Talent matters – here’s how to recruit it (and keep it)

It’s no secret that the lifeblood of a small business is its employee base. If you ask any small business owner what his or her largest pain point is, it’s likely talent recruitment or retention.

There is a massive cost associated with turning over talent. The process literally costs thousands of dollars, and that does not include the lost revenue from decreased productivity during the new employee integration process. So, when a small business needs to hire an employee, it’s paramount that they pick a good candidate and work to keep them around.

Vaco is a recruiting services firm that helps match job candidates to positions. Because they continually navigate the hiring process, they’ve pinpointed what employees are looking for when comparing positions.

Our owner, Courtney Ellett, has learned the value of employee retention through personal experience at Obsidian.

“When you’re a small business, a robust and talented team is perhaps even more important than a large one,” Ellett said. “No one can hide inefficiencies or skill set gaps in a small environment, so everyone needs to be strong and pull weight.”

If you want to remain competitive, small business owners need to create and update an employee policy guide that can be shared with potential employees. Luckily, many of the policies you’d use to recruit talent will help you keep talent.

Obsidian and Vaco provided employee recruitment and retention tips that mirror each other. Here is what both companies recommend to help small businesses recruit and retain employees:

Brag about yourself! – Your team likely wears wear multiple hats and works on projects they couldn’t at a large company. These opportunities are incredibly important for someone who’s looking to gain experience and add to their resume.

Make a big deal about upward mobility – Why do people leave jobs? One of the main reasons is that they feel stuck or stagnant. Create an internship program and hire on full-time from there. By doing so, you’re creating a talent pipeline filled with people who know and are invested in your business. Plus, proof that there is room to move up and grow in your company is a big selling point when recruiting new employees.  

Does your team like each other? Show it! – “The best people understand how vital a healthy and fun environment is,” Ellett said. “They want to be a part of something exciting and meaningful.”

It’s simple – people want to work in an environment that is open and inviting. Your team is a massive part of our culture, so involve them in the hiring process. If you do charity work or support certain causes, let candidates know! Corporate social responsibility is a massive selling point.

Highlight flexibility and perks – If you can allow employees to work from home on occasion or work flexible hours based on their scheduling needs, that goes a long way. The incoming professional workforce values experiences, and to remain competitive, Obsidian has offered firm-paid Caribbean vacations as business incentives. If that’s not in your budget, don’t fret! Smaller, more manageable perks, like a generous PTO package, gym memberships or snacks in the office fridge, can make you more appealing.

 Make yourself available – If you’re a small business leader, make time for mentorship! It’s challenging to learn in an environment without someone to go to for advice and guidance. Ultimately, people want to work for (and do better work for) leaders they respect.