How to attract great employees (and keep them!)

By Adam Blanch

There are many creative ways to help you compete to gain and keep the best. Many small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) can offer the sort of work-life balance, flexibility, personal care and opportunities for growth and advancement that bigger businesses just can't match. No way? Consider the following.

Work/life balance

The days where Dad went to work and Mum stayed home to look after the kids are long gone, but the landscape that supported that paradigm has been slower to change. Today, working parents expect to be a significant presence in their children's lives, which is extremely difficult when there is pressure to spend 60 hours a week trying to climb the corporate ladder. Offering working conditions that are flexible and family oriented can put you well ahead of the game and bring experienced, quality candidates through your door.

More ladders, less snakes

Everybody wants to grow and reach their potential. Smaller businesses often require staff with diverse skill sets who can take on larger responsibilities sooner, which can be a real leg up the career ladder. By emphasising the opportunities for advancement that you offer, you put your head above the crowd who just want someone to fill the job.

Girls (and boys) just want to have fun

Human beings aren't machines. The most innovative companies in the world got where they are by providing workplaces and work cultures that are fun, inspiring, purposeful and challenging. By taking the stress out of the workplace and replacing it with creativity and excitement, you will soon garner a reputation as one of those businesses that people 'work to work for'.

What you need, baby I got it

Find the people you want, and find out what they want. Young people just starting out want the opportunity for advancement. If they have a family, they need some flexibility and security. If you need the real top-of-the-tree type with decades of experience, you might have to cough up some equity or profit share. Everyone has a dream - help them achieve theirs and they'll help you achieve yours.

How have your past employers kept you engaged and enthusiastic?


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