As a business owner or manager, your goal is to establish a solid team of skilled employees. But doing so can be a challenge when you're operating with a limited budget. After all, how are you supposed to compete with the larger players who have the resources to throw their money around?
Attracting talent is difficult when you know your salaries aren't the most competitive in the industry. But there's more to a job than just money, so here are a few things you can do to entice candidates who are willing to be openminded.
1. Emphasize the growth opportunities your company offers
Perhaps the entry- or mid-level salaries you're able to swing don't compare to what the larger businesses in the area are paying. But if your company offers more opportunity for growth, that could be enough to convince qualified candidates to give you a second look. The last thing any job seeker wants to do is sign up for a dead-end role, so if you make it clear that working for you will mean learning new skills and continuously advancing, a candidate might see it as a long-term investment in his or her career, and one that's worth giving up the extra money for.
2. Have a great company culture
Maybe your competitors are able to pay their employees more generously. But what sort of work experience do they offer? Are their employees perpetually overloaded and stressed? Are they respected? A good way to entice job seekers in the absence of money is to establish and then play up an appealing company culture. If you're able to show prospective hires that the people who work for you enjoy doing so, and that they're treated well, that could be enough to convince them to consider coming on board.
3. Offer more flexibility
These days, employees crave flexibility in their schedules, whether that means setting their own hours or getting the option to telecommute. If you're willing to offer your employees flexible work arrangements, you may come to find that candidates will overlook the lower salary on the table in favor of striking a better work-life balance.
4. Be generous with time off
Maybe you don't have the money to offer up the highest salary or the best benefits package out there. But here's something that doesn't cost you money, at least not directly: vacation time. If you're willing to offer a substantial amount of time off, you may come to find that many candidates choose that over the money. Better yet, consider implementing an unlimited vacation policy. Only 1% of U.S. companies do, which means you'd be a leader of a very positive trend.
5. Provide small perks that add up
Perhaps you can't swing an annual company retreat to the Caribbean or pay for a car service home every time an employee works late. But you can dish out small perks that make working at your company more appealing. You might, for example, provide snacks and coffee during meetings, or invest a small amount of money on an office break room where workers can kick back and unwind. These seemingly minor benefits can really go a long way when you're looking to engage candidates, and your current employees will no doubt appreciate them as well.
When you're working with a restricted budget, attracting talent can be tough. But if you're willing to get creative, there's a good chance you'll find plenty of skilled workers who are willing to look past the dollar signs and focus on the big picture instead.