By: Sam Ashe-Edmunds
Small businesses face more staffing challenges than larger companies because of their limited labour budgets and need to have employees multitask. This makes recruiting and managing workers from a smaller talent pool harder for a human resources manager. In a tight labour market, these problems loom even larger. With a long-term strategic plan, HR managers at small businesses can maximise their ability to staff their companies with the right people.
Less Competitive Pay
Human resources managers at smaller companies often must try to recruit workers while having to offer lower salaries than the industry average. One way to strategically manage this is to create a mix of part-time, contract and full-time employees. For example, if you don’t need a full-time bookkeeper, you might be able to attract a highly qualified accountant who wants to find part-time work to drop her children off at school in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon. Offering a part-time flex schedule can give you access to excellent workers who cost less base pay, don’t require benefits and often perform extra work in the evenings or weekends. Using the money you save on these workers, you can spend more on full-time hires. In some cases, hiring a contractor or service firm lets you get the best quality at the lowest cost.
Fewer Competitive Benefits
When unemployment in a geographic area, industry or profession is low, employees often require not only more pay, but also better benefits. The more direct competition you have for labour, the more this becomes a problem. Based on a company’s budget, an HR manager might find it challenging to fill skilled positions if the company offers no or few benefits such as health insurance or retirement contributions. Working with a benefits provider, you can at least offer voluntary benefits, which cost the company nothing but give employees access to affordable options. Some benefits, such as a 401(k) program that the employer doesn’t match, still gives employees an attractive retirement savings option while lowering an employer’s payroll taxes. Add other affordable benefits, such as a parking or commuting stipend and flexible work hours, to create a multi-benefit package on a budget.