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6 Ways to Attract High Performers When Payroll is Tight Think outside the box.

By Ken Gosnell Edited by Heather Wilkerson

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Many companies find it challenging to compete for the best talent on a limited budget. Just as Covid brought a shift from in-person work to work-from-home, the aftereffects of the pandemic will bring a significant shift of workers to new companies and new locations. Businesses can use this shift to improve their team and their organizations.

One of the most significant ways that a company can grow and improve its market share is through the development of its team. When the people of an organization get better, the organization gets better.

Many businesses can struggle with recruitment due to a lack of money. However, companies can show a level of creativity and innovation to recruit "A" players to their organization even when they cannot compete on salary.

Here are the top six ways to attract employees when payroll is tight.

1. Offer unpaid days off

Every employee appreciates days off to balance work and family. The emerging workforce places a high premium on flexibility and the ability to manage their own schedule.

Many larger firms and businesses have used the strategy of adding unpaid days off as a benefit to attract workers that need additional time away from work above the paid days off. These workers are more attracted to the flexibility than they are to the paycheck. Every company that hopes to attract great talent should institute unpaid days off for every employee.

Related: The Mindset That Sets Apart Great Leaders

2. Highlight your purpose

Team members want to feel like they contribute more than just helping the business make money. This can often be addressed by a company focusing on its ultimate mission or purpose and what role each employee plays in that plan.

Today's impactful, socially-minded employees care about local causes just as much as they do nationally ones. The companies that will succeed in the future are those that align their company with a purpose that impacts society. When you don't have a purpose, you may end up like Basecamp. Last month, almost a third of Basecamp's employees left after the company told them to focus on work and not be concerned about social issues.

3. Stress the importance of individuality

Small businesses often have a better opportunity to know an employee and help them achieve their personal and professional goals. Individual attention is not as easy in a larger firm.

Companies that want to attract great talent should communicate the process and procedures they use to grow and develop team members. Today's employee wants to be part of a successful group and be known for their individuality.

4. Highlight training opportunities and personal development

The best employees always want to improve themselves to reach mastery or the peak of their performance. Training dollars can often be overlooked in a benefits package, so highlight the value of personal development as you recruit for team members.

Studies show that many employees leave their current organization because they feel they have no opportunity to develop. Training opportunities should consist of both corporate-mandated and personal choices. When a team member understands they have a voice in how they grow, it can often be the differentiator when they have more than one job offer.

Related: Is Your Workplace Culture Missing the X Factor?

5. Offer creative profit-driven incentives

Great employees like to produce — and they want to be recognized for their effort. These incentives can be related to sales and profit but also can be connected to time.

One example is a software company that gives one month of paid vacation to employees who stay with the company for five years. In addition to the bonus time off, this company offers $100 a day of spending money for each of the weeks out.

6. Offer benefits that benefit the company and the employee

Benefits can often be a tipping point in an employee's decision to join a company. Think creativity about benefits that are not only good for the employee but good for the company too.

One example that changed during Covid was remote work and reduction of leased office space. When companies reduce costs and increase benefits, it leads to higher profits and a higher potential to attract top talent. A company should highlight the cost of not commuting to the office in terms of dollars saved on gas and car repairs.

Another example is a company offering whole life insurance policies for employees. These policies should be for a set amount of time, like 20 years, and the company pays the premium. If the employee stays with the company for the policy's duration, they could split the proceeds between the employee and the company. If the employee leaves, the company should continue paying and receiving the total payout once the policy has reached its maturity date.

The point is, there are many opportunities for companies to build profit and benefit the employee.

You can compete for talent

Employees are seeking companies that matter. Every company has the potential to attract top talent and improve the overall performance of the company. Use and apply these creative ways to attract the right talent for your organization.

Ken Gosnell

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Founder of CEO Experience

Ken Gosnell is the founder of CEO Experience and the publisher of the CXP CEO Executive Guide. Gosnell is a keynote speaker, executive coach and author of the book Well Done: 12 Biblical Business Principles for Leaders to Grow Their Business with Kingdom Impact.

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