As a small business owner or manager, you’re likely juggling a wide range of tasks and responsibilities. Having the right employees in place can take a huge load off your shoulders and help you focus on the bigger picture. Attracting quality employees is the first step. After that, you need to retain them.
One of the criteria you should be seeking from a potential employee is autonomy: someone who can do their job without tight oversight. Better yet, look for employees who can do their job even better than you could do it.
Here are a few ways you can not only attract quality employees to your small business but also get them to stick around for a while, too.
1. Determine the type of employee you want to hire
If you want to attract top-quality hires, first determine what that means to you. What qualities does your ideal employee possess? What talents, skills and capabilities should they have? Flip the script as well; if you were applying for a job with your small business, what would you want to get out of working there? Take what you’ve learned and offer it to your prospects.
2. Create a thorough job description
The clearer you are about what you want from candidates in your description, the more likely you are to attract high-quality employees. For more information on how to create the ultimate job description, check out Halogen Software.
The following are general guidelines on the type of information you should include in your job postings:
- Detailed description of job responsibilities
- The skills and experience required to be successful at the job
- Personality attributes that will help potential employees fit in with the company culture
- Required amount of years of experience
- Description of the company culture
- Company overview, with the most attractive qualities highlighted
3. Emphasize your company’s benefits and perks
Don’t be shy about broadcasting the benefits of working for your small business. If you want the best employees to apply for your open positions, you have to let them know it will be worth their while to do so. If you offer flexible hours or the option to telecommute, include that in your post. If you offer perks that are unique to your small business, like catered lunches on Fridays or the ability to bring pets to the office, be sure to share that information, too.
In terms of salary, you don’t have to include that in any job post, but you should be aware of what the going rate is for the position you are looking to fill. There’s a good chance that your candidates will be researching this information. You’ll also be more likely to attract quality employees if you offer salaries based on thoughtful market research as opposed to your business’s budget. To get a better idea of what appropriate salaries should be, check out Payscale.
1. Create a positive working environment
The best way to retain employees is to give them a place they look forward to coming to every day. Several factors play into what makes for a positive work environment; one of them is how management treats its employees.
Whether you’re the only one in charge or there are supervisors or managers between you and your staff, everyone in a position of authority needs to have the proper tools and training on how to interact with employees. Often, when an employee leaves a company, it’s because they didn’t have a positive relationship with their managers.
A few things a supervisor or manager can do to increase the chances of building and retaining a solid relationship with employees are:
- Be clear about expectations and earning potential
- Provide a framework that can lead to job success
- Set up periodic face-to-face meetings to make sure everyone’s on the same page
- Offer feedback about employee job performance
2. Recognize a job well done
Employees understand they are there to do a job and in return will be paid for it. However, offering more than just compensation can help you retain your employees for longer. When someone goes above and beyond, reward them with a handwritten thank-you note, or start an Employee of the Week award, where the recipient gets a gift card or free lunch. People like to work where they feel appreciated.
3. Give employees a chance to shine
If you are a small business, it can be difficult for employees to “move up” within the organization, but that doesn’t mean they can’t do more. Another reason that employees leave their company is because they are bored or feel unchallenged. Keep your team from feeling this way by inviting them to do things that are outside of their day-to-day job functions.
For example, if you are putting together a new marketing plan, invite employees to offer up their ideas. Or, if you were thinking of outsourcing something like web design work, see if someone in-house has that skill set and would like to take it on instead. You never know what talents your employees have that they don’t get to show off in the office.
When it comes to hiring, remember to let people know what your small business can do for them — don’t just ask what they can do for you. Once you have a team in place, your work is just beginning. Retaining top-quality employees is the second half of the battle. By creating a positive work environment, recognizing a job well done, and giving employees a chance to shine, you’ll be well on your way toward achieving your goals.