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Big things can come from small packages: How can your small business compete for top talents?

Big things can come from small packages: How can your small business compete for top talents?

They may be small individually, but altogether, they are a great and potent force for the country and the region's economic and social success – they are the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs)–aptly described by the Asian Development Bank as the backbone of Asian economy.

Currently, MSMEs have been unleashing their power in the Philippines, accounting for 99.52% of the total businesses, and generating a substantial 63.19% or 5.7 million of our country's total employment.

The advent of tech and e-commerce has been creating a more enabling business environment, empowering new breeds of entrepreneurs and so-called "millennipreneurs" to take bold steps and be at the helm of their own innovative startups. Moving forward, we have yet to see how the local landscape of micro and small businesses is going to take shape.

David vs. Goliath

Your micro and small business may be a David, with relatively smaller assets and staff of less than a hundred, but do Filipino talents really think that the industry Goliaths are better employers? And though David defeated Goliath in the biblical story, in the world of recruitment, how can the smaller, younger players outsmart and outplay the giant adversaries in the battle for top talents? 

Have a brand story

Don't let your company be defined by its size. If there is anything that would set you apart, it is the story of your brand–the values, the culture, and the people that are woven into the fabric of your organization. The Laws of Attraction’s Employment Challenge data reveal that the size or market position of a company is NOT the top priority for Filipino candidates when looking for a job. In fact, it is the least priority, and is deemed important by only 1.2% of total candidates.

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Make employer branding the anchor of your Employee Value Proposition (EVP). Promote the vision, strengths, and opportunities in your company to establish engagement and build commitment.

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Here are some clever EVP strategies to help you up your game.

Strategy 1 Inspire collaboration with exemplary leadership  Apart from monetary gains, top talents are keen to work for organizations that are driven by leaders who set the pace and lead by example. According to JobStreet survey respondents, they are inspired to work with leaders who are professional (15.7%), respectful (12.0%), collaborative and supportive (9%), and transparent (9%).

Highlight the advantage that it is easy for leaders and subordinates to forge close relationships within your organization. This makes it easier to express ones ideas, and be recognized and rewarded for ones contributions.

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Strategy 2 Instill pride with CSR initiatives  Talents take pride in being part of an organization that truly cares . A company with a socially and environmentally responsible culture resonates well with candidates who are seeking careers with a deeper sense of purpose. Their ideal company is one that values and protects the environment (62.2%), values and contributes to its people not just profits (61.2%), and supports people with physical or mental challenges or impairments (45.1%)

Make CSR your draw by conveying to candidates that your business is genuinely doing its share to make this world a better place – and this can be their badge of honor.

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Strategy 3 Create an environment that nurtures respectful and supportive work relationships  Camaraderie and teamwork is a fuel for small businesses. The people you work with have an impact on your happiness and satisfaction, especially when hurdling difficult problems. Creativity and innovation are nurtured in a workplace with a vibrant atmosphere. For candidates, this means working with colleagues who are respectful (22.8%), professional (17.2%), and are loads of fun (15.2%).

Build a team where like-minded visionaries thrive. Your company should be a venue where talents collaborate, support each others' passions, and most of all, love and enjoy what they do.

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Strategy 4 Boost morale with a professional and respectful corporate culture and values  Your organizations' culture is what will bind people together. It is the shared values and philosophies reflected in the collective action and behavior of every member of your team. Filipino talents prefer to work for companies which espouse a culture that is professional (14.6%), respectful (13.6%), and positive (10%).

Small businesses have big challenges, but an organization that is governed by the right set of values makes its employees identify with its goals, and gives them a greater sense of ownership.

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Strategy 5 Know your target's priorities  Knowing what are most important for your candidates is a fundamental step in enhancing your value proposition. Focus your resources to meet candidates' top priorities.

  • Competitive salary and compensation package (15.4%) 

  • Promising career and self-development opportunities (13.7%) 

  • Positive work-life balance (11.5%) 

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Candidates want to be assured of mandatory government benefits (Ex. SSS, Philhealth, Pagibig), medical and life insurance benefits, double pay during public holidays, and a competitive salary. Career/development programs like promotion opportunities, clear growth and succession plans, on-the-job skills and self-development programs are strong considerations for them. When it comes to work-life balance, they would choose companies that provide overtime compensation, implement public/general holidays, allow them to cash out unused annual leave or take unpaid leave, and adhere to a five-day workweek policy.

Indeed, big things can come from small packages. You may be a David, but your organization's story can be larger than life.

Technology can be your secret weapon. The huge amount of useful data readily available on LOA’s Data Lab can help you improve your employer branding and employee value proposition to hire the best talents that can help your small business reach its full potential.

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