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More than just the money?

Every employer knows the importance of having the right staff, not just in terms of delivering the task but in representing their company, service and brand; the right people are a strong USP.

In these challenging times, the battle for the best staff may be seen to be being won by the big names; those organisations that can clearly offer competitive salaries and carry the weight of reputation and kudos. But when it comes to hiring, it is increasingly not the case that only money matters! The media and online news are frequently awash with employment statistics and satisfaction surveys; with career progression and scope of responsibilities high on the employee hit-list. Perhaps more surprisingly is the lack of importance or significance that salary alone has in the overall job satisfaction for many. While salary is clearly important in meeting needs and paying the bills, and ultimately important to some for the status of a decent salary, for the majority, it is not the primary consideration. Equally, it is frequently employees who work within the SME marketplace who report the most job satisfaction, which in turn translates to better loyalty to their employer.

This situation paves the way for the SME to be in poll-position to not only attract but also retain some of the best, most suitable staff, growing and strengthening the company's own brand, reputation and position in so doing. So, in lieu of large pay cheques, what can you do to attract the best talent?

Look at your Employment Value Proposition

Increasingly, it is the personal feeling that counts. Ensuring the culture of your workplace provides employees with the opportunities that they want. While a smaller business may not have the same structured career progression, what they may lack in formal promotion paths they gain through influence and responsibility. Allowing employees greater opportunities for responsibility and performance can be easily delivered in an SME and can provide employees with more challenging and rewarding work projects.

Acknowledge the role your employees play in your USP

In SME's especially, word of mouth and reputation is key. In recognising the importance and value your employees have to your business, you are on the fast-track to retaining the right people and opening new doors. Providing your employees with opportunities to develop and grow, through learning new skills or supporting them in attaining personal goals; rewarding them for a job well done and the effort they deploy, not only helps to create a unified workforce but also spreads the word about a great employer with an excellent service or product.

It's all in the detail

Frequently when searching for jobs, candidates use a small selection of search terms; invariably these few words are a key to how the candidates view their skills or potential role. As such it is important when recruiting and defining job roles to be as clear and articulate about what you want, creating a seamless fit for the right candidate. Such key words and task will be part of how the candidate views or defines themselves; get them right and there will be no confusion, combine these with a clear outline of what you as an employer can offer in return or even perhaps expect e.g. will the employee report directly to management or be expected to be involved in strategic direction? Such opportunities are unlikely to be available in a much larger organisation. By giving out details of your added value to individuals as the employer, you have a winning formula to attract the best talent.


Great recruitment is crucial to any organisation and by appreciating the motivations and desires of candidates and the values and opportunities you as an employer have to offer as a whole, attracting and retaining the right calibre of individuals should be a great deal easier, catapulting you from an employer to an employer of choice!