Wouldn’t it be great if all the Harvard graduates, international superstars and MBA qualified candidates wanted to work for you? How much more productive would your company be if your staff was made up of all-star employees who not only knew how to work together as a team, but who also responded well to challenges, contributed bright ideas and moved your company forward?
What’s stopping you from hiring the highest caliber, smartest candidates who’d be most suitable for your company? For most of us, it comes down to one little word that causes a large problem: budget. Most startups or small-to-medium sized businesses simply don’t have the resources to pay out the types of salaries expected by the brightest talent.
So how can you hire the most brilliant of brains or the next Zuckerberg of programming when you simply don’t have the funds to create an A-team? While it may not always be possible to convince all the employees you want to take a pay cut in exchange for an enriching experience, one important factor to keep in mind is that not everyone is driven by money.
In fact, the idea of being challenged, the prospect of taking on responsibility, or helping to change the world can be equally (if not more) motivating. Check out these simple (and free) ways that your company can attract big players on a small budget:
1. Let your passion shine through.
A little passion goes a long way. To echo the words of cultural anthropologist, Margaret Mead:
“Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.”
So, you may only have a small startup or a slowly growing company with a lot of plans, but if you’re passionate about what you do and can offer top employees the chance to be part of something exciting, with the potential change people’s lives, the emotional pull may be strong enough to get them on board.
Convey your company’s passion through your mission, your online recruitment forms, website content, presentation video and your interactions with customers. If you have a compelling mission and you actually follow it, hiring top employees will be easier.
2. Top employees like a challenge!
Not only do brighter minds get restless if they’re presented with the same tasks day-in-and-day-out, but they thrive on the possibility of a challenge. During the interview, make it clear to them that your company needs someone to take the lead on new and exciting plans that you aim to launch in the near future; and that they have a chance of making a huge difference in coming up with solutions to your problems.
If you can, share client case studies with them to demonstrate the difference that your product or service makes in your customer’s lives and the areas for improvement that haven’t been implemented yet. Appeal to people who would rather be the head of a mouse, than the tail of a lion; being able to sculpt a position around their skills and strengths can be far more interesting than following predefined tasks in a large multinational.
3. Work with like-minded people.
The very best way to work with the most talented people is to hire the most talented people; at least for the top positions in your company. Great minds like to work with other great minds and will become easily frustrated if their ideas and opinions can’t be carried through or appreciated by the people around them. Start with yourself. Highlight your experience and qualifications. What makes you an A-player as a CEO or President? Be sure to tell inspirational stories to prove that you know your industry inside and out and that you’re strongly invested in your company’s future.
4. Offer long-term growth.
When considering working for a small company or startup, many prospective employees will be cautious about the potential for long-term growth. Working for a Fortune 500 company, for example, is less likely to generate this doubt, because the chances for long-term growth have already been proven. So make it clear to candidates not only that you plan for long-term growth, but how you plan for long-term growth and where you see your company going. Let them know that their ambitions and career goals will be fostered here and that they can help to shape your company’s future.
5. Make use of social media!
As the demand for skilled talent rises, so does the competition for snagging the high-flyers who will move your company forward. Make sure that you make use of the right social media channels, including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, as these networks are full of potential A+ talent. According to a 2014 survey by Jobvite, 73% of recruiters have hired a successful candidate through social media. Analyze your company’s online reputation and make sure that your profiles are active so that potential candidates can contact you through as many channels as possible.