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Last week we covered one overlooked tactic for attracting top-notch talent to small businesses: leveraging built-in small biz advantages.

This week we continue that discussion with another talent magnet: creative (read: affordable) benefits and perks packages.

There’s always a company that can outspend you – that’s a given. Paula Andruss, writing for Entrepreneur, shares some ideas for attracting and retaining a skilled staff when you can’t pay big bucks:

If you can’t offer: tuition reimbursement

Try: a compressed, four-day workweek that gives employees time to pursue a degree (or other interests) on their own

If you can’t offer: on-site childcare

Try: negotiating a discount group rate with a nearby childcare center

If you can’t offer: an on-site fitness facility

Try: a lunch-hour walking club or discounted membership at local gyms

Plus, what many employees consider the mother of all perks: flexibility and independence.

“A great employee will get his/her work done without a boss watching his/her every move. Show employees that you trust them,” advises Adam Heitzman, co-founder of HigherVisibility, in an article for Inc.

“Because the best talent will want to take ownership of their work,” he continues, “you may very well find that they do their best work when left alone and could come up with great ideas that you hadn’t be using previously.”

Heitzman adds that great employees will not abuse flexibility and independence privileges, which are a huge selling point for attracting and retaining talent.

All things considered, talent attraction and retention are intimately intertwined: A company that’s successful in retaining employees is a company that’s successful in attracting them.

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