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  • Writer's pictureMiranda Boyden

How to Attract and Keep the Best: Small Business Edition

There was a time when I wasn't a professional consultant but worked in D.C. around many budding tech startups. A former colleague and CEO of a new tech startup was struggling to keep his best engineers from being poached by bigger tech giants. He felt defeated, thinking he couldn't offer the same flashy perks. But after diving deep into the company's ethos and culture, we discovered a goldmine of unique benefits that only a small business could provide.

Understanding the Real Challenge

Isn't it frustrating? You've finally found the perfect candidate, only to lose them to a competitor offering a slightly higher salary or fancier office perks. But here's a secret: while competitive salaries are essential, they aren't the only thing top talent is looking for.

The Small Business Advantage

Think about it. Why do some people prefer a cozy café over a Starbucks? It's the personal touch, the sense of community, and the unique offerings. Similarly, small businesses have their own charm, which can be leveraged to attract top talent. But how?

The Community Connection

Imagine offering your employees a benefit that not only saves them money but also strengthens the local community. Enter the "Community Connect Card" – an employee discount card that works with other small businesses in the vicinity. It's like giving your team a VIP pass to the best local experiences while fostering a sense of community.

  • Local Gym Membership: Collaborate with the neighborhood gym for discounted memberships.

  • Café Deals: Partner with local cafes for a daily coffee discount or a special lunch combo.

  • Workshops & Classes: How about discounted pottery classes or dance lessons from local instructors?

Why Does This Work?

It's simple. By offering benefits that resonate with your company's culture and values, you're not just providing a perk; you're building a community. And who wouldn't want to be part of a community that cares?

But What About Retention?

Hiring is just half the battle; retaining is where the real challenge lies. Remember the tech startup I mentioned earlier? After implementing the "Community Connect Card," not only did their hiring rate improve, but their retention rates skyrocketed too. Why? Because employees felt valued, connected, and integrated into the company's culture and the broader community.

Reflect on This

Have you ever considered what makes your small business unique? Is it the close-knit team? The direct impact of one's work? Or the chance to wear multiple hats and learn diverse skills? Embrace these unique traits and craft benefits around them.

Looking Ahead

As we navigate the ever-evolving business landscape, remember that the key to attracting and retaining top talent lies in understanding their needs, aligning them with your company's culture, and offering unique, community-driven benefits.

Stay tuned for our next piece where we'll dive into "Building a Resilient Company Culture in Challenging Times."

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