As the priorities of the workforce shift from monetary to social, employers need to highlight the impact their company is making on the world in order to attract a new generation of highly motivated workers.
The challenge, however, remains on both sides of the equation. Not only are employers struggling to attract talent, but talented employees often struggle to find a career that suits their values.
High employee turnover rates, compensation constraints and a gap in available talent have made it difficult for high impact employers to attract and retain top talent, according to a recent report by MaRS DD.
According to Achieve’s 2014 Millennial Impact Report, Millennials, who now make up a majority of the workforce, ranked having their passion and talents used to the fullest and believing in the company’s mission and purpose second only to compensation. For those employees seeking high impact careers, however, compensation is less of a priority. A 2014 study by Net Impact revealed that 83 per cent of MBA students would take a 15 per cent pay cut in order to pursue a job with a social impact.
Therefore, when recruiting talent for high impact positions, employers need to promote the positive impact their organization is making, often more so than compensation.
In their report MaRS DD explored six key drivers of top tier employees in high impact careers, which are vital for small business owners to consider as they recruit for those positions.
Contribution – Employees not only want to feel that their talents are being used to their fullest potential, but that the work they are accomplishing is actually making a positive difference.
Perception – As revealed by the Net Impact study, top talent often strives for a career that provides a sense of prestige, especially for recent graduates who may feel pressured to pursue more mainstream career options.
Compensation – While talented individuals are willing to forgo a portion of their salary to pursue more meaningful work, they still require a livable wage.
Workplace Culture – One of the most important considerations for employees is workplace culture, which is often a key selling point for small businesses. Millennials want to work in an environment that offers flexible working hours, encourages creativity and technical innovation and promotes giving back to the community, according to a 2014 report by CreativeLive.
Career Growth – The most ambitious employees are often those looking for forward mobility, which means that their career choices will often be shaped by long-term considerations. When recruiting, employers need to highlight the growth opportunities as well as the immediate needs of the organization.
Information – Perhaps the most unnecessary gap between top talent and high impact careers within the small business community is a lack of awareness for the job opportunities that exist. While job seekers have more tools than ever at their disposal there is still a lack of resources and information for those pursuing high impact careers.
The takeaway for small business owners, who are often unable to compete with larger organizations on salary and notoriety, is that they need to be mindful of how these other areas can compensate.
Providing potential employees with a wealth of information about the position, the career growth opportunities, workplace culture and the candidate’s immediate contribution — all of which are typically heightened in a small business environment compared with larger corporations — will be vital for small business employers seeking top tier talent. Small businesses also need to take advantage of communication technologies that will enable a more flexible and global workforce, while emphasizing a superior working culture over their enterprise competitors.
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