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Five Ways Small Businesses Can Compete with Big Businesses in Recruiting

It may seem like big companies get all the attention from job-seekers, but small businesses are a key piece of the economy. Small businesses account for 99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms and 64 percent of net new private-sector jobs. The presence of large companies like FedEx, ServiceMaster, AutoZone, International Paper and others benefits Memphis. However, small business owners may wonder how they can compete for top talent. Salary matters in recruiting and retention, but alternative benefits can provide added value to sway prospective employees. Consider the following to implement in your business (and then communicate to new talent prospects).
Flexibility and Work/Life Balance
With fewer employees, small businesses don’t always need to require everyone to be in the office at the same time. Instead, consider letting trustworthy employees set their own hours, within reason. For instance, an employee may have a later start and end time adjusted to traffic flow on their commute. Likewise, if an employee occasionally needs to take care of personal errands during the day, allow them to make up hours in the evening or on the weekend. 
Casual Environment
If it fits the industry, relax the dress code. Employees may appreciate not having to wear suits every day. Studies show that employees who are allowed to dress more casually work harder and longer because they aren’t distracted by the appearance and discomfort of a more formal business attire. The office itself may also be more laid back. Instead of having all meetings in a conference room, opt to have some in a more comfortable seating area.
Engaged Employees
Small businesses have the opportunity to create closer relationships between leadership and employees. Gallup research has shown that organizations with engaged employees out-perform those with low employee engagement by 202 percent. Leadership should share overarching goals with employees, and employees should feel comfortable freely bringing thoughts to leadership. In smaller companies, there is naturally less red tape. The camaraderie among a small, committed team is extremely attractive to employees.
Excellent Training Grounds
Small businesses often provide opportunities for employees to take on varied responsibilities, thus expanding their knowledge and expertise in their field. Smaller companies can be a thrilling training ground where employees can discover what they love. Sell your potential hires on the opportunity for future advancement within your company and beyond.
Rapid Growth

This is attractive for employees who don’t want to climb the proverbial corporate ladder. Make sure employees and new hires know a small business can offer them mobility to evolve into different roles, along with a purpose and the chance to be an integral part of the company’s success. A recent survey found that bad culture and lack of growth path clarity are the biggest worries for employees. These are important to keep employees motivated.
These points highlight a few ways small businesses compete with large businesses for top talent. A business shouldn’t be judged solely on its size. When all is said and done, your small business and its employees should be the right fit for each other.
Shane Davis is a Partner, Director of Technology and Healthcare for Vaco Memphis

Posted: 8/24/2016 7:30:00 AM | with 0 comments
Filed under: Business, Davis, Midsouth, Recruiting, Shane, Small, Talent, Vaco, Workforce

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Your business may be small, but that doesn't mean that your impact can't be huge! The Greater Memphis Chamber's Small Business Council serves to encourage, support, recognize and be a resource to small- and medium-sized businesses in the Memphis area. Here, our talented panel of contributors will present big ideas that could make a huge difference to your small business. And don't be afraid to ask questions ... no matter how small.

Sales & Small Business Ownership
Voss W. Graham is CEO and Senior Business Advisor for InnerActive Consulting Group Inc. He is known by his clients as "a knowledgeable partner who helps our team achieve business growth." He provides practical experience as a small business owner for over 29 years, yet is often engaged with Fortune 500 companies in the development of their people and business strategies.

Public Relations
Several professionals and strategists from the local Obsidian Public Relations firm provide excellent advice on everything from research to media relations to event planning. They believe that all companies, no matter how big or small the company or its budget, should have a public relations plan driving how they manage their relationships with key stakeholders. Public relations is an integral part of doing business the right way.

Human Resources
Joel Myers is a career Human Resources professional, with over 40 years in the field including 26 years in consulting.

Small Business Advice
Tom Pease is a small business owner of an office equipment dealership called e/Doc Systems, Inc. He has also owned a full-line Kawasaki dealership as well as a document shop. He used 30+ years of experience in owning a business to author two books, including: Going Out of Business by Design: Why 70% of Small Businesses Fail and Small Business Survival 101. He also has published 85 columns in The Memphis Daily News as the Small Business Advisor.

Marketing & Public Relations
Lori Turner-Wilson is CEO and Founder of RedRover Company, a sales development, marketing and PR consulting firm. Lori works with companies large and small, from start-ups to mature organizations, to help them improve the productivity of their sales force and the return on their marketing investment. Lori writes a weekly syndicated column for the Daily News, Memphis News, Nashville Ledger, and Desoto Times, among others, titled “Guerrilla Sales & Marketing,” for which she won a 2011 Summit International Award and 2012 International Communicator Award.

Design and Digital Strategy
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Labor & Employment Law
Fisher Phillips attorneys are ready to help you take a stand: in court, with employees and unions, or with competitors. Fisher Phillips has the experience and resolve to back you up. That's why some of the savviest employers come to the firm to handle their toughest labor and employment cases. The firm has 350 attorneys in 32 offices, including Memphis. For more information, visit

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