One of the most important things you can do as a small business owner is to hire and retain good employees. Attracting new talent can be difficult, and dealing with employee turnover at a small business can be even more challenging.
Every employee your business hires is an investment. When your employees are happy and motivated to work, they’re more likely to stick around and help your business maximize that investment.
To attract the attention of qualified candidates and increase employee retention, small business owners need to stand out by expanding their online presence, trusting their employees, encouraging a healthy work-life balance, and offering opportunities for growth and flexibility.
5 Ways to Attract New Employees and Increase Retention
Below we’ve outlined five simple strategies to help small business owners attract and retain employees.
1. Expand Online Presence
The first place many potential candidates look when researching a company is its website and social media accounts. If your business has poor or non-existent representation online, your company is probably losing some potential employees before they even interview.
While expanding your business’s visibility online takes consistent effort, it’s a successful way to attract potential new employees.
The first step in expanding your online presence is to improve your website.
- Your homepage should be visually appealing and scannable for important information.
- The careers page is essential in attracting new employees. It should display a good company culture, employee benefits, and perks and clearly explain job descriptions and requirements.
- The about page is another critical page to update. This page should be up-to-date with awards, press, team members, and the company mission/purpose.
- Focusing on SEO efforts can also help with searchability.
- Researching relevant keywords and strategically placing them throughout your site can help increase the visibility of your website.
Social media sites put your reputation, culture, and image on public display, making it essential for your business to keep accounts up-to-date for accurate representation.
- Social channels are a great place to showcase workplace culture and stand out from other companies in the industry.
- Posting regularly, preferably every week, is best when creating a consistent brand presence online.
Here are some great ways to get in front of prospective new hires and draw them in.
- Post targeted job ads
- Share industry updates
- Feature customer reviews
- Share business awards and accomplishments
- Showcase employee testimonials or spotlights
- Post about volunteer or community work that your employees take part in
2. Offer Career Growth and Recognize Achievements
Effectively fostering loyalty and growth can be accomplished by empowering your business’ employees. If your company is a space where employees feel free to learn and grow with the business, they’re more likely to make a long-term commitment.
Holding in-house training and development courses, creating a mentorship program for seasoned employees to share their knowledge, or even having an open conversation about your employee’s future at the company and seeing how you can work together to help them grow are all great ways to facilitate growth and development in-house.
Additional training benefit to offer includes things such as education stipends and the option to attend professional conferences and events.
It should be noted that recognizing and appreciating employees can be done on a budget.
Sending out company-wide emails recognizing a job well done, appointing hard-working employees to lead a new project, treating them to coffee, or sending a small anniversary gift can all go a long way. If the praise is genuine, your business’ employees can feel it, no matter how extravagant.
Opportunities such as these can all be used to enhance your company culture and make your business seem more attractive to new employees. If potential recruits see your business as a nurturing and growth-minded environment, it may entice them to work for your business over another that doesn’t highlight career growth.
Ultimately, making your employees feel appreciated for their work can help increase employee retention, lower turnover costs, boost company morale, and create a positive working environment that helps your company grow and thrive.
3. Trust Your Employees
Trusting your employees to do their jobs well is crucial to generating a positive environment in which they want to work.
Competent and talented employees should feel free to work without a manager keeping tabs on everything they’re working on.
It can be hard to let go as a small business owner, so hiring employees you believe in is essential. When you trust your employees to do their jobs, you can take a step back, delegate tasks, and focus on more vital aspects of running your business.
This doesn’t mean you should neglect your employees. Setting expectations and creating a clear line of communication can help set your employees up for success.
Conducting check-ins for feedback, addressing any questions, and aligning on career goals can help improve growth and development.
Hiring experienced leaders that try to foster a positive work environment and providing tools and training when needed are also great ways to show your business’ employees that you value their contributions to the company and their happiness.
4. Grant More Work-Life Balance
Encouraging employees to maximize their time when they leave the office can go a long way in keeping them happy and satisfied. Promoting a work-life balance shows your business respects that employees have a life outside of work.
Paid sick leave days are becoming more common, especially since the pandemic. Instead of making employees take a personal day, offer allotted sick days. This can be a great way to show employees that their well-being is a top priority for your company.
Offering generous maternity and paternity leave is another excellent way to show that your company supports work-life balance.
Being more generous with flexible work hours to help accommodate employees who need to adjust their schedules to care for children or visit the doctor can go a long way in making them feel appreciated.
This concept can be harder to achieve for service-based businesses; however, allowing employees to request the days and hours they want to work rather than just assigning specific shifts is a great way to incorporate this model into your business.
Many companies turned to remote work during the pandemic and have continued with this flexibility since then. While some jobs require workers to return to the office full-time, offering a hybrid or fully remote schedule can be a huge selling point for new employees.
5. Build a Great Company Culture
A positive company culture that has a clear mission and defined values can be a huge determining factor in how employees feel about their jobs.
On the other hand, poor company culture can leave employees feeling frustrated, disconnected, and confused, especially surrounding a lack of transparency or training.
Instilling consistent values and an encouraging work environment can positively impact how employees learn, grow, and interact at work – which can lead to a work environment they want to stay at.
A well-defined company culture is also a great way to help attract new talent. Showing transparency around the benefits your business offers beyond compensation will help entice job candidates to work for your business.
Be sure to share your workplace culture, beliefs, and what causes your business support on your website, social channels, and job postings to attract candidates that align with your business’ values and will be excited to work for your business.
Secure Funding for Employee Retention
To implement some of these recruiting and retention tips, your business may need to seek business financing options to help fund your efforts.
- Small business line of credit
A small business line of credit is a flexible funding option that allows access to a predetermined amount of working capital.
Businesses go through an approval process to discover how much working capital is available to finance. After that, you can draw on funds as needed. This option allows your business the convenience of accessing capital, paying back what you use, and borrowing again when needed.
Lines of credit can be used to hire new employees and invest in employee development by building up your current staff with better benefits, training, mentorship programs, and more.
Sales-based financing is a convenient form of short-term funding that gives small businesses upfront access to a lump sum of cash in return for a percentage of their future credit or debit card receivables. This allows payments to be tailored to the flow of business sales.
Sales-based financing can be used to hire new employees, implement new marketing strategies, or expand your business’s online presence.
Finding qualified employees can be tricky, but seeking excellent employees is critical to creating a flourishing work environment. Once you’ve secured great employees to work for your business, be sure to put as much effort into retaining them as you did into finding them.
To boost recruiting and increase employee retention, small business owners need to stand out by focusing on creating a welcoming company culture, trusting their employees, expanding their online presence, offering growth opportunities, and emphasizing a healthy work-life balance.