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Cambridge Judge Business SchoolPeople

How to attract the right people

There are many options available for SMEs to attract new people. Professor Christoph H. Loch gives some examples.

How to attract the right people

Many people cite that one of the challenges for SMEs is that they cannot get good people.

Let me turn this around and say “Do start-ups get good people?” Start-ups are even poorer than SMEs. They have even fewer resources. They pay their people even less well and start-ups are able to get very good people. Why?

For two reasons – because there is an upside. The upside may not be salary, but it may be shares or bonuses or something else and there is excitement.

And so the answer for SMEs – Can they get good people? Yes, but they have to give an upside in some form and they have to give excitement, and what that means for the management, for the top manager of the SME, what you cannot do is to invite good people in and then treat them very badly because you’re a tyrant and you are monopolising control and you don’t want to delegate. Then you cannot get good people, but if you give them an exciting atmosphere, you give them the feeling that they can accomplish something, that they can look at the entire business which in a large company they cannot because they’re compartmentalised.

You can give people those upsides and so SMEs can get good people but they have to think about it creatively and very hard, how to give people the offers that attract them even though they can make more money in a larger company.

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