Recruitment and employee loyalty are an important functions in any business but can make or break a small businesses. For smaller firms a few bad hires can really cause financial havoc. Not only is there lost time and money expended on poor hiring practices but also the cost of training. A paper by Allen, Erickson and Collins (2013) delves into the importance of developing employee commitment as it relates to revenue growth and firm performance.
One of the very first criteria is that leadership must have a solid vision of the organization. Without a solid vision the overall hiring processes and the type of recruit will naturally be misaligned. Recruitment starts with knowing the type of person needed, their skill set and how that position will help achieve the organizational vision.
It is often assumed that prestige and money are the most important factor in recruiting high quality employees and helping ensure they are retained for a significant period of time. Sometimes, highly paid industries are able to recruit bright minded people but these same people bounce from employer to employer seeking higher levels of compensation.
Small businesses are limited in resources and simply don’t have the ability to keep increasing the pay to recruit and retain employees. They will need to compete where their organization is most likely to be successful-and that has nothing to do with size. The interactivity and relationships built in a small business can have a more profound impact than pay and prestige.
Firms that follow an employee commitment strategy create attachments based on relationships, company identity, coordination of autonomy and informal control, and selecting employees based upon firm values. Such organizations are not command and control structures and seek to improve upon the positive affectivity the employee has with the firm.
This is different than what you might find in larger organization. Even though large organizations seek to create stronger cultures it is much more difficult than smaller firms. The sheer size and power-distance relationships can be difficult to overcome. Instead many firms focus on compensation and prestige as driving factors.
Nearly 65% of all hiring is based in smaller businesses. It is important for such businesses to focus on using their core strengths where size can actually be a detriment. Hiring people based upon their value systems, encouraging them to be independent in their thinking, foster close relationships, and creating commitment to the firm are important for success.
Relationships and sense of belongingness can go a long way in gaining commitment. People are social creatures by nature and will stay in organizations that they develop positive and meaningful relationships. Smaller businesses offer an opportunity to socialize employees to a smaller group of people they can develop deep relationships over time. A family like atmosphere can be a significant draw for talent.
Allen, M., Ericksen, J. & Collins, C. (2013). Human resource management, employee exchange relationships, and performance in small business. Human Resource Management, 52 (2).