How to attract great employees in smaller cities

RecruitmentRunning a business in a smaller city may mean you have a more limited talent pool to draw employees from, but it doesn’t mean you won’t have access to top notch workers.

You may need to alter your recruiting strategy to show those skilled employees why they should consider working for your smaller business instead of going to a large corporation in a big city.

Here are some ways you can attract highly skilled employees to your company.

1. Focus on benefits

Large corporations in big markets can offer huge salaries and a glamorous lifestyle. A small business in a small city may not have that same ability. Instead of worrying about salary, offer amazing benefits.

There is a lot you can offer in the way of benefits that won’t drain your bank accounts and will impress potential staff. Consider offering additional holidays over what employment laws require, or an enhanced benefits package. Allow employees the option of working some days from home. Consider subsidizing childcare or gym memberships. Provide opportunities for professional development. If your city has a professional team, purchase season tickets that your employees can use.

Living in a smaller city often means the cost of living is lower than a big city. That, in turn, means workers might be less focused on the amount of money they make and more interested in the perks your company offers.

2. Highlight the benefits of smaller businesses

Large companies have their advantages, but there are drawbacks to working in a company with hundreds of people. Oftentimes, employees feel like just another cog in a wheel. They don’t get to know many people outside their department and they have little autonomy thanks to restrictive company policies.

In a small company, everyone knows everyone. There’s more transparency and employees have more facetime with management.

When you speak to prospective employees, focus on that aspect of your business. Show that you get to know your employees as individuals and that your staff has greater control over the work they do. Be open to workers coming to you with business ideas and projects. Be clear about opportunities for advancement within your company, and tell applicants how you’ll help them develop in their role.

Indivudal attention goes a long way toward making talented employees feel valued.

3. Make room for flexible work hours

Everyone has challenges that make the regular Monday to Friday 9 to 5 work schedule problematic. Commuters face long hours stuck in rush hour. Parents have to sort out childcare. Employees must find a way to schedule personal appointments outside their work day.

Allowing for flexible work hours gives your employees control over their time. It enhances morale and can improve productivity. Offer workers the opportunity to come in and leave work earlier or later, so they can avoid traffic or work around childcare. Allow for longer work days so workers can take one day a week (or one day every second week) off.

If you don’t need face time with your employees every day and their work can be done from home, allow them to telecommute to work. Even allowing working from home one or two days a week can make a massive difference in attracting talented employees.

The ability to offer a massive salary is not always feasible for small businesses. That doesn’t mean you can’t attract talented employees. It just means you may need to be creative to draw workers to your business. By offering great perks, focusing on the benefits of working at a small business and allowing flexible work hours, you can have your pick of skilled employees.