Hiring Advice

Hiring Great Employees on a Limited Budget

Written by Andrew Goldman for Gaebler Ventures

When a small business is hiring new employees, they need to get creative in attracting the best employees. While the small business cannot always offer as high of salaries as larger businesses, they can offer other incentives to attract great talent.

One of the most exciting aspects of business for entrepreneurs is when the company grows and there is an opportunity to hire new employees and bring new talent on board.

Hiring Great Employees on a Limited Budget

Being able to hire a new employee is usually a sign of growth and progress. Naturally, the small business owner wants to attract and hire the best employees available.

The problem is that the small business is usually hiring on a budget and may not be able to hire a new employee at the same rate as their large business counterparts.

Despite this monetary hiccup, the small business can still attract and hire great employees. The key is offering the employees an opportunity that they would be unable to attain at a larger company. Obviously your salary and benefits package will have to be in the ballpark of the larger companies, but you can hire great employees for less, if you can offer them something different.

As a small business, you can offer prospective employees added responsibilities that they would not find at a larger company. In order to offer these added responsibilities, you may have to take a step back in certain areas or at least be willing to share some duties with the new hire.

For example, if you were looking to hire a Director to Consumer Sales Manager, you may be able to entice the prospective hire with additional marketing duties or budget planning responsibilities.

As the above example illustrates, you can offer learning opportunities and expanded responsibilities that larger companies cannot. This can be extremely desirable for an employee looking to grow and learn. There are some who would argue that learning and personal growth is as much of a motivator as money. By offering added responsibility, you can obtain a great hire for less money than a larger business may be offering.

In addition to the added responsibility, your company's potential for growth can be a great selling point to prospective hires. Clearly an employee who comes on board at the ground level and is part of the growth period will gain experience and possibly money that they would not obtain at a larger company.

Be proud of your company when interviewing employees and show them your plans for growth. In addition to the potential money the employee could gain due to expansion, there's also a personal self-satisfaction of being an integral part of success.

Another great way to attract employees on a limited budget is you yourself. If you are providing the employee an opportunity to learn and work alongside you, you can sell yourself as a reason to join the company. While modesty is a great quality, sometimes you have to put it aside for the sake of your business.

Explain to the prospective employee your background and what you would teach the employee. Many larger businesses have poor managers, and this is a great opportunity for you to separate yourself from these big businesses. Working alongside an entrepreneur can be a great learning experience for an employee, and you should be comfortable selling this point.

Just because you have a limited budget doesn't mean you can't hire great employees. Get creative and remember that there are major motivators besides money.

Andrew Goldman is an Isenberg School of Management MBA student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has extensive experience working with small businesses on a consulting basis.

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