5 Things to Focus On if You Want to Attract and Retain Top Performers

Kirthanna Ravichandran
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Updated: October 19, 2021

“101 things to check off my list this week. Payroll, check. Interact with customers, check. Go through stock and inventory, check. Advertise products, check. Recruit new staff, oh no!!!” 

If you’re a small business owner, you’d know that  lengthy recruitment processes, more than anything, is a pain. Finding and attracting the right talent is still a struggle for most SMEs and it has only gotten worse since the pandemic hit.

Finding the right talent can be a pain

63.4% of small business owners claim that hiring the right talent is their number one challenge with 42% of owners reporting that they had job openings that could not be filled earlier this year.

A great business needs a great team, which is why hiring processes are so important. Given the number of people who are struggling financially post pandemic, you'd think that people would be rushing in to apply for jobs.

And yet here you are, struggling to find a single soul who can fill up that spot.

If you’re here for answers, we got you covered. Read on to understand why recruitment is a struggle for you.

1. Safety and Health Concerns 

Let's be real here. One of everyone’s biggest concerns during this time is their health and safety. With over 4 million deaths worldwide, it is important that every individual’s comfort levels are taken into consideration.

The last year has left many employees shell-shocked about being in crowded or cramped working conditions. If your employees are expected to work from the office, and your workspace is cramped, we have a big problem here.

Close to 1 in 3 workers back in the workplace said the return-to-office shift negatively impacted their mental health. Employees should be focused on doing the best work possible instead of worrying about falling sick.

If you aren’t taking the necessary steps to keep everyone safe and happy, time to make some changes.

2. You Aren’t Offering Attractive Wages & Benefits

The inability to compete with organizations that have better budgets is no joke. You want to offer better wages and benefits for your employees but it seems to cost you an arm and a leg.

In fact, 61% of small business owners want to offer more generous benefit packages than their competitors, but at least half of them find the task overwhelming.

Despite the challenges, a good 25% of business owners claimed to have increased wages in an effort to attract more employees in these uncertain times. If you’re not falling into that 25% category, what are you doing?

It’s not always about what employees can do for you, sometimes it’s about what you can do for them. It’s no surprise that a large chunk of employees often leave SMEs only to land a job at a larger organisation within the same industry.

But we know that sometimes the odds are simply stacked against you. Instituting the same benefits that large organisations offer may be well beyond your means.

If you’re looking for ways to offer greater benefits at an affordable price, click here.

3. Networking Limitations 

Why should I give networking the time of the day when I have 500 other things to do? Let us have a look:

  • 70% of all jobs are not advertised on job sites - job seekers are likely looking for positions through other sources.
  • 85% of job vacancies are filled via networking
  • 39% of people reach out to their friends and former colleagues to seek jobs
  • Referrals make up 40% of new hires

(Source: Finance Online)

If you haven’t been focused on networking, this is a clear picture of how much you have been missing out on.

Relying on hiring through job sites alone, reduces your chances of finding good talent drastically. Relying only on your existing network is most likely insufficient as well, because chances are, you don’t have a large pool of talent to even pick from.

Put yourself out there. People need to know you. People need to know your business. People need to know you’re hiring. Living in today’s world, making connections has never been easier, don’t let those opportunities slip you by.

Besides, having a strong network also helps you attract more customers and increase brand awareness. Networking essentially helps you kill multiple birds with one stone.

4. Insufficient Career Development Opportunities 

After a year or two of working at your company, what are the opportunities available for me? A promotion? A better position? A more diverse job scope? A raise?

Career development is a major factor affecting an employee’s loyalty towards your company. Research has shown that nearly two thirds of employees say that a lack of career development would be a good enough reason for them to start looking for a new job.

36% of managers admitted to not knowing what their career goals are over the next 12 months. Nobody enjoys being stagnant. If you don’t know where your company is headed, don’t expect potential employees to have faith in your business.

Are you able to have transparent career conversations with your candidates? 

The whole point of career conversations is to ensure that employees and potential candidates alike recognize that they can fulfil their career aspirations within your company.  People want to be a part of something fulfilling. Transparency will do you good.

As shocking as it may seem, only a small number of managers claim to be confident in talking about topics regarding salary (23%), promotions and delayed promotions (26%) as well as company aspirations (29%). 

Do not be one of those people.

5. Not focused on training and development 

Life is a constant state of learning. We learn how to walk and talk. We run through kindergarten and elementary school. We navigate high school and get through college. But how is it that once we get a job, we stop being focused on learning more?

Are we suddenly experts on everything just because we’re adults now?

A staggering 70% of employees say that they are likely to leave a current employer to take on a role with an employer that invests in training and development.

Training allows your employees to feel more confident and comfortable with their roles. This is a win-win situation for both you and them. Though it may cost a little money, the benefits are long-term.

Should you choose to invest in training programmes, here are some of its advantages:

  • Reducing your employees need for constant supervision
  • Improved skills 
  • Enhancing your company’s reputation
  • Help employees cope with changes and new systems

As small business owners try to recover and rebuild post pandemic, the lack of workers is another hurdle they have to deal with. It seems like the perfect storm. 

But on the bright side this means that smaller establishments are actually generating enough business and are in decent financial shape to be hiring. Compared to when the coronavirus pandemic first hit and small businesses were forced to shut down and lay off staff, this is growth. 

Unfortunately, businesses need employees to thrive and if they continue having a hard time filling positions, it would cause a setback on their road to recovery.

Which type of diction will you try first?

Kirthanna Ravichandran

A creative writer and a mental health enthusiast at heart, I enjoy exploring the worlds of both personal and professional development. Through my work, I am focused on giving my readers an eye opener, and the push they need to take that first step towards something better.

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