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5 Ways to Recruit Talent at Your Small Business and Retain it


Successful recruiting can be frustrating and tiresome, but also extremely rewarding. The effort you’ve put into creating your company brand, environment and unique identity can be the difference between attracting job-seeking duds or diamonds. This means making sure your company goals, mission and so on are as defined as possible.

Millennials are a huge amount of the talent you will hire, and they might not be looking for exactly what you think they want. Being able to understand what job seekers need in an employer, and tweaking your recruiting process to show you understand those needs, can be vital to future company successes. In order to attract the right talent, keep reading about 5 important ways to recruit talent and retain it:


Define your business before you hire.

Many job seekers want to understand what exactly your company stands for. Imagine that young job seekers want to see your business as they see everyone’s Instagram profiles; open, transparent, fun and inviting. Many millennials are creative, design-oriented and looking for a company that reflects that, so make sure you portray those company traits to your job seekers.

You should also create a descriptive statement so those applying for jobs on your website see what you are about. As an example, see the Accelity Marketing 'about' and 'culture' webpages.

Messages like this are important for job seekers, especially millennials, who are looking for more than just a job—they are looking to make a difference. Reading about your company goals, vision and purpose can inspire job seekers beyond looking at your company as a day to day job.


Recognize that a culture fit trumps skill.

When hiring your ideal candidate, you should look for more than just the qualified person that checks off all the right boxes, but is as serious as this cat obviously losing a game of cards below. (How about we try Uno, Mr. Fluffs?)

Serious cat losing a card game.

Look for someone that fits the culture and fun you see in your business. Make sure your current employees feel comfortable with the candidate and see the candidate as someone who fits the company culture. Most job-related skills are completely trainable—culture isn’t. Find the candidate that can talk you through your failed fantasy football picks or share a great recipe by the water cooler.


Reward and invest in employee potential.

Employees aren’t just looking for a paycheck as they wait for the clock to hit 5pm on that long Friday work day. Many employees want to feel like they are part of the success of the company. Making sure your employees feel like they have influence at the company can really be the difference between whether they stay or leave.

It's also rewarding when job seekers and employees see you showing an interest in their personal gains. If they are interested in learning more about a particular part of the industry, point them towards personal development programs or classes. If you need help with tasks, ask them for assistance and allow them to take on more responsibility early. This shows that you value their help and that you are invested in them as much as they are invested in you.


Keep the Environment Fun and Inviting.

ping_pong.jpgKeeping the environment of your business upbeat and fun is possibly more important to retaining your talent than anything else. You don’t want your office to be:

  • Uninviting
  • A serious place that doesn’t share many laughs
  • A place where employees feel like a number instead of a person

From my own personal experience, when it’s like this, you stare at the clock more, take breaks more and become less productive when you don’t enjoy your work. And like most people in this situation, you leave. When you’re looking to retain top talent, this company environment is not ideal.

I’m not suggesting that you crack open beers at 2pm on a Monday, or have spontaneous Nerf wars, but be fun! Tell jokes, give compliments, get to know who you’re working with and let employees leave a half hour early (occasionally) on a Friday.

I’ve really enjoyed my time at Accelity so far. When I was in college, I would hear from graduated friends who started working at offices that had games like ping-pong, and where everyone goes out for happy hour, and I said to myself “I want that too!” Now, I do have that great environment. When you make your business more fun, your employees work harder, longer and are happier overall.


Do not micro-manage.

Micro-managing is a big no-no in any manager handbook. It’s the process of controlling every part of an operation or task, no matter the size.

If you give your employees a project to handle, let them handle it. If they come to you for help, then lend a hand. There is no need to hover over them like a suburban mother before senior prom. Letting your employees try to complete a task on their own, even if they fail, is incredibly important to their career success. They need to learn from their failures. When a manager jumps in at the last minute and fixes everything, employees don’t learn what they did wrong...they just learn that their manager was unsure of their abilities the whole time.

As a young professional who has been in the job hunt, I know that many other millennial professionals like me are looking for exactly what I covered above when they review your company and either apply, or don’t. When you try to recruit talent and retain new employees, don’t sacrifice your core values over your efforts to find talent, but make an effort to adapt yourself to your job seekers, rather than forcing job seekers to adapt to you.


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