I did actually write before about working in a small business versus corporate (from the “how an employee sees things” perspective) and also on “Compete with Big Corporation for employees” – it’s tough to get the right employees if you are small.
Therefore a Small Business has to prepare and put more effort into getting the employees that are needed. First of all, we have only a few sources of staffing:
- Students, or beginners in general
- Friends, partners, or retired people
- Already employed workforce
The chances are that if you need quality and performance, you’ll have to go for the already employed workforce, and that’s the hardest way to go. You will need to compete with other companies or sometimes corporations for the same people, and you are most of the time in a disadvantaged position. So if you need people, you don’t just need resumes and wait for people to come; to have to be prepared to sell yourself to the employee. You have to be able to sell your business idea, your customers, your opportunities, your everything, just like you would do when going to Venture Capitalists, to get the future employee attention, commitment, and interest. Because when they come to your small business, they automatically think about working in a small business versus corporate.
So what’s in people’s minds when they send the resume to your small business?
- Neah, I don’t want to leave the big company I’m working for. Hey, I’m working at …. (big name here) !!
- They can’t offer the same benefits or salary. And I’m going to miss my free gym pass.
- What if they go into the ground in 6 months? Then I can’t return to …. (big name here)
- Hey, they don’t have a satellite connection and that latest Laptop. I can’t work without the best tools.
- I’ve never heard of them. Who are they?
- Why on Earth would I want to work for them?
10 steps to get the right employees if you are a small business
- Get yourself prepared. Be ready to answer the questions above. Read the CV, google the person, try to find out what kind of person is before the actual meeting. If you know the guy is a hippie or a yuppie, you can adjust your message, think about benefits, and what you can offer.
- Sell your idea. You have to explain your plans, where you want to go, and what you will be doing in 2 years.
- Entrepreneur/manager charisma. Sometimes you don’t have so much to sell (mostly if you are a start-up), so your charisma could increase your chances. Be positive, be strong, and confident in the future. Make jokes to show you are relaxed.
- Office space. Clearly, your office should look like an office (especially if it’s a home office. You don’t want your potential employee to go to the bathroom and be scared of your personal hygiene items. It might be a little hard, but it would be good to show that you have enough space, good working conditions, and a pleasant environment.
- Get dressed properly. Nobody wants to deal with somebody dressed in pajamas.
- Think about the hidden benefits you could offer without much expense. Flexible working hours. Reduced working days. Less stress. Fewer reports. Fewer bosses. Fewer meetings. There are a lot of things you could offer, think about it.
- Chance to have an important role and a word to say. Sometimes, when you hire people who worked in bigger companies, they might feel they need a little space for creativity and proving themselves. In a big company, even if you have a great idea, it’s hard to get yourself heard, or if you work harder, it won’t matter so much because it depends on your other 1000 colleagues.
- Be prepared to offer a payment that is a little better, at least. They will not be working at that big company anymore, but they don’t lose any money.
- Use your customers. I mean, if you have some interesting names, mention them. If you don’t have any important ones, be prepared to name future customers for at least 6 months to show that there is work to do
- Confidence and stability. Nobody wants to switch jobs and remain unemployed in 6 months. You have to be ready to guarantee somehow and things are built to last and a bright future.
PS: OH! and be prepared to be refused!