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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

How Small Businesses Can Attract and Retain Talent In a Tight Labor Market

Written By: Carol Roth | Comments Off on How Small Businesses Can Attract and Retain Talent In a Tight Labor Market

Right now, the labor market is very tight and small businesses are really feeling the brunt. Since attracting and retaining employees can be such a challenge in this market, we have sought the advice of our incredible CarolRoth.com contributor network of business owners, experts, advisors and entrepreneurs to find out their best tips. Their answers are presented below in no particular order.

You may notice some similar ideas listed, but I kept them separate, as something in the way one is framed may resonate differently with you.

1. Appreciating Creativity

We as an organization have left off the norm of fixed clocking times and micromanagement. Instead of paying heed to the seat time, we look at the quality of work. If that surpasses or meets our expectations, we are elated. Moreover, we invite new ideas, perspectives and don’t bar our employees’ thoughts by telling them to follow a defined path. In a nutshell, we have made our work policies and culture so good that candidates can’t resist and employees won’t want to leave.
Thanks to: Sukriti Saini of HROne.

2. Unlimited Vacation Policy

In a tight labor market, it’s become everything but easy for SMBs to attract and retain high-performing employees. To tackle that, several months ago, we introduced an unlimited vacation policy. As a result, unlimited vacation days helped us improve employee engagement on a company-wide scale. By putting our people in the driver’s seat, we communicated a clear message that they are our top-value asset and we’re happy to accommodate their needs that go beyond work.
Thanks to: Jagoda Wieczorek of ResumeLab.

3. Offer Flexible Work Schedules

One of the best ways to attract employees in 2020 is to offer flexible-scheduling and remote working opportunities at your company.

As the labor market starts to shift to a millennial and gen z'er majority, it's estimated at least 4 million Americans are already working half of their hours from home.

Additionally, according to FlexJobs, 76% of workers would be more willing to stay with their employers if they offered flexible work conditions.
Thanks to: Luka Arezina of DataProt.

4. Engaging Employees

Attracting employees is one thing. Keeping them is another. Every employee you lose costs you $100k to replace. Engaging, retaining and growing employees comes down to effective leadership, culture and communication. It is about listening to, understanding and valuing employees and enabling them to understand how their direct actions matter to the success of the company. Grab a copy of my ebook for more info.
Thanks to: Ben Baker of Your Brand Marketing.

5. Child Friendly Work Hours

A great way I've retained and attracted employees is to offer child friendly work days. 10am until 3pm. This allows parents to drop off and pick up their children from school.

This broadens the net of people who are able to apply for your vacancies. And, many are reluctant to look for work elsewhere because so few places offer this.

Even if they don't have children, people still love missing the rush hour gridlocks. It's a win for almost everybody, but doesn't cost our company anything!
Thanks to: Jon Rhodes of HypnoBusters.

6. Employee's Love Ma's Chili

Grandma's secret chili recipe is the way to keep employees and build a culture all talent wants to work for.

I've found over the years that money doesn't keep employees around, but that connection does.

For your next meeting, have each team member bring a secret family recipe to enjoy during your meeting. The connection you'll build with your team will keep employees around and have them telling others guaranteed. Really connect personally and you'll have employees for life.
Thanks to: Michael Kawula of Help A Teen.

7. Find Their Purpose

I have a habit of speaking bluntly, which doesn't always work for everyone. I started watering down my bluntness to focus on empowering employees and praising their strengths - it goes a long way in creating a happy team who feel fulfilled in their careers. Being your authentic self definitely helps attract good culture fits for your organization. I'm a huge believer in designing the job role around each individual personality so everyone's doing the tasks that they enjoy most.
Thanks to: Sophie Bowman of Brand Branding PR LLC.

8. Catching Talent

Attracting and retaining professional talent is essential for any successful business. A business can only be as good as its employees. One way to attract and retain good talent is to offer family-friendly benefits. Offer PTO for sick time that includes approved absences for immediate family illness. Partner with employees to pay for childcare or to provide on-site childcare if able. This demonstrates that a company believes in the importance of family and invests in their employees.
Thanks to: Robyn Flint of TheTruthAboutInsurance.com.

9. Soar With Eagles

Chocolate Pizza Company has found excellent entry level new hires from within our local scout troop. Talking with scout leaders about job openings has resulted in their passing on the information to high quality, motivated young people, many of whom have achieved or are working toward Eagle rank. These young people usually stay with us for their junior/senior years in high school and return during summer or holiday breaks in college. They also refer similarly hardworking youth.
Thanks to: Ryan Novak of Chocolate Pizza Company.

10. Employee Personal Brand

One way a business can establish strong messaging around hiring is with an employee showcase as an ongoing social media campaign. When people see a company featuring & supporting employees with personal brand recognition, it shows a variety of positive features job seekers look for in an employer.

In turn, when those employees share that feature, it provides the company 8x as much reach in our newsfeeds & supports a positive reputation through more trusted evangelists - our satisfied peers.
Thanks to: Sue Koch of Social Media Success Catalyst.

11. Hunt for Good Will

When hiring, I allot time during the interview for the ideal candidate(s) to go on a tour. Their tour guide is selected in advance--it is the person with the most welcoming personality, the most enthusiastic outlook, the person who is most likely a team leader. While he or she may not be representative of the entire staff, that person is able to reflect the good will and positive environment toward which we strive.
Thanks to: Marlene Caroselli.

12. Location is Irrelevant!

Businesses must re-think how to hire: shifting mindset from hiring to accessing talent.
Instead of hiring full-time employees and being limited by their location, hiring a remote consultant or contractor opens the hiring playing field, providing the company and contractor flexibility. The company gets the best person available regardless of their location. The person hired gets a stimulating new project. Tech hiring platforms like Catalant and Upwork make it possible to find great hires.
Thanks to: Carlos Castelán of The Navio Group.

13. Treat Them as Adults

This should be the rule, not the exception. Most of all for high-end talent, but not exclusively. Benchmark outcomes, not timesheets. Let them work remotely. Don't spy on them. Encourage vacations.

How many lifestyle design blogs talk about sitting trapped under florescent lights, getting micromanaged, distrustful reporting, or living in a panopticon? None. It's nobody's dream career. Just build the company that you'd want to work at. It's not complicated.
Thanks to: Corey Northcutt of Northcutt.

14. The Second Time is the Charm

I can tell you how to hire and retain good people:

1. Hire family members. They won't say they have to go home to their family since you ARE their family. Also, you have access to them outside of traditional work hours, which enhances the productivity of the firm.
2. If you do hire from outside your family, hire people who have a repeat success rate. I heard Neil Patel say if people do something well twice, he hires them. If they only do something well once, it could be a fluke.
Thanks to: Janice Wald of Mostly Blogging.

15. Be Fair, Bonus and Reward

Treat your employees how you would wish to be treated. Praise them when it's due for a great job. Offer constructive feedback when they've done something that's not to your standard. Do not shout, rant or rave. In short, develop a reputation for treating your staff well and you'll be amazed at how many potential employees get referred your way. In addition, bonus people when they have done great work. This can be as simple as expenses-paid for night out or even a round of surprise pizzas.
Thanks to: Alistair Dodds of Ever Increasing Circles.

16. Focus On Values First

The most important thing you can do to attract high-quality talent in this tight labor market is to get clear on your company values.

One thing employees are looking for is a company that aligns with their values. If you can make this clear in your job application, company materials, etc. then you will start to attract people who will be a better fit for you.

The bonus to this is that you won't waste much time on people who aren't a good fit, so it's a win-win.
Thanks to: James Pollard of The Advisor Coach LLC.

17. Have Mutual Goals

The key to success is to be sure the goals of employees and candidates align with the goals of the organization. Therefore, asking questions, such as “how can you help our company succeed and what do you want to gain by working here?” is essential. When employees reach their potential in the company and have nothing more to gain, the person is likely to move on. Therefore, stimulating current employees by giving them opportunities as the company grows will ensure their continued dedication.
Thanks to: Elen Krut of Attorney & Author.

18. Flexible Working Hours

Employees, as much as they want to earn a decent living and have successful careers, want their working hours to be flexible. This will allow them cater to other personal activities and also complete the tasks they are meant to perform as employees. The modern employee wants a shift from the regular 8 - 5 and 40 hour work week.
Thanks to: Chuks Chukwuemeka of DepreneurDigest.

19. More Than a Paycheck

Your mission. If you have an awesome mission behind your company and hire the right passionate people who believe in that mission, the work itself will attract and retain the best (and right) people. There is so much more to life than a paycheck, and people frequently make decisions to work at places where they feel their work will be meaningful. The intellectual and creative stimulation will bring those people and keep them loyal to your organization and cause.
Thanks to: Grant Aldrich of OnlineDegree.

20. Keeping Young Workers Engaged

I have a younger workforce, so I have to deploy unique team-building events and activities to keep them engaged. I usually incentivize them with free food and drinks, and try to incorporate team building activities on Friday. This gives them a chance to destress and unwind after a long week. What I usually do is organize simple buffet-style food caterings or take them out to local bars for happy hour. I also offer free, but optional, yoga and dance classes throughout the week for them.
Thanks to: Jacob Dayan of Community Tax.

21. Have a Vision for Growth

You either hire by design or by default. Most don't have a plan and take the first person that "looks good". The business owner abdicates responsibility - they were hired to do some tasks, now they are answering phones, doing sales and hiring other people. And then, the business goes in the toilet and the owner has to do everything (again).

Do this - list out the roles and responsibilities for the job. How can you test that?

Give an exciting growth vision. That attracts and keeps people.
Thanks to: Chris Goegan of Engineered Growth Systems.

22. Offer Truly Exciting Benefits

The best tip I've used for attracting a key position for my company was offering benefits they would actually get excited about. A gym membership is nice, but I wanted to offer benefits that made it nearly impossible for them to dismiss. This included the ability to work remotely and unlimited vacation, as well as unlimited education and equipment expense. There was no question we were willing to invest into their well-being, both in and out of the company.
Thanks to: Jeff Rose of Good Financial Cents.

23. Help Them Achieve in Life

The way to keep good employees is to ensure their long term interests line up with yours. Ask what their core objectives are outside of work. This can include family vacations or owning a home... whatever it is, when you show how working with you helps them accomplish their goals, you'll have a great working relationship. Then, by checking in quarterly, you solidify you're committed to helping them achieve not only at work, but in life. This personal care fosters a dedicated, hardworking team.
Thanks to: Scott Royal Smith of Royal Legal Solutions.

24. Identify Their Motivators

We've been able to retain our top employees by reverse engineering their motivators. We do this during an annual kickoff meeting where we set goals for our injury practice. Each employee also takes 30 minutes to make a personal vision board and set personal goals. As employers, we listen closely as each employees’ motivators are revealed. Some want expensive things, others want to travel, some want more free time. We note these and use them for individual bonuses throughout the year.
Thanks to: Justin M. Lovely, Esq. of The Lovely Law Firm.

25. Celebrate and Appreciate

I believe strongly in celebrating the members of my team and the wins and successes we achieve, and I think showing that appreciation for their talent and their hard work is a key reason why so many of our team members remain with us. We work on exciting projects and we make a difference in the lives of others. That alone makes coming to work every day great.
Thanks to: Michael Stahl of HealthMarkets.

26. Strong Management Support

1. Have strong support from upper management and an open line of communication. MOD gives everyone a platform to express ideas and be heard. I constantly show my appreciation through open dialogues, providing pretty competitive compensations & benefits, surprise bonuses, and top talent awards. This accessibility to the owner strengthens the confidence in the company and its management.

2. As a company, we participate in different community and charity works, as a way to give back.
Thanks to: Daniel Ramsey of MyOutDesk.

27. Career Advancement Programs

It's important for companies, especially growing ones that are looking to expand their workforce, to invest in their employees so they feel more confident about their future within the company. Workers who see their employers investing in their personal career development are more productive and less stressed about job security - making them happier.
Thanks to: Sander Rietveld of Cuckoo Clock Specialist.

28. Unlimited Vacations

What we have found with this new generation of employees is they care more about vacation time than food and beverages, and games in the office. They want to be able to go and relax; if they work hard, they want to play hard. So, what we've done is provide unlimited vacations with proper approval to all employees to allow them to have their quiet time and it has worked greatly to retain top talent in this new generation... They work hard - they want to rest hard.
Thanks to: Christopher Carter of Approyo.

29. Respect Their Non-Work Life

In law, the volume of hours, coupled with constant pressures, cause frequent burn out and turn over. To combat this, respect the employee’s non-work life. Retention isn’t accomplished by free lunches or the like. It comes by recognizing life exists outside work. That’s why we don’t email outside 9-5 work hours and we discourage overtime or working late. When an employee enjoys life and has time with family/friends, they enjoy their job more, perform better, and don’t want to leave.
Thanks to: Devin Miller of Miller IP Law.

30. Profit-Sharing for All

We've been able to retain top talent by fostering a team approach through compensation. We reward the entire team through monthly profit sharing bonuses. This compensation approach encourages teamwork across all staff members, regardless of position or primary responsibilities. By being rewarded with the success of the business, it's an inherent way to align our staff with our business goals. Being part of the success of our company and rewarded monthly has proven to improve tenure and morale.
Thanks to: Randy Smith of The Handyman Company.

31. Give Out the Free Things

Everyone knows that employees want more money - Big Surprise. But, handing out higher pay and larger bonuses costs more money.

But, employers have plenty of virtually free things to hand out. Awards and Recognition cost almost nothing. Many employees perform better with solid public recognition, why not use it?

Employee of the Quarter, Salesperson of the Month, the Honors award - the list is endless, but the performance gains are not.
Thanks to: Scott W Johnson of QuakeCov.

32. Two Ears and One Mouth

1. Keeping employees engaged in constant training to help them be the best person possible as employees and as humans in general. As an employer, I invest in their personal well-being through financial education, life coaching, and self-development books we do together. This helps establish loyalty and trust to move on to their next endeavor gracefully together.

2. Listening, understanding, and responding to their wants, desires, and concerns. Always remember, two ears and one mouth.
Thanks to: Tommy Breedlove of Tommy Breedlove.

33. Treat Them Like Family

There are many criminal defense attorneys, but not enough good ones. When I find one, I go to great lengths to keep them happy. My #1 tip would be to treat them like family. Go beyond the dry employer/employee relationship. Get to know their family, introduce them to yours, and talk about things other than just work. In doing so, I have found my employees start to approach their work with more of a personal approach and become more loyal to the business.
Thanks to: Brian Joslyn, Esq. of Joslyn Law Firm.

34. Hire Only Experts

The most important tip to attract and retain employees is to ask the right questions from the very beginning of a potential hire. Training an employee is time consuming and expensive, so it is critical to hire a person that is eager to be a true expert at the job. A person that has a genuine passion for the job is more likely to be successful. Make sure that a potential new hire is not merely looking for a paycheck. A person must genuinely care about mastering the job and becoming an expert.
Thanks to: David Reischer of LegalAdvice.com Corp.

35. Facebook and Your Why

Throughout our franchise system, more and more franchise locations are finding personnel on Facebook. It's a free to low-cost hiring portal.

Once hired, it's important to weave the fabric of your culture into the training of your new employee. Your new employee needs to know WHY you do what you do. Through this, employees typically take more ownership and satisfaction in their work.
Thanks to: Luke Hancock of Bin There Dump That.

36. Room to Thrive

We encourage our team to contribute heavily to projects and give them permission to own their decisions in their departments. I believe a lot of excellent minds are pushed to the wayside because someone else's ego got in the way and squashed creativity. We’ve found that the more we support our team to be the best versions of themselves, the more they thrive. It's a win-win! The business benefits and our team stays challenged and motivated by having support, authority and sway on their projects.
Thanks to: Caitlin Pyle of Proofread Anywhere.

37. Members of the Family

We treat all our employees like members of my family by celebrating birthdays with a signed card and gift certificate. We also celebrate weddings, babies and especially sober anniversaries, which are really important in our industry. We offer good health, life, and eye insurance, plus a free membership to American Gym. Also, we do employee written reviews after 90 days, 6-months and a year to give employees a good sense of where they stand in terms of their work and future with the company.
Thanks to: Mark Shandrow of Asana Recovery.

38. Loosen the Reins

My team is comprised of responsible, highly capable adults. Having the freedom to work when and where they want lends itself to accountability. Whether designing a brochure, writing content or getting news coverage, we’ve never missed a deadline in 22 years. This management style heightens creativity and productivity. A happy team is a loyal team.
Thanks to: Lisa Porter of Porter PR & Marketing.

39. Hire for Your Company Culture

Hire people who fit into your workplace culture. You can train anyone to work, but the people who will give their all and stay for years are the ones who mesh best into your work family. With a low unemployment rate here in Utah, we've found that we can hire the best people by appealing to their sense of belonging rather than by pay and hours. We promote to applicants how we come together to help each other out and provide value. This gives us job applicants who want to be a part of that.
Thanks to: Adam Jacobs of Powerblanket.

40. Googlize Your Recruitment

The simplest solution for better recruiting might be just a few clicks away. Remember that a job listing is a web page, just like every other page on your company website. Make sure each job and your career page is search engine optimized, beginning with job titles that job seekers might use to search. Don't forget about Google. 75% of job seekers start their search on Google and over 90% use mobile devices. Even your job application must be mobile-friendly, responsive, and load fast.
Thanks to: Ira Wolfe of Success Performance Solutions.

41. A Relaxed Company Culture

The best way to attract and retain employees is to create a relaxed company culture. Nobody wants to work at a company where they fear what will happen if they make a mistake, so treating your employees with respect and being transparent with them can go a long way in terms of attracting and retaining employees.
Thanks to: Ken Eulo of Smith & Eulo Law Firm.

42. Money Talks

With economic inequality and student debt at an all-time high, people care about one thing above all: money. That's why financial incentives are the best way to attract and retain employees. Offering good health insurance, performance-based bonuses and sizeable raises will attract potential employees, and keep current employees happy.
Thanks to: Darryl Smith of Florida Car Accident Lawyer Team.

43. Progressive Bonuses

I used to own an ad agency. One big way I found to really improve employee retention is profit alignment through progressive bonuses. It works like this: I offer about 20% of all company’s profit to be shared among all employees. In Q1, they earn 5% of that 20%. They then get 10% in Q2, and 15% in Q3. And in Q4, they receive the remaining 70%. The incentive for them to stay is huge, and since they’re now aligned with the company’s profit, they start to think like intrapreneur.
Thanks to: Julien Raby of Cookwared.

44. It's Time to Hire Smarter

Become more selective, ask yourself; “what are we hiring for”? Begin with understanding the behavioral elements of the job and then, moving to the behaviors of the candidate. It’s not about what the candidate “can do”, rather what they are wired to do. The point is not to lower standards, but rather to define the standards. By defining the behavioral benchmarks of a position, organizations can find the proverbial needle in the haystack, even when the labor market is less than ideal.
Thanks to: Alphonso Cheponis of Straightline Consulting Group.

45. Sweeten the Deal

Offer a retirement investment account. Gone are the days when you can just offer cash only compensation to employees. Top employee candidates look for benefits that increase the value of their compensation. Traditional employer-sponsored accounts are costly and administratively burdensome, but some options are low-cost or no-cost to the employer that offer better options than traditional financial firms. This improves the total compensation package, which can attract and retain new talent.
Thanks to: Don Osmond of SaveDay.

46. Be Flexible and Welcoming

In order to make sure that you retain your employees, have a more flexible and welcoming environment. Be more flexible with dress codes and be reasonable with rules. It also helps to be more welcoming to fresh and new ideas, and always offer a helping hand to everyone in the team. Simply put, giving your employees a better and more relaxed work environment helps in keeping your workforce happy, motivated, and on your team!
Thanks to: Simon Hansen of Home Brew Advice.

47. The Use of Targeted Job Advert

The best tip is to stop using traditional job adverts and start using Targeted Job Advertisements (TJAs). TJAs answer the one fundamental question that top-quality applicants want answered: "What's in it for me?"

Focus on the abilities, behaviors and interests required to be a future high performer, not on the tasks that are described in position descriptions: concentrate on what makes a top performer a top performer. Download the TJA template here: http://ow.ly/6Box30q9wDE
Thanks to: Mark Purbrick of Peoplogica.

48. Interview Redos

Karat conducts technical interviews on behalf of businesses like Intuit, Indeed, and Pinterest. One way to attract talent is by maximizing the hiring pipeline. We offer candidates the opportunity to redo their interview if they weren't happy with their performance for any reason. About 15% take us up on this, and the ones that make it through on the second try end up accepting offers with equal efficiency. This win-win makes a better candidate experience and helps companies access more talent.
Thanks to: Jeffrey Spector of Karat.

49. Outline the Value of Benefits

We issue an annual total compensation statement.

In contrast to a traditional payslip, it outlines the monetary value of all the perks an employee receives.

At Resume Genius, it includes the amount paid for a weekly massage ($15 for 15 minutes), our fitness allowance ($35 a month), breakfast ($10 a time), mobile phone plan, and all other perks.

The statement conveys each employee’s total value to us, and shows we provide more than only the gross salary and bonus numbers suggest.
Thanks to: Samuel Johns of Resume Genius.

50. Kindness Pays & Rewards

I have interviewed a client previously. They have a low turnover rate for their full-time staff for a long time and I like to know why.

The owner shared with me that his company purchased personal hospitalization insurance for all their staff.

So, when any staff wanted to leave the company in the future, the staff can continue to subscribe to the insurance.

This kind gesture made a lot of their staff stay and inspires the new ones to join them, too.
Thanks to: Ah Long Tan of Kudos CAS.

51. Trust is a Two-way Street

The best tip I can give is trusting your people, their abilities, and their drive to achieve something meaningful in today’s world. People have different motivations and reasons why they do the things they do. Trusting them and allowing them to be themselves and you being flexible to their needs within reason can help you retain their loyalty to the business.
Thanks to: Izzy Regan of Urban Exteriors.

52. Job satisfaction is Key

People look for jobs that are rewarding in the long run. It’s easy to attract employees, but it’s much more difficult to retain them. They will accept the job if the pay is good, but pay alone won’t make them stay. In my business, I make sure to acknowledge my employees' efforts. Employees stay where they see progress in their careers. This meets job satisfaction way more than good pay could. If they’re satisfied with their job, they’ll be motivated to stay.
Thanks to: Rick Patterson of Poolonomics.

53. Succeed With Sabbaticals

Companies are all about culture these days. However, sabbatical & unlimited vacation are still very unusual in companies, so anyone adopting this approach will have the jump on other companies and be able to offer potential employees a unique benefit.

While people may scoff at the idea, as they feel their staff will never be in work, quite the opposite is true.

Refreshed & reinvigorated employees are so much better for business. We have seen productivity rise by over a third since we started.
Thanks to: Tracey Elisabeth of Studio-54.

54. Emphasize Company's Vision

Business owners who want to attract the best employees need to offer more than just a good salary and working conditions. In my experience, people get attached to the company’s vision, work culture, level of corporate responsibility and the overall relationship between management and workers. CEOs need to be consistent with their vision and therefore establish credibility that will attract and retain the best employees in the market.
Thanks to: Jovan Milenkovic of Kommando Tech.

55. Employee Referral Program

Our experience at Mashvisor shows that we get the most qualified and ambitious employees who stay with the company the longest through our current employees. That's because our employees already understand the work environment and culture so they are able to point out the most-fitting candidates. So, we've developed a formal employee referral program where we offer a financial incentive to our employees when they bring a new employee who stays with us for more than six months.
Thanks to: Daniela Andreevska of Mashvisor.

56. Attracting Employees to SMBs

One important, but underrated, thing that small businesses can offer to attract and retain good employees is a healthy work-life balance, and favorable working hours.

This is something that many employees consider as very important when deciding whether or not to work for a particular company. It is also something that big companies don't always have to offer.
Thanks to: Joe Flanagan of Tacuna Systems.

57. Why Managers Leave Their Jobs

In partnership with Dr. Ashley Prisant from Harvard University, TalentLMS asked 500 managers why would they leave their job, and what would make them stay. Their answers revealed that the top factors driving managers away are an unhealthy working environment, not being part of the decision-making process, and insufficient training and development. While they stay because of the people they manage, decision-making power, work-life balance, feeling acknowledged, and training opportunities.
Thanks to: Ana Casic of TalentLMS.

58. Career Pathway Power!

Set up career pathways with employees that layout:
- Responsibilities and goals for their position.
- Training and development programs.
- Growth opportunities.

Establish pathways around the company's needs, but also the candidate/employees' interests and goals.

Candidates will be attracted to the position because they clearly know all the job requirements and their purpose when hired. Retention rates go up because they know the benefits and positions available if they stay long-term.
Thanks to: Crystal Huang of ProSky.

59. One Tip to Attract Employees

As a business growth coach, I advise all my clients to develop a Scorecard that clearly explains the values of the organization, the mission of the specific role, the “Top 5” responsibilities, competencies, and a clear picture of what success looks like at different milestones throughout the year.

An inspiring leader who can clearly articulate exactly what success looks like in their organization is an extremely attractive incentive – one that definitely outshines ping-pong tables.
Thanks to: Shawn Johal of Elevation.

60. All You Need Is Love

Compliment your current employees sincerely, specifically, and often. If you do, they will recruit their friends. This works even when you can't offer the highest salaries or best benefits; people require money to work, but they don’t actually work for money. They work to feel appreciated, celebrated and a valued part of a team.
Thanks to: Caroline Fisher of Germane & Wise.

61. Flexible Workplace Culture

One of the advantages of a small business is a flexible workplace culture & environment.

I worked for a great company before I ventured out on my own. I loved it there.

For one, the company had weekends off.

They didn’t have strict dress codes.

The top managers, including the owner, were professional but very approachable.

Finally, they have an employee-welfare-first policy. For example, if an employee needs to go out because of a family emergency, they can go out & come back to work later.
Thanks to: Kenny Trinh of Netbooknews.

62. Build a Good Reputation

The best way to attract and retain employees is to build a reputation as a good person or organization to work for. This comes down to much more than just offering desirable hours or benefits, and also depends on how you or your managers come across in the workplace, too.

If you can make your workplace supportive, friendly, and fair so that employees actively enjoy working there, this will go much further to retain employees and spread the word to new prospective hires, than anything else.
Thanks to: John Moss of English Blinds.

63. Happy Employees Stick Around

Employee engagement is crucial to any successful employee retention plan. First, lay out a clear road map for success in their role, recognizing good work along the way. Along with recognition, establish a solid foundation of two-way communication and provide them with a sense of purpose. Communicate to them how they fit within the overall picture of the company, showing that they matter to the success of the business. Lastly, be realistic and fair with your feedback, goals, and timeline.
Thanks to: Chris Myers of Professional Alternatives.

64. Remote Work is a Big Perk

I handle marketing and hiring for a small, but growing, B2B ecommerce business.

We're completely remote. Unless you have the budget to pay top-market wages, you'll have to distinguish yourself from competitors. Which means quality of life becomes the biggest consideration for a new hire. We've had the same core of people in Portland, San Francisco, D.C., Knoxville, Croatia, & the Philippines for about 4 years now. Flexibility to live and work wherever, whenever is key to keeping people happy.
Thanks to: Jake Rheude of Red Stag Fulfillment.

65. 500 Business Owners Say...

A recent Paychex survey of 500 business owners with fewer than 500 employees found that the top three most effective tactics for retaining employees are:
Increasing salaries (37%), giving bonuses (33%), and increasing scheduling flexibility (31%).

And, the top three most effective tactics business owners utilize for convincing prospective employees to take a job with their company are: Offering competitive salaries (36%), offering schedule flexibility (35%), and allowing remote work (18%).
Thanks to: Leah Machado of Paychex, Inc.

66. Attract Talent With a QSEHRA!

Offer “big company” benefits with a Qualified Small Employer HRA, an alternative to expensive, unpredictable employer-based plans. This superior model allows employers to reimburse employees for premiums and medical expenses tax-free. It’s gaining traction due to its flexibility, efficiency, and cost-control for the employer, and portability and personalization for employees. We have helped more than 1,400 companies set up small business HRAs and offer the same benefit to our employees.
Thanks to: Amy Skinner of Take Command Health.

67. Squeeze In for a Live Audition

We prioritize ensuring that the employees we hire truly fit in with our values, energy, and environment. To find out if a potential employee fits within our fun-loving, motivated restaurant culture, we hold a type of “live audition”. While we may be drawn to a potential new hire during interviews, the true test is seeing how they will jive with Squeeze In, in real time! We value transparency, and judging how our new employees work within our environment gives us clarity into character!
Thanks to: Shila Morris of Squeeze In.

68. How We Attract Our Employees

We’ve found that providing a series of rewards for longer tenure has helped us to retain a lot of talent. For example, employees that are on the team for more than a year get more flextime and flexplace in their schedule (up to 20% of the week), and the same for the two year anniversary (up to 40% of the week). We also give two more vacation days per year after the two year work anniversary. We find that things like this give people something to aim for, thus helping to retain them.
Thanks to: Stefan Chekanov of Brosix.

69. Small is Beautiful

Actively promoting the benefits of working for a small business has proved to be the best way to attract skilled staff. Those who are new to the job market or who’ve only experienced corporate life aren’t always aware of the many advantages that a small firm can offer. We’ve found promoting the rewards of working in a close knit team, where your efforts are more readily recognized, is a powerful recruitment tool, especially with Millennials who want to be seen as individuals.
Thanks to: Sue Andrews of KIS Finance.

70. Is This Job Right for Them?

It's easy to pick out the right person based on their qualifications, but it's important to also ask "Is this the right job for them?". On paper, someone may seem qualified and based on that alone, it's tempting to pull the trigger, however, does that mean they'll actually be happy doing the work you want them to?

If they're overqualified or exceed your experience requirements, there's a chance they could become bored and disengaged from the role!
Thanks to: Mark Webster of Authority Hacker.

71. Improve Culture

To attract and retain talent, companies must develop cultures that such talent wants to work within. The cultures that employees want to work for invite employees to focus on organization-advancement: learning and growing, thinking optimally, reaching goals, and lifting others. Unfortunately, such cultures are uncommon. Most organizational cultures invite employees to focus on their self-protection: looking good, being right, avoiding problems, and getting ahead.
Thanks to: Ryan Gottfredson of Cal State Fullerton.

72. Make it Challenging

The best tip for getting people to apply to jobs and stay in them is to make the application and the job challenging. Instead of a resume and cover letter, ask your applicants for a simple test. Be it a few lines of code, a test article, a marketing campaign draft or something else, make it interesting.
Once you hire the candidate, assign them challenges, new technologies, and interesting people to work with. Many people leave their jobs because of boredom and lack of chances to try new things.
Thanks to: Cassy Aite of Hoppier.

73. Grow Them!

According to a report by Gallup, when asked what do they most want from their new job, all employees and especially Millennials say opportunities to learn and grow top their list. Developing every employee is part of every manager’s job, all the time. To retain them, talk to employees regularly about their development and learning needs and desires. Then, develop appropriate, relevant, and specific development goals for them – for the next 90 days, or for the quarter, or for the year.
Thanks to: Halelly Azulay of TalentGrow LLC.

74. Effective 2-way Communication

Communicating often with the team helps to ensure that everyone feels they are part of the company's mission. They all are aware of what we are working on and what goals we want to achieve. Having this clear communication on a consistent basis (for example, via newsletter updates and a closed WhatsApp group) helps employees feel they are part of the team, are included in key decisions and conversations, and are encouraged to feedback their opinions and thoughts.
Thanks to: Sukhi Jutla of MarketOrders.

75. Growth Potential

Always consider the personal growth of the employee or potential employee as the primary factor. While your business needs may be at the forefront of your mind, the more flexible you can be with the role, learning opportunities and the ability to grow will ensure that anyone you bring on board will thrive and so will your business.
Thanks to: Anubh Shah of With Clarity.

76. Retired... But Not Tired!

Enlist the support of recently retired or soon-to-be-retired company employees to publicly champion the company as a great place to work. These former employees can be hired on a freelance basis to:
1) Give speeches to promote the company in the local community and at job fairs
2) Mentor new employees
3) Network at industry events to identify high-potential new employees
4) Author articles or appear on podcasts to share the company’s plans for growth and a new employee's role in it
Thanks to: Bryan Mattimore of Growth Engine Innovation Agency.

77. Praise More, Criticize Less

Too often, junior level employees aren't recognized for their contributions. Employees want to feel they are making contributions to a firm's success, so they need to get positive feedback whenever they can. Yes, they should receive training, but they need to know that upper management recognizes their good work. Make sure supervisors share good news about an employee with upper management and encourage upper management to praise them whenever they can.
Thanks to: David Brimm of BrimmComm.

78. Don't Guess

Many studies have shown employee satisfaction is most correlated with interaction with their direct managers. Offer training and a clear vision of expected company management style and 360 reviews. Turnover is so costly, both directly and indirectly, so make sure that you are guiding solid relationships and interactions within the workplace. It is too costly to be guessing and hoping your managers are focused on the company's core values.
Thanks to: Elisa Sheftic of Right Executive Search.

79. Start With Current Employees

The best way to attract and retain employees is to treat those working for you already well.

If your current employees are treated with respect, empowered to do great work and are well compensated, not only will they stay, they’ll speak highly of the company and likely refer others to your business.

Treat employees poorly and you’ll receive bad reviews on sites like Glass Door and damage your brand.
Thanks to: Stephanie Hackney of Branding Masters.

80. Offer What They're Looking for

This might sound obvious, but it really comes down to offering the things the top talent is looking for. Take the time to talk to candidates about the main factors in their decision where to work. You can then assess the pay, benefits, and other employee perks offered by the companies competing with you for this talent, and look for ways you can stand out from them in the eyes of candidates.
Thanks to: Jon Hill of The Energists.

As always, many thanks to everyone that contributed to this article!

Also, if you would like to become a part of the CarolRoth.com contributor network and find out about opportunities to contribute to future articles, sign up here: http://www.carolroth.com/carolroth-com-blog-contributor-sign-up/

Article written by
Carol Roth is a national media personality, ‘recovering’ investment banker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is a judge on the Mark Burnett (Shark Tank, The Voice, Survivor, The Apprentice) produced technology competition series, America's Greatest Makers, airing on TBS and Host of Microsoft's Office Small Business Academy show. Previously, Carol was the host and co-producer of The Noon Show, a current events talk show on WGN Radio, one of the top stations in the country, and a contributor to CNBC, as well as a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN, Fox Business and other stations. Carol's multimedia commentary covers business and the economy, current events, politics and pop culture topics. Carol has helped her clients complete more than $2 billion in capital raising and M&A transactions. She is a Top 100 Small Business Influencer (2011-2015) and has her own action figure. Twitter: @CarolJSRoth