Use Incentives Instead of Salaries to Recruit Early Hires

April 13, 2009

carrot-incentiveMost companies start with nothing.  But it takes people to run a company.  So what should you do?  You don’t have any money coming in to pay your employees, but you can’t hire anyone with any talent if you can’t pay them.  You’re stuck.

Not if you are creative.

Instead of offering competitive salaries to the first round of people that you hire, offer them a chance at even higher earning potential down the line.  I have always been one that thought that giving your employees a vested interest in the success of your company will lead to better results.  When people see that their work directly leads to the company’s success, and they are rewarded based on that productivity, they are much more likely to increase their effort.

If you hire a salesman, consider higher commissions than he expects.  Consider allowing the sales team to make suggestions to the marketing and development teams that will make selling and customer communication easier.  Reward them for suggestions that they help get implemented.

If you hire marketers, tie their earnings potential in with revenue that can be tracked directly to the marketing campaigns that they controlled.  If someone helps to create a strategy that works out in a big way, don’t hesitate to let them in some of the revenue that the strategy brought you.  For more ideas on creating a successful employee incentives program, check this out.

Your employees are much more likely to take an active role in the building of a new company if they feel some sort of ownership role.  They will stay with you longer, produce better results, and work harder to turn your new company into a stronger, larger one.

Anyone can offer a competitive salary.  Only the best and brightest companies offer a sense of responsibility and reward system based on the various roles played by employees.  Those companies will continue to recruit and retain A Players.

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