The fourth quarter SurveyMonkey CNBC Small Business Confidence Survey confirmed news that many entrepreneurs have been aware of throughout 2018. Small business optimism remains high, and continues to rise. Despite this optimism, small businesses still struggle to fill open positions. 16 percent surveyed revealed that positions open at their companies have not been filled for at least three months.

Small businesses have chosen to get strategic in an effort to fill these roles. There are monetary incentives to get new hires in the door, like higher compensation. Non-monetary perks, like flexible scheduling, have also been implemented by small businesses. Student loan repayment assistance has even turned into a benefit of its own, in order to attract more millennials and Gen Z workers.

Negotiating job benefits

Beyond media coverage, what kinds of juicing practices do ordinary small business owners implement of their own? What do they offer, and how does it keep talent on board? I got in touch with three small business owners to see what kind of juice they’ve been including with job offers to attract hires.

Offering Paid Sabbaticals

Rachel Neill is the CEO of Carex Consulting Group. The company provides talent for startups through Fortune 100 companies that specializes in project development, dev, and innovation roles.

Neill knows firsthand just how much benefits, both monetary and non-monetary, matter to workers to retain and attract talent. Their incentives are “pretty awesome,” she says. Positions receive compensation at a mid to high range. 80 percent of health, dental, and vision are paid for, 401(k) and disability options are available. Then there’s the office itself, which offers remote work options, standing and walking desks, and free snacks.

Perhaps the most unique incentive is the company sabbatical. “We offer a full paid sabbatical for our workers, and a guest, to anywhere in the world after three years of employment.” Neill says.

This sabbatical does more than allow employees to see the world. It also provides a much needed respite to recharge, enjoy once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and come back to their roles fully refreshed and inspired in their roles.

Remote Work Without Micromanagement

That subheader contains two key phrases that many workers crave in today’s workplace. They want to be able to work from anywhere and confidently use the skills that got them hired for the role. Jason Patel is the founder of Transizion, a college and career prep company. Transizion helps train young individuals today to take on their dream careers tomorrow.

The company, which is agile and growing, competes against big businesses using ingenuity. Patel allows his team to work remotely and is firmly against micromanagement. The lack of micromanagement is a huge selling point to attracting talented hires. According to Patel, “nobody” likes being micromanaged.

“We hire smart people with substantive references and proven track records.” Patel says, “We provide them with the structure, guidelines, and company culture. You can do your thing as long as you produce high-quality results.”

How does this work for remote team members? Patel insists that remote work still works so long as guidelines and an overall company structure remain in place. “If your work culture is strong and company leadership demonstrates this culture through action, remote work can be good for everyone.”

Business person Working hard

Encouragement To Work Hard, Then Move On To Pursue Your Passion

Colorado Aromatics is a company that specializes in botanically-based skin care products. As the owner of the business, Cindy Jones, Ph.D. juices part-time hires with flexibility and a fun and educational workplace. Many hires over the years have been entrepreneurs. Jones encourages them to keep working on their side hustles until they become full-time businesses, while they earn a part-time salary at her company.

“Entrepreneurs work here until the hours consumed by their own business takes precedence.” Jones says, “This results in them working fewer hours until they aren’t working here at all.”

While this type of employment seems inverse to the notion of juicing talent, it really isn’t. Jones notes that talented workers still keep coming to her business. “Every employee has come to our business with a unique background that offers something to my business.”

When hires do eventually depart, everyone has benefitted from the experience. Jones has been able to offer talent a mutually beneficial relationship. Employees have learned how to build a business, and gained a bit of knowledge about herbs for their personal use or future work. Their focus is now on their entrepreneurial journey — onward and upward.