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10 Tips for Attracting Employees

Part 1: Successful Employee Recruitment for Small Businesses

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Attracting employees - employee incentives.

Attracting employees is all about incentives.

Image (c) Pando Hall / Getty Images

Ah, the glory days when all you had to do to attract employees was to stick a little sign in your window that said “Hiring” and pick a new employee out of the hundreds that applied. Now small business jobs are going begging as demographics and a strong economy combine to create a shortage of qualified labour.

But that doesn't mean that you should just give up on hiring any new staff because as a small business, you don’t have a chance of attracting employees. All things being equal, there are many people who would prefer to work for a small business. These tips for attracting employees will up the odds of attracting the people you need.

1. Find out what the going rate is for the position and at least match it.

One common mistake small businesses make when creating a position is to base the salary on their budget rather than on the market realities – in effect making sure that their employee recruitment efforts are going to be unsuccessful. If a retail sales person in a starting position in your area normally makes $10 an hour, why would someone want to accept that position in your company for $9 an hour?

2. Offer an employee benefit program.

In times when employees get to pick and choose, an employee benefit program moves from their wish list to their necessities list. For successful employee recruitment, your company needs to offer employees at least life, medical and dental coverage. If your small business does not have an employee benefits program, talk to your insurance company about setting one up. One of the advantages of belonging to business organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce, is that they offer more inexpensive insurance, including employee benefit programs, so check with the organizations you belong to first.

3. Make lifestyle part of your employee recruitment offer.

Many employees are just as concerned about quality of life as they are about the amount of money a position offers. If you’re fortunate enough to be located in an area with great skiing, beaches, extensive hiking/biking trails, excellent golf courses or other attractive features be sure to play them up when you’re trying to attract employees.

4. Emphasize the benefits your small business offers.

Make your company more attractive to potential employees by offering things such as flexible hours and work at home options. Among the more unusual benefits some small businesses offer are being able to bring a pet to work and allowing employees to power-nap during the day.

5. Be creative with perks.

As a small business, you may not be able to offer the perks large corporate companies are able to offer their employees – but you may be able to offer a reasonable facsimile. For instance, many large companies offer on-site health facilities such as a fully equipped gym. Chances are good that as a small business, you’re not going to be able to add one of these to your premises, but you could offer employees coupons to use local gym or spa facilities.

Continue on to the next page to read five more tips for attracting employees.

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