How to attract and retain talent to your business

| Tuesday August 13

Small Biz Matters – a half hour program each week where you can work ON your business rather than IN it.
with Alexi Boyd from Boyd Office Management Services
Date: 13 August 2019

Today’s show is all about how to attract and retain talent to your small business. When hiring, (particularly our first employee), small business tends to get bogged down in WHAT you want this person to DO instead of thinking HOW am I going to get the right person who can start the DOING, then GROW the role into something more. And so, particularly with the younger generation, you’re ultimately competing for their talent with other, bigger businesses.

But that’s no reason to feel like you CAN’T compete or you DON’T have anything to offer.

Why does small business sometimes fail to compete for that talent? Is the issue our portrayal in the media? Or is it US who are stuck in the mentality that we are offering the candidate the same experience we had where we had to work from the ground up; “climb the ladder” and earn our stripes.

Well, the reality is your potential employees aren’t seeing the so called opportunities you’re offering. They’re seeing a Job.

This week we chat to Ingrid Amoils & Jake Andrew from Bamboo Associates who, between them have corporate, start up and advisory experience to help listeners take the leap of faith and attract and retain the right candidate.

Welcome to the show Ingrid & Jake.

Topics we’ll be covering:

Before you approach candidates consider this…

  • To succeed, be clear on why your business exists, and what you aim to achieve. Have a clear purpose. If you are clear then you can recruit people who buy into your purpose, and so also feel passionate about the business, and will deliver fantastic customer experience.
  • Get clarity on what kind of team you need to achieve that. Know what values (or behaviours) you want and look for in a candidate.
  • Consider the essentials skills and knowledge you need, and which are really only nice- to-have. (Focus on skills, as these are often harder to train.) Communicate your plan to train skills and knowledge (business and industry).
  • Describe the exciting opportunity and the role you offer the candidate.
  • Determine clear business priorities, and explain how the role fits into the bigger picture.
  • Be authentic and honest. Show the opportunity is real. Your messages should reflect reality.

Look at the recruitment process from the candidates point of view:

  • Small biz is often perceived as the riskier option.
  • Candidates often believe they have more options in a corporate role to learn, grow and move around the company.
  • However, in recent years candidates are increasingly open to smaller business, new ways of working and new types of careers. This is particularly true of younger employees.
  • Plus the jobs market has changed – your ideal candidate may well not actually stay with your business for life. You might need to rethink the role, processes and training, if your new recruit is to work for you for a shorter time.
  • Remember that candidates often learn fast – consider what you do to develop them, inspire them, and how you need to think differently about the role.

What could small business do better to attract top quality candidates?

  • Deal with this challenge proactively and confidently. Accurately state your size and type of business. Build trust from the beginning by being authentic.
  • A good or bad hire can make a big difference to your overall business. Get it right. Recruitment is a significant investment of your time and money. It impacts your team and customers. So plan it carefully to make it a successful hire.
  • Sell the business
    • Industry, macro trends - explain why that is good for someone’s career
    • Purpose, what you aim to achieve
    • Describe the team and how you work
    • Clear priorities
  • Sell the role
    • Exposure to the whole business - deeper understanding through direct contact with every aspect of the company, not compartmentalised
    • Make an impact - the candidate will not be a small part of a huge machine
    • Flexibility - greater freedom, potential to personalise
    • Diversity - range of tasks, more stimulation, greater variety
  • Small businesses are often in niche industries, and you might want candidates with specialist knowledge. If so, you need to be proactive. (LinkedIn or SEEK databases, recruiters etc.) Build a pipeline of potential candidates through networking and communicating to your particular community, long in advance of any hire.
  • If recruiting is difficult through candidate shortage, recognise the reality that you as business owner needs to be in sales mode. You need to sell the opportunity in a more compelling way.
  • Ensure you map the recruitment and on-boarding process. Create a good impression. Keep good candidates engaged. Help them succeed when they start, and add value fast.

To find out more go to their website:

Bamboo helps ambitious business owners grow and thrive. They help overcome challenges like how to:

  • sharpen your competitive edge
  • focus on what really matters
  • grow in a sustainable way
  • prepare for succession or eventual sale of your business
  • and of course, attract and retain a high calibre team