Attracting & Keeping the Best Employees for Your Entry-Level Positions

Do you have entry-level positions that you struggle to keep filled?

Many small business owners find it difficult to fill entry-level positions. There is a lot competition for labor for unskilled positions and that can often leave small business owners feeling pressured  to compete with wages paid by larger employers in their area. When you are maxing out on the wages you can afford to pay an entry-level employee and still remain profitable, it’s time to consider other perks.

Small businesses have a KEY advantage over corporate employers, but very few owners recognize it, much less leverage it. The advantage is this: a great employee in a small business has the opportunity to advance their career much more rapidly in a small business than they ever could in a larger corporation.

Many businesses advertise the “opportunity for advancement.” Yet, very few small business owners give much thought to what this really means. Even fewer have articulated a clear path of advancement from an entry-level position through the ranks of the company.

Keep in mind, the best employees are interested in advancing their career.  You are at risk of losing your best employees when they are unclear as to how they can advance their careers with your small business.

The next time you are hiring an entry-level employee, here are some questions to consider:

  • What is the next promotion for this employee?
  • What is the pay increase for that promotion?
  • What criteria must that employee meet to receive a promotion?
  • What personality strengths are needed to perform the duties of that next position exceptionally well?
  • What skills are needed?
  • Will you provide the training needed to acquire those skills? If not, how will you support that employee in acquiring the necessary training?

Keep asking yourself this same set of questions for each promotion as an entry-level employee advances in your company. Once you have answered these questions, you are in the position to tell an applicant about tangible career opportunities with you.

Consider the difference between telling an applicant, “We start you at $10/hour and you have the opportunity to advance with us” versus telling an applicant, “We start you at $10/hour and if you work hard, over the course of the next 5-10 years, we’ll support you in moving up into a management-level position, with the opportunity to earn $80,000 or more annually.” The second scenario will be much more attractive to a career-minded applicant, making it much more likely you will attract and retain an A-Player employee for your entry-level position.

TIP: Make the first promotion easily achievable for an employee who is a real go-getter. This is psychologically motivating and will increase your odds of retaining that employee over time.

About The Author

Dr. Sabrina Starling, The Business Psychologist and international best-selling author of the How to Hire the Best series and The 4 Week Vacation™, is the founder of Tap the Potential and host of the Profit by Design podcast. At Tap the Potential, we work to free business owners from the constant demands of a growing business.

We believe work supports life, not the other way around. Clients in our Better Business, Better Life coaching program have more time for what matters most and more money in their bank account than they’ve ever had. Next, we send them off on a 4 Week Vacation™ to celebrate their hard-earned journey to take their life back!

Dr. Sabrina and her team at Tap the Potential are on a mission to change the story of entrepreneurship from one of long hours, grinding it out, to one of sustainably profitable businesses that support and enhance life. The Tap the Potential Solution™ and our Tap the Potential Family of Business Owners are disrupting small business as usual. We are on our way to making the Tap the Potential Solution™ the mainstream model for growing business.

By 2023, 150 Tap the Potential clients will have taken 4 Week Vacations. These are the trailblazers, role modeling what’s possible for entrepreneurs. In many entrepreneurial circles, it is becoming more and more common for one entrepreneur to ask another, “Have you taken a 4 Week Vacation™?” (as opposed to asking “How many employees do you have?” or “What is your annual revenue?”). Taking a fully unplugged 4 Week Vacation is rapidly becoming the recognized symbol of entrepreneurial success.

Never one to accept the status quo or back down from a challenge, Dr. Sabrina’s How to Hire the Best series grew from her desire to solve the toughest hiring challenges interfering with her clients’ growth and profitability. What sprang from her experience working with entrepreneurs in rural areas catapulted her into becoming the world’s leading expert in attracting top talent in small businesses—no matter what hiring challenges those businesses are facing—and earned Tap the Potential’s reputation as the go-to resource for entrepreneurs committed to creating Great Places to Work with thriving coaching cultures and highly engaged team members working from strengths.

As The Business Psychologist, and with her years of driving profit in small businesses, Dr. Sabrina knows what it takes to find, keep, and motivate exceptional performance out of your biggest investment—team members.