Human Resources

Improving Retention and Recruiting for Small Businesses

By Michael F. Brown

Small businesses face many challenges, not least of which is talent management. With strategies for retaining and attracting talent in a small business environment, we present an article by Michael F. Brown of the Camden Consulting Group.

Being an entrepreneur is exciting—from the thrill of creating your own product or service to building your business your way without having to answer to someone else. You call the shots, and you use your expertise the way you see fit.

This is such a popular path that according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are over 28 million small businesses in America, and they employ 55% of U.S. workers and have continued to create two-thirds of the new jobs in America for nearly half a century.

With all of the energy, drive, and passion that entrepreneurs possess, does that also indicate small businesses have figured out how to attract and retain top talent? ADP Research Institute published a study that consistently shows that two of the top concerns from small business leaders are recruiting great people and retaining top talent. Many entrepreneurial leaders wrestle with these common pain points concerning talent.

So, what is a small business leader to do? One factor to acknowledge is that even though you may not be able to compete head-to-head for talent with larger companies on every aspect of the recruiting-and-job-offer process, small business leaders should leverage and highlight the aspects that make working for their business superior.

You have an opportunity to attract and retain great talent if you institute an HR strategy for both. Here are key areas of focus that have proven successful for small businesses regarding the battle for talent:

Be on the Lookout for Passion

Focus recruiting efforts on people who are passionate about your business or market space, and hire those with a great attitude. This will mean different things to different leaders and businesses. If you have candidates with the requisite skills and a positive attitude, they will usually take you farther than a technical guru in your particular discipline would if he or she has a mediocre-to-poor attitude.

Know Your Talent Attraction

The knowledge worker and Millennial are often the target hire for small businesses in the United States. Many are attracted to the entrepreneurial opportunities, smaller environments, and work/life balance over significant financial rewards. Those are great candidates; however, to make the best hiring decision, you must identify the skills, attributes, and behaviors that are critical in your company to find the right fit.

In tomorrow’s Advisor, Brown provides more small business strategies for attracting and keeping talent.