When building a team, a small business often wants to vary the skills and levels of experience in order to help their business grow. The challenge, however, is to make a job with a small business attractive to people in different stages of their career. As this How-To article from the Wall Street Journal shows, small businesses really can offer different benefits than a larger company for any employee at any stage of their career.
When trying to reach out to employees who could comprise your upper-level management or executive board, focus on the unique company culture that a small business offers. Part of the small business model that might appeal to them is that, as this article points out, entrepreneurs and small business owners tend to treat their employees more like family. Especially if you’re reaching out to an executive who has been in big business for most of their career, it may be refreshing to them to settle into a place where there are less corporate politics and where they don’t fear the axe of corporate downsizing. Encourage them, too, with the notion that there will likely be less corporate hierarchy with your small business. If they’re exhausted by the ineffective communication from upper management to lower management to team members, they may perk up to know they would have more direct communication with employees and be that much closer to the end product or service.
Attempting to attract middle management employees might be the most difficult. As we hear often about Generation X workers, who most likely fit into this field, one of the most important aspects to a job for them is security. They likely have families that they need to support through reliable incomes, and they still hail from a generation where a person has fewer jobs over the course of their lifetime. They’re looking for stability, which small business owners know is sometimes difficult to offer. But in order to accommodate their family life, what you can offer someone at this level is the fact that most small businesses are able to afford their employees’ increased flexibility. This generally includes flexible hours, a flexible work-from-home policy, and more leniencies in general when family or other needs arise.
For the entry-level employees, any number of these benefits should be appealing to them. Aside from enjoying a flexible schedule and working closely with both middle and upper management, small businesses offer a lot of room for growth, development, and innovation. They often invite their employees to wear many hats and to broaden their experience and skill set. They require their employees to use creative solutions to unique problems. They typically offer a fast-paced, exciting atmosphere and allow younger employees to utilize the skills they already have at their disposal, such as skills with social media and technology, skills which they have been developing for years. The list could go on and on.
Small businesses aren’t only for the young, the adventurous, or those with nothing to lose. Startups and small businesses can offer much to employees at every stage of life and career. The key for a small business is to help employees understand just what they can offer and how it can help to meet their needs and wishes for a job while still being beneficial to the company.
What benefits would you offer to candidates at different stages of their career? How else can a small business keep a varied team on board? Offer your thoughts in the comments.
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by (vincent desjardins)