Dave Coplin of Microsoft UK bemoans the plateau of mediocrity we experience when technology is simply ‘good enough’ for what we need. Good enough is not great though, and great is what attracts fresh, exciting candidates to your company.

Great things come in small packages

Your business is looking to attract the best talent. The best talent is looking for the best opportunity. Large enterprises may be financially equipped to offer a lot of incentives that smaller companies can’t match, but being small offers one great advantage: flexibility.

The top talent want to be part of a forward-looking business, and your technology will tell them if you’re leading the charge or lagging behind. Adapting to the mobile-first, cloud-powered mind-set of millennials is much easier for a small business, since you aren't tied down by legacy systems or vast on-premise hardware.

Millennials are excited by the promise of something meaningful, of an environment where they can be part of the change. That puts small businesses in pole position. In a large corporation they are one fish in a crowded pond. In a growing company, which constantly re-factoring the way it works, each employee can make waves if they have the right tools to do so.

Mobile working

Working from home has increased by 103 percent in the last decade, according to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com.

Nine to five is the norm but it isn't the best time for everyone. Mobile working lets employees choose their hours (within reason) to suit their way of working. Losing the commute also saves time, increases productivity and is healthier for the mind and body.

This move to mobile isn't just driven by employees: a study by The Flex Factor showed that mobile working adds more than five productive hours per week/per employee. On top of the savings you get from reduced office space requirements (up to £650 per annum/per employee), it’s clear that mobile working is good for business and morale.

Forward-looking technology will only attract the best talent, however, if it’s implemented in a forward-looking way. Remote working can provoke worries amongst employers, particularly about trust, but there’s no use setting your workers free if you’re going to demand progress reports every hour.

Learn to measure by results, rather than hours and let your team get on with their work. In return, you’ll have much happier, more productive employees.

Bring Your Own Device

Having a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) scheme is an attractive offer for top talent since it eliminates the hassle of multiple devices for work and leisure, increases productivity, and allows employees to work from home if they can’t get into the office.

The major risk factor with BYOD is security, but as devices have evolved, so has the software to protect it. Talk to your IT support partner about configuring and managing devices, building custom mobile apps and protecting sensitive data.

Easy communication

Our relationship with emails is wild. We love its convenience yet we dread logging in to see another full inbox since - not surprising when you consider we spend, on average, 13 hours a week dealing with emails.

Email is far from dead but being email-only is a relic of an old-fashioned workplace. There are a variety of communication tools available today; Skype and Yammer are popular, but all are tailored to particular business and collaboration needs.

Figure out which tool is right for your business, bearing in mind your employees’ preferences. Well-managed internal communication creates an environment of sharing and collaboration, which can spark the next big idea.

Cloud services

Millennials want everything at their fingertips. Migrating to the cloud means documents can be shared across the world and collaborative projects can be accessed from any connected device. It’s agile, fast and efficient.

Of course, the popularity of cloud services among small businesses is no secret. Many companies are already cloud-powered thanks to the flexibility and scalability it offers.

Think big to attract the best talent

Small businesses need to think big, but to attract the best talent you don’t have to be big. You just have to show that your company actively pursues new ideas and ways of working. Offer a flexible, dynamic environment and the star applications will flood in.

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