The job market is heating up, but the most talented workers seem reluctant to put down roots. According to Wall Street Journal reporting, approximately 11 million job openings exist in the United States alone. But a whopping 10 million of them have been sitting unfilled for nearly half a year.
Why are candidates waiting instead of snagging opportunities that will allow them to update their LinkedIn profiles? There doesn’t seem to be one answer. However, the writing on the wall is clear: If you have a business, you can’t assume applicants will flock to your door. On the contrary, you have to do everything in your power to make your brand stand out.
This is especially true for startup organizations. Generally speaking, startups have very limited capital to work with when it comes to perks. Nevertheless, as a founder, you can’t afford to be stingy with your benefits. After all, the benefits you offer could mean the difference between you wooing great people or constantly making do with less.
Of course, not all benefits will move the needle. Below are five of the biggest (yet budget-friendliest) that will show job seekers you’re serious about their satisfaction.
1. Retirement Benefits
Never assume that workers won’t be interested in saving for the future, even if they identify as Gen Z or Millennials. Professionals know that the easiest way to build up a nest egg is through employer-presented vehicles. Consequently, they’ll be looking for businesses that give them a chance to squirrel away cash.
You don’t have to break your budget to start a small business 401k, though. All companies can make use of affordable 401k plans designed specifically for smaller entities and their employees. In addition to a 401k, you also may want to explore other money-saving perks like profit-sharing or stock ownership plans. Just make sure you choose something that will add a little sizzle to your job advertisement.
2. Flexible Work Arrangements
A recent Prudential survey showed that around one-third of workers said they wouldn’t stick with an employer that required full-time onsite work. Indeed, since the economic upheaval of 2020, many companies have moved to hybrid or remote working arrangements.
Here’s the issue, of course: What do you do if you can’t allow people to telecommute regularly? In that case, you could always come up with alternative choices. These might include allowing people to work four-day weeks at 10 hours per day. Or, you could make it easier for people to vary their start and stop times. Remember that flexibility is in the eye of the beholder. You just need to be creative.
3. Leading-Edge Technologies
Nothing’s harder on an employee than taking a job only to find that the new employer hasn’t upgraded software. Older technologies aren’t just clunky and slow. They can lead to disruptions in customer service and internal workflows, too.
Part of your commitment to attracting high-quality workers should be to adopt the latest technologies when appropriate. You don’t have to upgrade everything at once, but look at the software and systems you’re using currently.
Where are the gaps or obstacles? Identify them and then seek answers, whether through integrations or a total digital transformation. This will require an outlay of money initially but can pay for itself in terms of improved productivity and employee engagement.
4. Professional Development Opportunities
The world changes quickly. Even though you may feel like the master of your industry today, you could feel differently tomorrow. That’s why you and the rest of your team have to remain ahead of the curve in terms of education. The more knowledgeable your staff, the more intelligent choices you can make on the way to reaching your goals.
Of course, paying for continuing education workshops or making materials accessible to employees doesn’t just help your business. It helps you keep your workers happy. People don’t like to feel as if they’re losing momentum. Take the education of your personnel seriously and they’ll be less likely to leave.
5. Liberal Time-Off Policies
Vacations aren’t just a chance for your employees to see new sights and spend time with family. They’re a chance for them to unwind and de-stress. Unfortunately, many people feel limited by constrained vacation and paid-time-off (PTO) policies that don’t allow them to recharge.
Unless you like the idea of flirting with a burnout in your workers, consider implementing generous PTO benefits. You don’t have to go to the extreme with unlimited time-off, of course. But you may find that it’s best to allow your team to spend more moments away from work than they already do. Just be sure that you avail yourself of your updated PTO, too. If you don’t leave the office, your employees might think they can’t, either.
As an entrepreneur with an emerging organization, you may not have tons of funds to put into a robust benefits package. Nevertheless, you don’t have to keep your benefits at a lean level. Surprise job candidates by giving them far more than they might expect from a startup business. You could end up onboarding talented, educated employees that you never thought would be interested in a small company.
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