Let’s Chat About How to Attract Top Talent on a Budget

Woman learning to attract top talent on a Twitter chat

It’s amazing what you can learn without leaving your keyboard. A live Twitter chat with the shared hashtag, #SalaryWins, recently sparked an hourlong conversation about how you can attract top talent to your small business. Participants shared insights about salaries, incentives, temporary help, staffing agencies, and more.

One takeaway is that business networking (remote or not) has value, and so does sharing good research. If you’re interested in small businesses and hiring — with answers to the question: How can you attract top talent on a budget? — these suggestions came out of the recent Twitter chat.

Know that salaries are going up

In 2017, employers will see pay for accounting and finance professionals continue to rise, according to Robert Half’s latest salary data. Companies of all sizes will face challenges when it comes to hiring and retention in this candidate-driven market, and it’s important to know what’s coming.

Just how much are accounting and finance salaries expected to increase?

Visit the Robert Half Salary Center, where you'll be able to adjust salaries for jobs in your city with the Salary Calculator, and get your own copy of the Salary Guide.

Explore ways to attract top talent

What if you have a budget that doesn’t allow for the increased expense of bringing in accounting and finance professionals at these higher salary levels?

As one of the Twitter business owners tweeted, when you get to the salary negotiation phase, you should “be transparent about your hiring budget up front, (and ) ask what perks someone might enjoy or that you offer.”

Consider the following:

  • Incentives

For ​job candidates, perks and nice-to-have add-ons — from professional development to added vacation days — may be the carrot that sways them to accept one offer over another.

Here are 6 more ways employers are upping the ante with cool perks.

  • Negotiation

Use your negotiation skills to find out what is important to a potential hire. It could be something that doesn’t cost you a cent, such as an enhanced job title, mentoring or the ability to work from home.

More ideas for negotiating workplace amenities — beyond the paycheck.

Use a staffing agency

A staffing agency can help you attract top talent in this tight labor market. It can help your business address challenging situations, such as system conversions, month-end closings, annual audits and budgeting. It can also help you focus your job search, find candidates that match your business goals — and save you time.

Are you taking too long to hire? A recent Robert Half survey shows how job seekers are frustrated by the long wait after an interview to hear if they got the job.

Hire a temporary or temp-to-hire

As Anita Campbell of Small Business Trends tweeted, “One benefit of hiring temporary help is not getting locked into long-term expense,” and “Another benefit of hiring temporary help is ability to test out skills and compatibility in advance.”

The percentage of the workforce represented by temporary professionals is highest at the smallest companies, according to Robert Half’s Benchmarking the Accounting & Finance Function report. For some companies, business is booming so quickly that staff can't keep up. For others, temps have covered busy periods like tax season for them in the past, so they’ve already been evaluated for performance and company fit and can transition to the next full-time job opening.

Whether you need to hire someone full time right now, or you’re looking to bring in accounting temps for the short term or have a temp-to-hire strategy, make sure to consider all the ways you can do so successfully. Even though one of the Twitter chat participants tweeted, “If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys,” there ARE ways for small businesses to attract top talent while you’re on a budget!

More tips for hiring managers

 

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