How to attract the best talent on a budget

Of the many challenges small businesses face, recruiting on a budget tends to be a popular one. Since it’s not always easy to loosen the proverbial company purse strings, it’s important to look at a long term strategy that is feasible.

You can take solace in the fact that there are so many great people out there looking for the kind of experience a growing business has to offer. In fact, it’s a popular reason among many young people looking for a new job, even if that job pays less. The potential for long term career growth and work-life balance have risen to the top of the seeker wish list.

This is the talent you want to attract – the people who are dedicated and impassioned to work for a business that values their skills, time, and rewards them with more than just a fatter paycheck. As a growing business, the usual perks that big companies use to attract quality candidates may not be available to you – but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of what you do have.

Here are some great ways to attract top talent to your growing business.

More flexibility. As a technologically advanced society, we’ve really grown when it comes to getting things done across time zones and devices. While many employers believe in onsite presence as a factor in optimal performance, there are a lot of people that perform exceptionally well outside of the office, and don’t necessarily require 40 hours of desk time to produce quality work. Providing your employees with a level of flexibility that offers the chance to spend more time with their family, cater to unique circumstances, or simply avoid a very long commute once a week is a great way of relaying your appreciation and confidence.

Help them grow. We constantly hear companies referring to their employees as assets – but talented people are not commodities and shouldn’t be treated as such. In fact, they probably have a lot more to offer when their unique skillset is noticed and taken seriously. Find out what motivates your employees and ensure you’re taking the necessary measures to help them reach their goals. Encourage new projects, be open to their ideas, and look into training that can enhance their current skillset. It’s integral to be heavily involved in the development of your team members, and even more important to have a solid understanding of what makes them tick.

A greater purpose. People are always talking about how they want to do something that matters, and a sense of purpose naturally increases our motivation and energy levels. Last year, Deloitte did a Millennial Survey that found six of every ten respondents referenced a “sense of purpose” when identifying why they worked for their current employers. Sometimes it’s difficult to convince ourselves that our day jobs are meaningful – but there are great, healthy ways to tackle this. Bring team members together for great causes outside of the workplace. There are so many great, non-profit organizations looking for volunteers. Plus, coming together to do something good is a win-win for everyone.

More vacation. There’s been a lot of buzz around the concept of unlimited vacation, which is currently being offered by companies like Netflix, Hubspot, Evernote and Gilt. Of course, unlimited vacation is like regular vacation, in that it would need management approval and your employees would take the part about being able to keep up with their workloads seriously. If you don’t think unlimited is the way to go, you still have the chance to get creative with your vacation policy. Experiment to get an understanding of what your employees value most – vacation bonuses that ensure your team members avoid burnout and feel appreciated, perks that help them afford family vacations which are often very expensive, or simple discounts on the bare necessities that make vacations more fun.

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