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CEO Blog: Small Business Fights Big in the War for Talent

This week we celebrate National Small Business Week, in which the federal government recognizes the contributions of small businesses to the economic well-being of the nation.

I am incredibly passionate about small businesses – they are vital to getting Americans back to work and are developing marketing innovations that will ultimately strengthen America’s competitive advantage in the global economy.

As the economy improves, businesses large and small are going to be fighting for the best talent.

Employees who have stayed loyal because of fear of making a change in dire economic times are starting to look in earnest.

The best employees may even have the luxury of choosing between multiple options.

In a recent Monster-conducted poll, small businesses across the country told us they’re finding the current business environment to be more positive, and in turn, more than 60% felt that their ability to hire the right talent has become more challenging. The smartest firms we’ve encountered are already preparing to compete in this coming war for talent.

Some of the most successful firms have started this preparation by examining and building their workplace brand, which in many cases, is just as important as their consumer brand.

Small business leaders know they will have to “sell” the company to employees in order to retain current employees and attract new talent.

Small firms have unique challenges - there is often less stability and security than at larger firms. Employers can acknowledge these drawbacks, but focus on promoting the benefits of working at a small business, such as the familial environment, room for growth and promotion, and opportunities for entrepreneurship. The good news is that small business is doing something right – Our survey also found 42% say employee morale is high or very high while only 30% of medium to large businesses can say the same thing.

"Small businesses across the country told us they’re finding the current business environment to be more positive, and in turn, more than 60% felt that their ability to hire the right talent has become more challenging." -CEO, Monster Worldwide, Sal Iannuzzi

We’re also seeing our more innovative small business customers start to identify and map out the talent and skills of their existing employees. They are utilizing up-to-date analytics of their workforce to help inform their retention strategies and direct appropriate recruitment efforts.

Finally, the most competitive small businesses are always recruiting so they have a talent pool to draw from when needed. Needs for talent can arise very quickly – a firm could experience sudden growth or an infusion of capital and need to staff up quickly. A small firm could also experience sudden departures, especially as the economy improves. Firms should always have talented potential employees in the pipeline, and never start the recruitment process from scratch.

At Monster, we’ve already seen great acceleration in the small business job market. This growth, combined with the appropriate tools and guidance, ensures that small businesses can continue to elevate their already critical role in our nation’s economy. I look forward to watching small business continue to wow us with their innovation and remarkable spirit.

Sal Iannuzzi has been Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Monster Worldwide since April 2007 and has been a member of the Board of Directors since July 2006.