MYOB’s monthly SME Snapshot, a survey of more than 400 SME customers, has revealed the ways in which SMEs attempt to compete with their bigger counterparts in attracting new talent.
Of the respondents, 38 per cent claimed that employment flexibility was the most important feature that a business could provide to attract new staff, while 21 per cent indicated that the culture SMEs provide proved the most enticing.
Simon Raik-Allen, MYOB's chief technical officer, suggested the findings revealed a definite shift towards a focus on the personal aspects of the workplace.
“Today’s small business owners are appealing on the personal front – being a great place to work – rather than salary packages,” he said.
“At a time when skilled workers are hard to find, this shows that bringing a bit of heart to the equation can inspire loyalty and win out over the big guys."
The SME Snapshot report also provided insight into the best means of assistance on offer for SMEs in establishing and running a new business.
Thirty-eight per cent of those businesses surveyed suggested that trial and error provided them with the best learning experiences, while 32 per cent noted that accountants and financial advisers were the most valuable source of information and assistance.
“Start-ups are basically learning on the job, and tapping professionals around them for advice," Mr Raik-Allen said. "When you combine this with our last SME Snapshot finding that showed that some 78 per cent of SMEs think that you don’t need a degree to run a business, we can see a real opportunity emerging to provide practical training for entrepreneurial types."