Archive RSS
Blog  »  July 2016  »  How to Recruit for SMEs - Blog
Jul 16

Posted by
Laura Murphy

How to Recruit for SMEs

68% of SMEs feel they have average, or less than average, recruitment skills, according to recent research completed by The Irish Small and Medium Enterprise Association (ISME). Furthermore, 62% feel they cannot compete with multinationals when recruiting skilled staff, a worrying statistic considering 70% of the private workforce are employed in SMEs.

With the above in mind and considering how important staff are to just about everything a business does, we’ve come up with 6 tips to help SMEs recruit the best talent.

Know exactly who and what you are looking for

Your first step will be to create a clear job description and person specification, listing the skills and knowledge that you require. A good job description will serve as the basis for interviewing candidates, enabling you to assess each candidate against predetermined criteria.

Advertise Smartly

Utilise a number of different advertising avenues to maximize response and diversity for your business.

  • Maximise social media; post your job on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social media. Illustrating the popularity of social media for recruitment, in 2015 50% of recruitment searches in the UK were carried out on mobile devices.
  • Share your advert with local business groups or professional bodies.
  • Create a “working with us” section on your website highlighting all the positives of working with you. This will not only be a great place to tell the story of your business as well as to post vacancy information.

Get your staff involved

Involving existing employees in the recruitment process will be a great way to include staff and boost morale.

  • Ask them for suggestions on where best to advertise.
  • Ask if they can recommend anyone. Perhaps consider offering a “Referral Bonus” if they refer a successful candidate who then passes their probation.
  • Ask more senior staff members to get involved in the interview process.

Become a place people want to work

Building your employer brand is key to becoming an employer of choice and a magnet for talent. It is very important to build a positive image to your customers, existing employees, peers and competitors. They will in turn become advocates whose recommendations steer talented individuals to you.

Key areas that can help becoming an employer of choice will include; flexibility, work-life balance, involvement, staff responsibility, promotion, recognition, and reward.

Promote being Small

Multinational corporations may have the financial backing to offer greater salaries or packages. However, research consistently shows that remuneration is not the only driver for employees.

There are many advantages of being small, SMEs need to make small a selling point.

As a small employer, you may be able to offer:

  • flexibility with a lot less red tape
  • leniency around working times and locations
  • employees can get involved in many projects, often above and beyond their job description, enabling employees to rapidly acquire new skills
  • entrepreneurial ideas are encouraged and employees can initiate projects and drive innovation working with individuals at all levels of the company
  • a family-like environment, where the company truly cares about employees, their job satisfaction, as well as their personal wellbeing.

Have a consistent approach

A clear, consistent approach to recruitment will ensure your company has a fair process that focuses on finding and attracting the right candidate for your businesses.

  • Have predetermined interview questions and ask them of all candidates
  • Interview notes should be taken and retained for a minimum of 12 months
  • Always check references
  • Hire for behavior and train for skills. You can’t change someone’s attitude, but you can develop their skills.

BrightPay - Payroll Software

Bright Contracts - Employment Contracts and Handbooks