hiring employeesAccording to Bank of America’s Fall 2015 Small Business Owner Report, more entrepreneurs than ever are feeling optimistic about the future of their businesses. This is great news in its own right, and means that entrepreneurs will be looking to hire more employees to help supplement their business growth.  

However, despite this anticipated growth and overall optimism, small business owners still have concerns.  A top concern among small business owners is finding and hiring good talent – and keeping those valued employees for the long run.

In order to retain the talent that keeps their businesses growing, it’s important that small business owners – like you – adjust to emerging workplace trends. To help identify these trends, as well as give tips and solutions to navigate this evolving workplace environment, I recently moderated a Google Hangout presented by Bank of America*, which included workplace expert Alexandra Levit, USA Today columnist Steve Strauss, and Bank of America’s Small Business Executive, Robb Hilson.

You can watch the full event here, but some of the key takeaways included:

Manage hiring so that it doesn’t handicap your growth – or your business.

Business growth is great for entrepreneurs, but there is always a risk of growing too fast. Anyone can hire new employees, but the small business owners who are growing at the right speed are the ones taking the time to analyze their needs and hire the right employees.

That may mean waiting until you are in dire need of hiring instead of projecting a potential need. It also means you should have a system in place to hire the right talent. Create dependable sourcing channels, a standardized interview process, and if possible, dedicate a staff member – at least part-time – to stay focused on this important task.

Also, consider a “try before you buy” approach, whereby you hire someone as a freelancer or a service provider to assess their fit before offering them a full-time position.

Understand, then adapt, to influences accelerating workplace change.

There are a number of changes that are fundamentally transforming business today. One is a shift in demographics. As more millennials enter the workplace and more baby boomers consider retirement, there is a shift in skills and philosophies that employees are bringing into the workplace.  There is also a shift of expectations, which means that a small business owner needs to understand and adapt to these shifts – as well as manage the potential conflicts of the “old way” of doing things vs. the “new way” of doing things.

Use technology to help employees and the business.

Technology is playing a major role as a catalyst in today’s small business. From cloud technologies and mobile solutions to social media, technology is changing what the workplace looks like and how employees work.

Use technology to help employees work smarter, work remotely and to create a cohesive culture, especially amongst workers in different locations.

Offer perks to attract and retain the best possible employees.

One of the biggest questions that small business owners ask in relation to employees and the workplace is what perks they can offer to attract and retain them. Taking a cue from Silicon Valley startups, small businesses are making more creative offerings, from remote working options to onsite perks, like nap rooms, free meals, pet-friendly environments and game rooms that help create a great culture and make the place of work feel more inviting.

That being said, some of the most valued attributes of employees in a workplace don’t cost anything.  Employees want to feel like their contributions are important. They want to have a voice and feel like it is being heard. They want opportunities for advancement. These soft perks are much more valuable than, say, being able to wear your pajamas to work on Fridays.

You can get more details on these tips and some additional tactics to help you be more successful in your cash flow projections and management by watching the 20-minute video of the event. Make sure to make the time to do this and pursue other strategic endeavors where you can work on your business, not just in it. It’s worth investing few minutes of your time to take your business to the next level!

* Disclosure: this company has a client relationship with CarolRoth.com or its affiliated entities.