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How do I employee or attract key staff to a small bsuiness?

I am a small real estate business who struggles to employ good experienced sales staff.

Trying to find good experienced sales staff and getting them to move to a small business is really a struggle. Any suggestions other than head hunting?

6 Answers

I wish there was a post "edit" function here. I meant "profit share scheme", than transition to share scheme.

I totally agree with Craig West. Many startups in the US, and I would guess other countries do just this, to get better talent to join and stay. There's no reason why you couldn't rejig the business model to incorporate this. My approach is, if you were a startup, any staff who have stayed 5+yrs could than transition to shares, so if and when you were to exit, they'd get real mid to long-term financial value too. I'd be curious to know if Craig believes in and recommends this too? Thanks and best of luck Robert.

Hi Robert, Small businesses or organisations in most industries find it challenging to compete against the big players when it comes to attracting staff. They might not be well-known brands or offer career that typically larger companies can offer. Think about it in this way: if I was to approach you to list my property for sale, why would I choose your agency over another? Don't you all offer the same service at the same price? It's not likely. I am sure that you would be able to articulate what sets your agency apart from the others.

Now, think about what it is that makes your agency more attractive to prospective staff. What is it that you currently (or can) offer that separates you from the bigger players? Are you the #1 in your market? Is it access to better listings? Can you offer more training and development? A better team environment? Shared commissions? I suggest you work out what your USP is and then use that intel when you headhunt or recruit. Importantly, make sure you deliver on it. Best of luck!

In my experience, top talent are attracted to:

* Company Culture
* Growth Opportunities
* Salary & Bonuses
* Making An Impact

Better people care about coming to work each day and actually making an impactful change to the companies or clients they work with.

Working for a small business is attractive for many. What is your employee value proposition? Understanding what a potential employee would find attractive working for you is key. Flexible hours, working from home, profit share incentives and being but of a small dynamic team are some examples. Lead with these when you advertise your positions to catch the eye of your potential employee. It’s not always about the $!

Hi Robert,

Have you considered an Employee Share Ownership Plan - they are a great tool to attract, retain and motivate key staff ?

Recent research published by the University of York in the United Kingdom has found that in comparison to several other employee engagement models, employee ownership was a KEY FACTOR in engagement due to the presence of psychological ownership.

In psychology, ownership is the feeling that something is yours.

Psychological ownership is distinct from legal ownership: one may feel that one’s cubicle at work is theirs and no one else’s (i.e. psychological ownership), but legal ownership of the cubicle is actually conferred to the organization.

A central belief of psychological ownership is that employees share the long-term interests of the business and its owners.

Psychological ownership refers to the experience of possessing and being psychologically tied to an entity. Such feelings of ownership are fundamental to human life. Every day, we interact with a variety of objects we own, both material and immaterial. The state of psychological ownership is not only cognitive but also affective: simply by calling an entity — whether an object, another person, or a job — “mine” suggests that we have an emotional connection to it.

Employees often express a desire for greater psychological ownership of their work, believing this will improve their job satisfaction and happiness.

This factor added an additional dynamic to engagement as the meaning of work was influenced by employee ownership. “Family culture” was present in the organisations which drove employee ownership values. Social, affective, and intellectual engagement and vigour, dedication and absorption were found to be influenced by the presence of employee ownership.



Employee Ownership

When employees are also owners, their relationship with the organisation is changed and this affects the way they think and behave. Theory and research on employee ownership suggests that employee-owners exhibit behaviours that are intended to enhance the financial status of the organisation. These include improving their job performance, finding ways to cut costs and suggesting innovative ways to increase revenues.



Employee Engagement

The study concludes with two key statements; that employee engagement “enhances the experience of employee ownership and employee ownership influences employee engagement.” Finally, that “employee ownership plans encourage employees to think and act like owners, and this enhances organisational performance”.

How do you encourage psychological ownership and an ownership mindset in your organisation?

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