What is the single most important asset you can have, no matter the size of your business? You’d be right if you answered – people. The individual who work for your organisation are fundamental to its success or failure, and that means that seeking out the top talent is something that all businesses need to be doing. But if you’re a small start-up, how do you attract the best? How do you compete for the same candidates as blue-chip rivals with their deep pockets? Don’t make the mistake of assuming that money is the be all and end all when it comes to recruitment. When looking to attract people who are going to be a great fit for your organisation, really add value and help you to build your business to the next level, what you can afford as a salary may be lower down the list of decision making factors than you may assume. The best employees could be looking for something else, something that you are actually better placed to provide as a smaller, agile company than big name firms. In fact, if you look at recent surveys by recruitment sites, salary is rarely the top factor that potential employees mention when beginning a job search, and remuneration is actually not the top reason people look for a new job. Focusing on the intangibles could give you a whole new slant on recruitment, and the opportunity of picking from the very best when it comes to whom you employ.

Look At Lateral Benefits

When it comes to rewarding your employees, you have to approach it holistically. Even if you offer a generous rise and a performance based bonus each year, it doesn’t guarantee that you will have happy employees. In the modern world, people are coming to realise that the other benefits your workplace can offer are equally as valuable – perhaps even more so. Younger generations are increasingly coming to value time and flexibility. It’s all part of a wave of interest in Minimalism, living with less and gaining experiences rather than that flashy watch or designer handbag. If you are prepared to reward your employees with perks like additional vacation days, the option to work from home and taking on projects with flexible hours, or simply requiring them to be based at their desk less – which, with the cloud based software most offices now use is becoming a real possibility – you may find that they value this more than money in the bank. Think about the add on benefits you can offer too – real support with training and clear upward progression are hugely valuable to those who have fought hard for their start and have ambition. These are exactly the kind of people you want to have working for you and invested in the future of your company. Also look at lateral benefits – some HR companies allow you to buy into employee reward systems which offer everything from exclusive money off deals to shopping rewards that follow the ‘little and often’ approach to making your workers feel rewarded for what they do. There is also the value to be found in schemes such as health job in montreal and other health-related benefits – from virtual on-demand healthcare that will skip them the doctor’s waiting room to discounted gym and healthy food delivery services. Not only is this very appealing to a certain type of person, it also has the benefit to you of keeping your employees in good health, and therefore less likely to be off work with health issues, which can be especially hard on a small company without lots of other employees to pick up the slack.

Partner With A Local Education Provider

Having a great pipeline of potential employees is all about encouraging the next generation, so it could be well worth your while trying to form a productive and mutually beneficial partnership with a local college or higher education provider, especially if your company does something interesting to outsiders. Arrange to go in and present a session on opportunities in your industry, and encourage interest in work experience or internship positions – quite often, if you find a great candidate and establish a good relationship, you then have an employee there whose development you can have a hand in shaping. Run an open house session at your premises to let potential candidates really see what life is like within your company – this is a really fun and informal way to form organic relationships. Getting hands on with something which they may not previously have considered doing can be a transformative experience for a young person and can alter their idea of what they’d like to do with their careers – and you can create your own pipeline talent and keep your business moving at the same time.

Think About Giving Back

Sometimes, as employers, we need to take a step back and realise that our employees world’s – and our own – are much bigger than just creating a profit or working for a paycheck. Giving yourself and your workforce the chance to do something altruistic and contribute to the greater good, or the community around them, can create powerful emotional ties which are highly attractive. What could be better than offering the chance to make a difference to the world? Schemes can range from offering a period of paid leave for employees to do charity work for an organisation they feel passionately about, to giving the chance to get involved in local projects and initiatives that make a difference – things as diverse as creating a sensory garden for the local hospice or giving life skills coaching at a refuge. he best angle is actually ask your team what they would like to do to make a difference. Engaged, motivated employees are such a valuable resource, and actions of this kind are what really show you who is cast in that mould.

Set Up An Employee Referrals Scheme

One of the best resources you can invest in is setting up an employee referrals scheme, where your existing workers are rewarded for recommending successful candidates for positions in the company. Recruiting is one of the biggest drains of resource a company can face, and getting it wrong is a costly mistake. Going through your existing employees makes both them and your new hire more invested in the company doing well, while the word of mouth marketing you can receive from those who work for you or have done so in the past is truly valuable. Like attracts like, so if you have some great, diligent, talented employees they are likely to know others of a similar calibre. No one would want to refer someone for a job unless they knew they’d be in with a good shot, and be an asset to the company if selected. So incentivise your current workmates to recruit for you and you’re on to a win-win situation.

Get Into The Mentor Mindset

Creating a mentoring culture within your team is so important. It creates a focus on people rather than purely just profits, and that is something that great potential candidates will see and be likely to respond to. In companies were processes are all that matters, and they are not allowed to contribute ideas, great employees tend to feel overlooked and unhappy. Pairing each new hire with a mentor and allowing them to feel like their career progression is important is a real deal breaker for many conscientious people. Give them the chance to work on stretch projects, operate across different areas of the business and prioritise paying for training, as it will benefit both the employee and your business. Pour your genuine efforts into people and they’ll usually reward you with hard work and loyalty – a truly great return on your investment in them.