By Marcus Leach

Hays, a leading recruitment expert, has announced that, according to its
latest survey, small businesses may be losing out on the most talented
employees due to concerns among jobseekers around pay and benefits.

The results show that almost half (49 per cent) of those surveyed believe
salaries are not as competitive within small companies as they are at larger
organisations, and over half (55 per cent) believe smaller businesses are
not able to offer as many benefits.

Despite almost three-quarters (74 per cent) of people reporting a positive
experience of working in smaller businesses, the survey found that a quarter
(25 per cent) would prefer to work for a larger organisation. Over half (52
per cent) expressed concerns about the stability of smaller organisations.

However, respondents felt that job satisfaction and interesting work can be
found in any sized organisation. In addition, a number of positive factors
about working for smaller businesses were also identified, such as the idea
that they offer a more hands-on approach (88 per cent), greater
responsibility (83 per cent) and a greater understanding of the business as
a whole (83 per cent). The chance to work more closely with senior staff (88
per cent) was also seen as a benefit of small businesses. Respondents also
identified recognition from senior managers as another potential draw.

"In the current turbulent job market it's no surprise that workers are looking for job security. But we also know that career development is very important to most professionals and this plays a key part in their decision to leave an organisation and accept a new role. To attract the skilled and talented individuals that are needed to remain competitive, small businesses need to combat some of the stereotypes and ensure professionals are aware of the advantages they can offer workers looking to move their careers on," Charles Logan, director at Hays, commented.

"If they cannot compete with larger salaries or more expensive benefit
schemes, they can often provide more interesting and varied work and the
chance for people to work with senior people. It is these benefits that they
need to sell to professionals.

"Benefits need to be finely tuned to the needs of workers in smaller businesses. To counter worries about stability, smaller employers
need to clearly communicate to potential recruits where their business is
heading and the opportunities for future growth."

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