The majority of small businesses believe flexibility is the key to attracting new staff, according to MYOB’s latest monthly survey of small businesses.
The survey, which was completed by more than 400 small businesses across Australia, found 38% of respondents believe employment flexibility is the key seller when it comes to attracting new talent.
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This is because small businesses don’t have the same budgets as large corporates and are unlikely to compete with the salary packages on offer from big businesses.
Meanwhile, 21% of respondents claim it is the culture within a small business that appeals most to potential candidates.
Simon Raik-Allen, MYOB’s chief technology officer, said in a statement the survey shows how small businesses can inspire loyalty and snap up staff from the big guys by “bringing a bit of heart to the equation”.
“SMEs do flexibility really well,” Raik-Allen said.
“We know it’s a major motivator in going out on your own. Making this part of your offer to employees is likely to give you the inside running in attracting quality talent.”
David Simpson, managing director of Melbourne HR, told SmartCompany flexibility and workplace culture can be major drawcards for working at a small business.
However, he points out that small businesses also need to assure potential candidates they will be walking into a positive work environment.
“That sell is hugely important for a small business,” Simpson says.
“Your website needs to show you have that team vision and you’re really pro-flexible policies. There needs to be a lot of reinforcement of those facts, because someone moving from a larger company is probably giving up money and career advancement.”
Simpson points out that just because it is often easier for SMEs to be more flexible, doesn’t mean small businesses are always more flexible working environments.
“Some people start a small business and they have the technical expertise or the vision, but they might find their people-managing skills won’t necessarily be of a standard to achieve that culture [they are after],” he says.
“It’s really important that companies plan a lot, particularly around flexible working arrangements, because while it’s easier to set up than in larger companies it can have a much more adverse effect if they don’t get it right because that employee is a much larger proportion of the company.”