are really glad they are part of your team?

Top talent does not want to work for impersonal big corporations - which is why leading multinationals employ so many resources to make them appear otherwise. Top talent is looking to work with and for people who they can identify with, which is why it’s critical to develop an employment brand that shows the very best of your business that promotes yourselves in a manner that is exciting and interesting to employees. Being part of a passionate and sharp team looks far more attractive to top talent than having a stocked fridge in the office. None of this depends on your size - so it’s true, size doesn’t matter.

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