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Competition for talent is continuously on the rise. With no signs of slowing down, it is becoming more challenging for business owners to convince prospective talent to believe in their vision and to invest their time and energy in their company. While it’s easy to assume that top talent generally demands top dollar, studies have shown that today’s up-and-coming talent, specifically millennials, are actually more interested in finding jobs with purpose and meaning. In other words, finding top talent is becoming less about the paycheck and more about the intrinsic rewards that help employees get more satisfaction from their everyday work. That said, here are a few ways to win over and keep amazing talent without offering massive salaries.
1. Revamp Your Incentives
If you haven’t looked over your company perks in a while, now is a great time to review them. This will help you identify any gaps, or areas of improvement that better align with your strategies. For example, more companies are implementing employee assistance programs, making employee wellness and health a major focus. This single perk might seem insignificant to some, but it sends a clear message that the employer values and respects its employees and cares about their wellbeing. Employees will identify and align with this core belief system which makes them feel like a priority. Health spending accounts are also an increasingly popular option for smaller businesses. It’s usually offered as an added perk, providing employees with a set dollar value for health services and products with tax free reimbursements. At the same time, a corporation will benefit from a tax write-off on the spending as well. (Read more about how to use a competitive benefits plan to attract top talent.)
2. Promote a True Team Environment
Traditional business structure promotes a linear top-down hierarchy which can fuel egos, increase company division and reduce productivity. That’s why more businesses are challenging the status quo, and building work environments where everyone feels equal. This gives every employee a chance to freely voice their opinions, and opens the flood-gates to incredible ideas and teamwork. When employees are looking for a new company in which they can make a meaningful impact, this more collaborative working environment becomes highly attractive. If owners and managers can build teams and not hierarchies, and show how collaboration flows equally between all roles, the company is in a better position to attract star talent without flashy salaries. More than that, they will be able to keep employees motivated engaged over the long-term.
3. Give Them a Piece of the Pie
Giving employees equity or ownership in the company in recognition of their hard work and ongoing contribution is an alluring strategy for many business, especially technology start-ups. In its early stages, Facebook was known to give employees ownership instead of higher salaries and today, those who took the leap of faith have seen life-changing returns. Offering employees some stake in the game incentivizes them to work hard and drive growth for many years, all in hopes of the bigger pay-out later on. Additionally, it can reinforce the team environment touched on earlier. Putting this type of incentive into the mix tends to attract top talent who seek more meaning and recognition in their work.
Getting Creative to Find the Right Talent
The battle for talent will not subside. Instead of offering big salaries to hard-to-find employees, businesses should consider the many other incentives that entice the top-talent mentality. Perks that make employees feel valued and respected, collaborative work environments that do away with traditional hierarchies and company equity options are some ideas that can pique the interest of talent, without dipping into the bank.
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