01/04/2014

By Tracy Filler, Growth Coach at GrowthAccelerator

For smaller firms, having a strong team is instrumental in driving growth, but they may find themselves in competition with larger corporations when it comes to attracting top talent. However, there are several steps that ambitious businesses can take to remain competitive in the job market and show candidates just how rewarding and exciting it can be to work for a fast growing company.

1. Look at your employer brand
Clarify the values behind why the company was set up, and what it stands for. The business’ ethics and philosophy may be invisible to the naked eye, but will be the driving force of its culture. Both present and potential employees need to understand your culture and buy into the business’ purpose. The brand should be marketed to potential employees and existing employees, as a sense of community is attractive and it can often be the tipping point to join a smaller company.

2. Network, network, network
Going to industry events and talking to others who work in the sector will help drive conversation about your brand. You could also meet potential candidates while networking or indeed meet someone who knows a talented individual who would be just the right fit for your business.

3. Showcase your growth opportunities
A growing company is an exciting place to be. Share your plans and aspirations for the business with potential employees and help them feel a part of it. Growth for you is growth for them and growth potential is one of your greatest competitive edges.

4. Spend time deciphering roles
Make sure that new roles are scoped out before recruitment processes start and that this is reflected in job adverts. Think about roles from the candidate’s perspective. Employees develop and grow while they’re in a position so when replacing staff members, you may need to think carefully about the breadth of the role you need to fill. Providing clear job specifications and outlining how an employee can grow in the company will attract the industry’s top talent.

5. Demonstrate your flexibility
Use your size and agility as a smaller business to your advantage. Offering flexibility to potential employees will position your business attractively against larger corporations where flexible working is often an expectation amongst their staff. Think about the benefits you can offer employees; can they work from home, can you offer flexitime, can you accommodate flexible hours for parents, or those who live far away? Is there anything you can offer that your larger competitors can’t? At interview stages, highlight these advantages to potential employees to make these advantages more tangible for candidates.

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