Companies like Facebook and Google are known for luring young, tech-savvy people to work for them through competitive salaries and perks. For smaller businesses—especially those outside the cities—offering similar benefits isn’t always so easy.
The Small Business Federation of Michigan released its fourth annual Michigan Entrepreneurship Card, which reported that Michigan is currently the slowest growing economy in the United States.
“To grow, small-business owners will need to attract tech-savvy younger people, who are presently flocking to higher-density technological regions of the country,” the report reads.
Small businesses that want to attract young talent needs to go the extra mile to recruit. Here are a few tips on what you can do:
Company culture is important.
It’s no mystery that as a small business, you can't offer the same types of perks that mammoth corporations such as Amazon and Google give to their employees. But office culture can be one of the most important aspects when recruiting young people, and you should try to sell them in this department.
SnagAJob.com is a job search site that caters to hourly employees, and they were rated as the number-one small company to work for by The Great Places To Work Institute. SnagAJob is far from Google, but they incorporate Google-like perks, such as an office slide, talent shows, office Olympics, cook-offs and other events that really inspire employees to collaborate and work hard.
"We define culture as the values and norms that we share as an organization that guide our day-to-day behavior and help us achieve our goals," says Greg Moyer, chief people officer. "We expect a lot from people here, so having a workplace that infuses fun as a natural part of work keeps people more motivated and ignited."
Before you even begin to target your ideal employees, work hard on forming your company’s culture and igniting a sense of unity within the office.
Offer a good referral bonus.
According to a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, “customers obtained through referrals are both more loyal and more valuable than other customers.”
Finding big talent in a small town can be as easy as the person sitting a few feet away. By offering a great referral bonus, you’re giving your current employees an incentive to tap into the talent they know. Not only will they be able to find prospective employees that are off the radar, but you already trust their judgment.
Be flexible with remote working.
If you find the right person for the job and their location hinders them from coming into the office on a full-time basis, be open to letting them work remotely. Apple, Cisco Systems and 1-800 Flowers all allow employees to work from home. Be sure to have the rules of communication laid out before agreeing to this type of arrangement. Specify how often conference calls should be made and how often, if at all, your employee should make the commute into the office.
A strong company culture and the perks offered at a job go hand-in-hand, but aren’t necessarily the same thing. While company culture encompasses more of the office atmosphere, perks are tangible.
The snowboarding company Burton strives to promote its active lifestyle on and off the slopes; they offer their employees free season passes, discounts on gear, an annual party at the founder’s house, a dog-friendly atmosphere and more.
Organic food company Clif Bar also promotes its food-conscious lifestyle within the company walls. Equipped with 33 different fitness classes, a yoga room, a rock-climbing wall and more, they want their employees to be healthy and fit. They offer Transportation Rewards, which give employees who travel on foot, bike, carpool or public transportation redeemable gifts.
Think about the type of lifestyle you want to promote within your business and offer perks that complement this. No matter what type of business you run, there's always an extra incentive you can give employees, such as free food, contests and game nights.