Looking for some new blood, but not know where to begin? You're in luck. As it turns out, a large number of employees would rather work at a small company, says LinkedIn VP of Talent Solutions Wade Burgess, in a contributed post for Fast Company. This is good news for the pool and spa industry. According to the results of a survey conducted by LinkedIn, 87% of the more than 26,000 professionals said they would rather work for a company of 200 employees or less. So how does one tap into this wealth of ready and willing candidates? Burgess presents four hiring secrets for small business to attract more employees:

  1. Make it Clear What You Can Do for Candidates' Careers: You can offer new hires the ability to touch many projects, wear several hats, work alongside top managers, and collect valuable experience they can take with them—or that you can put to good use if you entice them to stay.
  2. Close the Referral Gap: As a small company, you don’t have thousands of employees or the referring economy of scale that comes along with it, but that doesn’t have to be a liability. Make asking for referrals part of your culture. Talk continuously about your open roles and the skills you’re looking to add to the business. Your employees might know people who aren’t a direct match but have transferrable skills.
  3. Be Honest and Creative About Compensation: This can help smaller companies avoid overpaying for talent they're trying to lure from big corporations. But it can also steer small employers toward more creative approaches to compensation. Once you've shown you can offer a fair salary (even if it isn't a lavish one), you can boost your offer with other things to put a candidate over the edge—like faster career progression, more hands-on experience, a bonus program tied to the company's performance, or a flexible work schedule.
  4. Ask Your Employees What They'll Stick Around For: Ask your seasoned employees to explain exactly what they love about the company and what’s keeping them around. (And survey them repeatedly—answers may change over time.) Then make sure you communicate those reasons to potential new hires, or you use them as a barometer when you’re evaluating someone.
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