The playing field seems about as level as the Tilt-A-Whirl ride at an amusement park between small businesses and enterprise level corporations when it comes to the ability to recruit and acquire top industry talent. Big businesses have big resources at their disposal, which means they can offer big salaries, big benefits, and big recognition to prospective desirable job candidates. Small businesses need to understand that they have unique considerations to emphasize when competing for top talent, however. The small business owner needs to make sure top talent is aware of these items that may be even more attractive to them than the more obvious big business perks.
- All in The Family – Entrepreneurs should approach top talent with the notion that they will be treated like family when they work for them. Conversely, working for a big corporation can mean you get lost in the shuffle and nobody knows your name. Whereas in the small business world, owners and top executives will likely address you by your first name and remember it long after you leave the room.
- An Easier Climb up The Corporate Ladder – Recognition is easier to come by, while promotions and career advancement is much easier to achieve simply because there are less competitors in your way. It's much easier to compete for that VP role if you're the one the boss trusts while he is away, rather than competing with a room full of MBAs at a large organization all fighting each other to get the boss's coffee in the morning.
- Freedom and Flexibility – Big corporations usually have a strict business code of conduct that clearly states what is acceptable and not acceptable for working conditions, arrangements, and so on. There is black and white, but often almost no grey at all. Whereas small businesses may not have such a strict code of what they're willing to do and not do for their employees. If there is truly some top talent available seeking a flexible work schedule with some ability to work remotely from home, the small business owner is much more likely to make that happen. A big business, however, may have a set of rules in place that they are unwilling to change for one person because they may have to make it available to the entire corporation if they did.
In conclusion, embrace your characteristics as a small business. Show off your flexibility, your family work environment, and your attainable ladder to success; and just maybe the top industry talent will follow you.