Axios HR™ : Attract. Retain. Develop.

Innovative Staffing Strategies That Work For Small Businesses

The Candidate as Consumer: Creative Staffing Strategies that Work

If candidates can be viewed as consumers, and the number of available quality positions continues to shrink, staffing success demands a solid strategy, a good marketing plan and maybe even a few secret weapons up your sleeve. Companies are running leaner, trading full-time employees for independent contractors, consultants and freelancers, and top talent will continue to tilt further into that realm unless the ante is upped.

With fewer jobs available and even fewer quality candidates to step into them, it has become necessary to raise the stakes in order to attract and retain employees. You need to be competitive with compensation and benefits, especially for hard-to-find jobs, or you will have a longer time-to-fill, and your retention will ultimately suffer.

When Unemployment is Low, Go High

If employees think that their compensation and benefits package is competitive, they will be less likely to move on. The same rings true for potential hires: appeal to their sense of security, and let them know that their talents are worth something. Providing quantifiable rewards and incentives for their skills will go a long way towards on-boarding success. A thorough analysis of the compensation and benefits structure should reveal areas that could use improvement, making the HR department a key player in a successful hiring process and providing a competitive advantage from the standpoint of the candidate or new hire.

Use Creative Methods to Attract New Talent

Developing a strategic recruitment initiative is the key to success, but there are many facets to consider. Being competitive with your compensation and benefits package is a good start, but often this is not enough, and you run the risk of being out-bid by a competitor who is vying for the same talent.

To employees today, and millennials in particular, money isn’t everything. But, if you combine a generous offer with creative incentives, you have an opportunity to stand out as an employer who actually ‘gets’ their workforce, who cares, and who is willing to go the extra mile to ensure their employees are happy.

If you scroll down the list of Fortune Magazine’s Top 100 Best Companies to Work For, you’ll find little perks like free laundry service, gourmet food, and haircuts (Google, #1), fitness centers, flexible work days and the opportunity to telecommute, and even full domestic partner benefits for same-sex couples (Wegman’s Food Markets, #2). Health insurance for part-timers is not uncommon, as is college tuition reimbursement (Edward Jones, #5), stock options, onsite childcare, a basketball court, hoverboards to get around the building (Quicken Loans, #10), and paid time off for volunteering (Baird, #4). The importance of work-life balance plays heavily into this philosophy, as we know that workers who feel fulfilled outside of the office do better work when they are there.

HR Creativity on a Limited Budget

While not every company can afford to offer perks such as the above-mentioned, you can still attract and retain the talent you need to advance. Small businesses or businesses with limited resources can reach qualified candidates through social events, and open houses aimed at giving potential recruits an inside look at the organization and its culture. Employee referral programs can also be beneficial, and will attract candidates who possess the same or similar qualities to that of the referring employee. Nothing speaks for the company better than a happy, satisfied employee that’s already on staff.


The current competitive HR landscape requires a great deal of strategic rethinking of the hiring process. Raising the bar with an exceptional benefits and compensation package is a very good start – but to seal the deal it’s important to think outside the box. Attracting and retaining top talent is about appealing to their sense of worth: if they feel valued, they will stay, and you will reap the rewards of a well-adjusted workforce who will likely go the extra mile to ensure the organization stays on top.



April 10, 2017




> 50 employees < 50 employees Article Business Executives Competitive HR Professionals Under 50 Employees Staffing

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