Large businesses often offer candidates the big brand name, several bonuses and benefits aligning with a large pay package. So, how can small businesses compete with the top guns and recruit the best possible talent? Fortunately, it is quite easy because there are many candidates looking to work in smaller companies. For example, smaller businesses often have less employees therefore the hierarchy is easier to climb and is less competitive. This offers employees more of a chance for career progression. Smaller businesses also offer opportunities in broader job profiles which allows them to build their learning and capabilities where often the larger companies are very job specific. Here are some more ways small businesses can compete with larger ones:
1. Offer competitive compensation
This can vary by industry and how many other roles to the same regard are available. By conducting market research and surveys, a ballpark figure will emerge. From here, creating benefits and perks to add to that or increasing the figure- you will attract the right candidates.
2. Provide a flexible workplace
Most large organizations have the expectation that employees will work normal business hours in their head office. They are unable to support further specific requirements as there are too many employees within their organization. By providing candidates the option to work in different environment, such as from home, or with flexible hours they are more likely to apply for your role. Allowing this point of difference makes your organisation attractive and appealing to a larger pool of candidates.
3. Don’t use generic job descriptions
Try to change the responsibilities of the ideal candidate by adding extra duties and using less “wordy”, descriptive tasks. Generally, this is provided in bullet points, which is more likely to be read by candidates. Also, try using language that is consistent with your company culture as this will also ensure the right people are found in the talent pool.
4. Use diversity to your advantage
Most candidates look for diversity before agreeing to signing a contract and commencing a role. For example, women will look for and be wary of gender equality in their workplace. Large organisations can fall into the trap of being too busy to be mindful of this. Therefore smaller companies can use this to their advantage by ensuring a diverse workplace of people from different parts of the world and different genders to attract top talent.
Be sure to check out The Recruitment Alternative’s affordable solutions for new roles you are hiring. Also, take a look at our testimonials for feedback from happy clients in small or large organisations who have used these tips to their advantage.
Most of us do not change jobs often enough to hone our skills in terms of salary negotiations. Nor do we possess lots of experience when it comes to negotiating a better salary at our salary review time. As a result it is not uncommon for people to enter into negotiations on the basis of hearsay and/or dangerous misconceptions.
What follows are negotiating approaches that you should avoid. Some may sound great at the pub or over a dinner conversation and they may have even worked for an individual that you know but that does not mean they represent sound negotiating techniques.
1. Avoid the aggressive cowboy approach.
The cowboy approach describes that person who rushes into negotiations with his/her guns ablazing, i.e., the person who generally thinks that they’re irreplaceable which entitles them to ask for unreasonable amounts of money. The cowboy negotiator believes that an uncompromising approach to negotiating is the best approach and that showing signs of weakness will only serve to undermine their campaign. They either get what they demand or they’re out looking for another job (which is common). Unless you are, in fact, irreplaceable then steer clear from this approach. And even if you are irreplaceable I would recommend a more modest approach.
2. Equally as dangerous as the aggressive cowboy is the submissive saint.
This person does not want to rock the boat or upset anyone. They’re so anxious at keeping the peace they’re willing to accept less than what they deserve. In fact, the very thought of having to negotiate sends shivers up their spines. This approach may work with some employers, but on the whole submissive saints are generally liked and underpaid – and they know it.
3. Avoid playing the politician.
The politician promises the earth to get his/her extra money but then finds a million excuses on why they can’t deliver. Politicians have short-term victories, but these soon sour. Their bosses soon wake up to them and refuse to play their game. Politicians tend to lack credibility within the organization and are not highly regarded. If you make a commitment make sure you can keep it. Good negotiators think beyond short-term expediencies.
4. Avoid the “she’ll be right” syndrome.
In other words, moderate your reliance on your employer (unless, of course, you have an enlightened employer who has proven their worth). Whilst trust and cooperation in the workplace is an important ingredient for organisational success it should not be the overriding consideration when it comes to salary negotiations. Be sure you thoroughly prepare your case by ascertaining what the market is paying for people such as yourself and also be sure you can articulate clearly how you’ve added value (or will add value) to the organization.
5. Avoid playing the jealous sibling.
The jealous sibling finds out what other individuals are earning (within their organization as well as other organizations) and absolutely wants to be earning the same amount or more. Jealous siblings fail to take into consideration a whole lot of factors including their own abilities – on the whole they tend to overestimate their contributions. Whilst it’s great to know what the market is paying for your skills you shouldn’t be concerned about what other individuals are earning. Chances are that the figures you’re hearing are highly unreliable.
Salary Negotiation Tactics
If you’re feeling nervous about negotiating a new salary or your yearly increment it might comfort you to know that you’re not alone. A recent survey indicated that 60% of Australian workers feel ill-equipped to deal with salary negotiations.
But it’s not all bad news. You’ll be pleased to know that with a little preparation you can dramatically improve your salary negotiation skills, and more importantly the level of your total salary package.
Tactic No 1
Be very aware of the fact that salary negotiations begin with the interview. The better you interview the more inclined will be the employer to give you extra money. So make sure you’re thoroughly prepared for the interview.
Tactic No 2
If you’re going for a job as an external candidate never be the first to talk about money – you’ll probably signal that your primary interest lies with money and not the job.
Tactic No 3
Delay talking about money as much as possible. The more you delay the better off you’ll be because you’ll have more time to establish your value to the organization. Once you’ve convinced them of how good you are then you’re in a much better position to negotiate more money.
Tactic No 4
Work out what the current market rates are for someone with your experience. If you don’t know what the market is paying you may be underselling or over pricing yourself. A great way to find out what you’re worth is through Monster’s Salary Calculator.
Tactic No 5
Know your bottom line. In any negotiation it’s important to know what line you’re not prepared to cross. By knowing your bottom line as well as the current market rates you’ll be in a good position to know where you can commence your negotiating.
Tactic No 6
If the employer insists that you make the first move a good rule of thumb is to make your opening bid between 10% and 30% above your bottom line. What percentage you pick will depend on several factors including how much they want you (assuming you know) and the state of the labour market. Generally speaking if there’s a big demand for your job and not much of a supply you may be in a good position to make your opening bid higher.
Tactic No 7
Always think win win. Try to negotiate an outcome that works for you as well as your employer. Exploiting a vulnerable employer may have short-term monetary benefits but will not hold you in good stead in the long term.