The business owner's assumption seems to start from the premise that good employees are either no where to be found or will only work for big companies. In my experience I find both of these assumptions to be incorrect.
There are many small businesses with good employees and I believe there are many people working in large companies who would rather be working in small companies...if....they could find the circumstances that permit it. What's the problem? There are too many small business owners who have poor to terrible management and leadership skills. I meet with hundreds of business owners a year, I know small business owners.
If you want your small business to attract high quality employees here are the things I would focus on:
- Your integrity - Say what you'll do, then do what you say.
- Always be respectful to employees and customers, even when you're angry. Whatever anyone hears you say is what they assume you'll say when they aren't near.
- Even if you know the answer, help the employee figure it out.
- Let your employees make little mistakes and then show the leadership compassion when you unscramble the problem.
- Focus local for employees, a short commute is high value these days.
- Don't be afraid to hire people smarter than you...and...when you do hire someone smarter than you let them help you.
- Focus on total compensation not just the salary. Put in place bonus plans so that when the business does well, everyone does well.
- Hire slow, fire fast.
That's a start. Get focused on getting better people and you will have the opportunities. Now the real question is, how do you become a business owner who deserves better people?