Finding talent is never easy, but when the labor market is competitive it’s very difficult for employers to find the right fit. Competitive labor markets are wonderful for people seeking a job. They can negotiate compensation from a power position. The first thing every entrepreneur should understand is just because a prospective employee can negotiate doesn’t mean it’s a zero-sum game. If moving from initial compensation figures lands a great employee, then the business benefits – people are investments just like processes.
Big corporations know how to play the incentive game – everything from company cars to discounts on goods and services pique the interest of prospective employees. Small businesses can’t compete on a dollar-for-dollar basis in incentives. Small businesses must be creative. There are several ways to provide great incentives. Start with time off – can a small business offer fixed vacation time? What about working from home? Think about the common complaints people have about their jobs, try to address those. Another perk could be paying for a couple nights at a nice resort in town. Creative perks get people’s attention.
Use a Professional Network
Networks are powerful and usually job seekers tap into the network to find work. However, the power of who you know works in reverse. If professionals in a network know a certain entrepreneur is looking, they help find talent. Personal capital goes a long way here. If a prospective employee finds out from a trusted connection of a potential opening, and the connection vouches for the entrepreneur, this type of personal capital could supersede aggressive compensation packages. People would rather like the people they work with than get paid extremely handsomely. Professional networks utilize the power of a personal brand to attract employees.
The biggest mistake entrepreneurs make is when they find the right fit, they wait to make the offer. Don’t wait – if a candidate is clearly right for the job, don’t mess around with sending them home and telling them to wait for a call. Huddle with the other stakeholders and make a person an offer on the spot. Put the ball in the prospective employee’s court – letting them know they’re wanted goes a long way towards getting these people on board.
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