Student loan repayments. Wi-Fi enabled shuttle buses. On-site massages. Locally sourced, organic meals. These are just a few of the latest perks that companies are offering to attract and retain talent. In fact, I heard through the HR grapevine that some tech companies are even thinking about what to serve employees’ pets for lunch.
With the unemployment rate hovering around 4.9 percent nationally and lower in some states, all companies, regardless of size, need to rethink their employer proposition. I met with our recruiter, Sam Holsather, to reflect on how Guidant sets ourselves apart as an employer. What we found is that we can’t always compete on perks, but employees choose to join our team for other reasons. Here are the top four ways you can increase recruiting efforts without breaking the bank.
1. Know your mission and vision and share your story.
Candidates want to be part of something that matters and care about finding an organization where they believe in the product or service being offered. If they can see themselves impacting something bigger than themselves and you can articulate how their role would support your vision, they’ll want to work for you. For us, candidates love the idea of supporting small business owners and the opportunity to make a difference in entrepreneurs’ lives sets us apart. What is it about your vision that might speak to your next hire? Think about how you can invite others to be part of your journey.
2. Build an irresistible culture.
Company culture exists whether it’s intentional or not. People spend more hours at work than they do anywhere else and want to work for a company where they can be themselves and thrive. You may be asking yourself, “what is great culture?” or “does that mean I have to provide a bunch of free stuff for my employees?” However, great culture is purpose driven. It’s the “why” and “how” you do business rather than the fun perks you offer. It’s how you engage employees to connect with each other and how leaders are living the values every day through the best and worst of times. Culture is rooted in values, but evolves with every person you hire and transcends company policy and hierarchy.
3. Develop every employee.
While smaller companies may not be able to offer career growth in the traditional sense, there are ample opportunities for employees to learn and gain exposure to areas of the business they wouldn’t otherwise have. If you and your managers can unlock the potential within your employees, they’ll work harder for you than you can imagine. Development can happen in any organization.
I spoke with a restaurateur about his experience developing his staff, and he shared that he instills a learning culture with everyone on his team regardless of position. In fact, he’s picked a few cooks to take under his wing, so that if he expands they’re able to manage the restaurant. For him, development starts by growing his employee’s understanding of how business works and providing assignments for them to acquire new skills.
4. Make each hire count.
Being a great place to work is easy when you’re starting from the ground up, but fostering culture over time becomes more difficult because culture evolves with every person you hire. It only takes one person to detract from the values you have instilled. Don’t settle on any of your roles. Great hires bring an energy that is contagious and they help their teammates get better.