Many U.S. workers dream of a job at a large company with a well-known brand name. But there are advantages to working for a small business, and small business owners can lure top talent by promoting the special opportunities and customized benefits they provide.
These opportunities may be a perfect fit for a job candidate.
Here are some benefits of working for a small company compared to a large business:
1. Learning different aspects of the business
Many workers are hungry for hands-on experience and eager to gain practical skills. Small business owners can emphasize the advantages of working closely with senior-level managers and potentially gaining a firsthand view of many aspects of running a business.
“Employees at small companies are often able to gain exposure more quickly to different functional areas of the business,” says Brett Good, senior district president for Robert Half staffing company.
Also, many employees find it valuable to take on new tasks in addition to their official roles, such as interacting with customers or initiating a social media account. Small firms often provide great opportunities for employees to obtain different work experiences and discover new skills.
2. Opportunity to advance
At a small business, workers are the proverbial big fish in a small pond. That means employees have high visibility from their first day and their creative ideas and hard work will be seen by the people at the top.
Small business owners can highlight the opportunities to gain additional skills and possibly to be promoted from within. “Since you’ll have the opportunity to work in multiple functional areas, you can gain exposure to the business and senior management, setting you up for leadership or entrepreneurial roles in the future,” Good says.
Some corporate environments are known for offering substantial flexibility in workplace or scheduling. Those are highly valued benefits, especially to working parents. But a small business can offer flexibility, too, and many savvy small business owners dangle perks such as flexible scheduling and telecommuting opportunities to highly qualified workers to make up for lower salaries or smaller bonuses.
Small firms often have more flexibility in how projects are carried out. “In a small company, there isn’t as much bureaucracy, so ideas and projects can usually be implemented faster,” Good says.
4. Workplace culture
Many corporations pride themselves on their strong workplace culture, an important differentiator for job applicants. But a small business’ culture can be a powerful draw for new employees as well.
Small business owners can promote a culture that aligns, or at least aspires to align, with the best corporate cultures in their industry. Small business owners should develop and promote their workplace cultures as assets, whether the culture is a supportive family atmosphere, or one with an emphasis on creativity and innovation, or something else.
5. Creative bonuses
Small businesses generally cannot afford large bonuses. But they can be creative and, because they have less red tape, they may be able to customize their extra fringe benefits to a greater extent. That could mean rewarding a prized employee with a day off for a kayaking trip or a luxurious spa visit. That personal attention can go a long way in making an employee feel satisfied working for a small business.