You will often hear managers and CEOs of large companies say how their employees are their most valuable asset. Then, a week later, they will fire a thousand people because their last quarterly revenue was 0.005% lower than was expected.
The good news is that the situation is somewhat different in small-to-medium businesses where owners and managers need to capitalize on every little advantage they might have over the competition. In many cases, this turns out to be a particularly effective team or even a single employee.
Unfortunately, for many SMBs, it has been historically difficult to attract top talent in their industry and even more difficult to keep these talented people from leaving for greener pastures. Over the last two decades or so, we see this starting to change and a huge part of this process has been the web.
Becoming More Visible
Probably the most obvious way in which the web has changed the way companies attract top talent is that they become more visible thanks to their online presence.
The way people looked for jobs was very different before the proliferation of the internet and the vast majority of job seekers stayed in their own area when looking for business. Small-to-medium companies had very limited options when trying to attract people from other parts of the country, let alone the world.
Today, companies can put their listings on directories and job websites around the world, finding a way to people who would not be aware of them two decades ago. They can also use social media and blogging to make people take notice of them and consider them as their new employer. They can start a YouTube channel where they will talk about their industry and thus widen their reach, so to say.
The options are endless and the best thing is that they allow for a reach that is historically unprecedented.
Sending a Message Across
Simply being present online is not enough to attract talented people who will want to become your employees. Your online presence needs to be accompanied by a message that will let them know this is the place where they will thrive.
For example, a modern website with a great design will definitely cause people to sit up in their chairs. The design should always be appropriate and give the potential employee the exact feel of what they might expect from this company. About Us pages are very important, as are the pages where the company’s team is introduced.
A company also needs to be very careful about their social media presence, displaying a certain business philosophy that will help attract top talent. For example, if they wish to come across as a laid-back place where individuality is valued, the company will display this side of them on the social media by posting funny content and making everything seem more like fun than work. A company that wishes to come across as the beacon of professionalism and the leading expert in the field will not be posting gifs of cats and babies.
Also, companies need to be careful not to be lame on social media.
Keeping the Employees on Board
Once a company steals the heart of the top person for the job and they become an employee, the second part of the job starts, i.e. keeping this new employee on board and satisfied. Once again, the web can play a huge role here.
For one, your company can give this new employee a way to show off their expertise and knowledge. Ask them to be featured on the company blog. Make sure to announce their hiring as big news for your company. Make them feel welcome. People appreciate being welcome online.
Of course, it goes beyond this. Internet also allows you to give your top talent a bit of leeway when it comes to working from home. With a bit of help from quality employee management software (that does most of its stuff online), your new employee will be able to concentrate on their work and not pointless admin.
While it may feel a bit like snooping, you can also check your new employee’s social profiles from time to time and try to gauge their feelings about the new workplace. If you feel they are not content and might be pondering leaving, this can help you make all the right moves to dissuade them from this.
The internet has become an inseparable part of the work culture and it would be outright ridiculous to try and ignore this fact. For employers, it can become a great ally when it comes to attracting talented people and keeping them happy.
And the best thing is that it costs almost nothing.
AUTHOR: James D. Burbank has spent years in marketing, both traditional and online and he has been blogging about his experiences and insights for some time now. Check him out on Twitter – @JBurbank2019.
Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and webpage design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.