What does it take to attract good talents? This question assumes a higher level of difficulty if your business is a small business. One of the most common challenges of SMEs is attracting talented people in their companies.
Let’s admit: Good talents can’t be attracted with just a good compensation package. You throw the money and they will come in hoards is a myth. More so for a small business. Good talents look for perquisites beyond the money they earn. Professional company, good colleagues, brand name, challenging work etc are some of the most important areas they concern themselves with.
The main reason a small business finds it difficult is that, there is no dearth of better job opportunities for good people. Why would they join you if you are not able to project an image of a great employer?
In a recent survey conducted across 500+ talented people (with outstanding track records) by A&A Business Consulting, we found out that contrary to popular belief, great talents are actually keen to join small businesses. The top responses were:
- There is more freedom in a small company. In a corporate or MNC framework, the routine work gets so boring and uninspiring that it stops being attractive to them
- In small businesses, there are opportunities beyond one’s KRA/KPIs. One gets to do more than the brief and hence the work becomes more satisfying
- In a small business set up, there is a sense of belonging, which is missing in a sterile, too process-driven corporate work environment. Considering employees spend 10-12 hours in an office environment, a corporate job can drain the life out of employees.
- Last but not the least; small businesses are entrepreneurial by nature. The culture is that of working towards something big – business targets/innovative products/social impact or whatever it is. However, there is a sense of achievement, which, unfortunately, is missing in big corporate organizations.
Still, why do small businesses struggle to hire good talents if they are interested in joining your company?
Well, the second part of the survey conducted with the same sample of respondent gave the answer:
- Most small businesses are not professional. This is our biggest worry. They operate like a factory.
- There is no proper documentation in place. Neither do they follow compliances. Tomorrow if they are in trouble because of some compliance/regulatory issues, as employees we might get pulled into that. We don’t want that in our CVs
- Small businesses have a poor understanding of branding. If we are coming from a reputed corporate house to join them, we would want to create a professional impression that the reason for joining a small business is that they have capabilities but lack skills. But if that small business doesn’t even have a proper website, how would we tell people where we are working? Who are we working with? There is no social media footprint or professional office infrastructure or an even descent website.
- Lastly, small business owners sometimes have very narrow outlook towards business. Most of them are family run and the family values often come in the interest of new age employees. Nobody wants to be in a ‘lala’, ‘seth’ driven organization. Good products, great customer service, ethics and fairness in treatment should define an organization. Not the whims and fancies of an old, ‘lala-mindset’ driven owner.
In A&A’s experience of training and coaching more than 10,000 SMEs, we were not at all surprised with the responses of the survey. SMEs must get rid of the old ways to attract new age talented people.
A&A Marcom Consulting and HR consulting solutions help SMEs become professional organizations with the right HR practices implemented in business.
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