When you hire new employees for your small business, you’re competing with other companies (of every size and hiring budget) in your area who are also clamoring for the top talent in the city. You may not have the deep pockets to always offer top-of-the-line perks like tuition reimbursement and 401K plans, but if you get creative you can find other more affordable ways to appeal to potential candidates. Here are eight ideas to get you started.
1. Offer Extra Vacation Days
On average, American employers provide about 10 days of vacation for an employee who’s been at a company 3 years. Our European counterparts, on the other hand, get a minimum of four weeks of vacation. Vacation time keeps your employees healthy, happy, and less stressed, and it’s a great negotiating tool, if you’re willing to be flexible in offering more than the average.
2. Create a Clear Path to Career Development
You might be thinking about the role you need to fill immediately, but job candidates are thinking long term and trying to determine whether they have the opportunity to grow within your company. Do you offer support for employees that want to try out different roles or departments? Being an employer who encourages his staff to become well-developed in various aspects of the company will serve you well in terms of reducing turnover and making more well-rounded employees.
3. Implement a Casual Dress Policy
Panty hose and ties are a relic of the days of Mad Men. People want to be comfortable where they spend 40+ hours a week. If you’re not comfortable opening up the company dress policy completely, consider just offering it on Fridays, where your staff can relax a little before the weekend. It’s a small thing, but that could be the one feature that attracts the right job candidate.
4. Provide Fun Office Features
While you may not be able to provide nap pods like Google, you can offer plenty of other fun perks that aren’t overly expensive. Find a Foosball table on Craigslist and turn that storage room into a fun break room. Or invest in a fancy espresso machine to fuel creativity when your staff gets sluggish. These are great features to show off when you show potential hires around the office.
5. Create Intriguing Job Titles
Imagine your job description for a Marketing Manager on a list with a dozen other want ads on a job board. There’s nothing to make it stand out, is there? Now imagine your listing with a title like Social Media Superhero. Suddenly, it is the most interesting job on the board, and you’ll likely see more applications. Creating a unique job title can help attract creative people who are willing to color outside of the lines.
6. Offer a Telecommute Option
More than 70 percent of employees say having telecommuting as an option factors into choosing their next job, so if you want to appeal to them, consider making it part of your work policy. Not only will you attract more talent, but you’ll also save money and have more productive employees.
7. Give Your Employees a Gym Membership
Workplace wellness is all the rage, and while on-site yoga classes may not be in your budget, you can still take advantage of this trend. By partnering with a local gym, you may be able to negotiate discount bulk memberships for your staff. Job candidates will be impressed you’re supporting your employees’ well-being, and your gym membership expense is tax deductible, so it’s really a win-win.
8. Offer Ways for Staff to Let Off Steam
Providing Beer Fridays and Rock Band Tuesdays doesn’t have to be cost-prohibitive, and these kind of activities are a great perk for anyone considering working at your company. Find ways to build in a bit of stress relief for your team each week, then tout that as a benefit when interviewing candidates.