How small businesses can win the war on talent

Looking for new ways to attract and retain top talent?

You’re not alone. 99% of businesses in the UK fall into the category of small to medium enterprises (SMEs), employing less than 250 people. Studies undertaken in 2018 found recruitment and retention was high on the list of the key challenges reported by SMEs, a concern second only to Brexit1. High employee turnover and failure to engage existing staff impacts the ability of an SME to build a tight-knit culture and a high performing team. Losing talent to larger organisations offering larger salaries and additional perks is a constant threat – how do you compete with that?

Know your competition.

Large businesses have a history of hiring highly skilled workers and paying them good wages and offering attractive benefit packages2. Their size may have gained them access to exclusive pension schemes and a variety of employee benefits including private medical insurance (PMI). A benefit highly regarded by employees as part of a reward package. Large businesses can usually provide more opportunities for career progression or generous bonus schemes to engage their staff. All of these factors are used to attract and retain top talent.

We’re seeing an increasing number of SMEs improving their rewards packages too, offering more than just a salary and pension. The market has evolved and many of the employee benefits enjoyed by staff at large firms are now accessible to SMEs. This is game changing. SMEs including the smallest of microbusinesses employing less than 10 people, now have access to employee benefits like PMI, as well as the technology to deliver and communicate these benefits effectively.

Make your move.

More than half of employees place high value on the employee benefits, including healthcare insurance. This is why 73% of employers have woken up to the power of using benefits to attract and retain staff3. Introducing small business employee benefits could save you time and money spent on both recruitment and motivating your workforce. Today, the benefits market offers more ways for you to gain a competitive edge and increase your attractiveness as an employer. And they don’t have to cost the earth.

You can put together a personalised range of benefits that your workforce will truly value, and use the latest benefits management platforms to deliver them. The right employee benefits package can help:

  • attract new talent,
  • engage and reward existing talent, and
  • keep everyone happy and healthy at work.

Plus, studies show firms with engaged employees enjoy 87% less staff turnover and staff take fewer sick days.
Personalised and well delivered benefits can show your employees that they are more than just a number. They can show them that you take an interest in their overall wellbeing and know how to value their contribution.


1 bmmagazine.co.uk/in-business/advice/how-employee-benefits-can-help-smes-compete-for-talent/ 

Lester, 1967; Brown and Medoff, 1989; Burdett and Mortensen, 1989; Green et al., 1996; Troske, 1999 and Barth et al., 2016

3 Mercer