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Recruitment for SMEs

Written by Kimberley Startup | June 16, 2011 | 0 Comments

Finding the right person for your team has never been as importantOnline recruitment to a business.

Everyone knows people drive companies and ensuring you have the ‘right people on the bus’ is crucial to a business’s success. But with restricted advertising budgets and the underlying culture of delivering more for less underpinning many agendas, how is the typical small and medium sized business owner expected to source the best talent available without breaking the bank?

We know that SMEs operate differently and can often find managing the recruitment process hard work. With fewer resources allocated to look through applications, manage response and organise interviews, not to mention the high costs associated with recruitment, it can be a big risk.

Yet if you put these factors aside, the current climate in fact provides fertile ground for sourcing good candidates for small businesses. That’s if you know what you’re looking for and you’re willing to put in that extra bit of effort.

Why are you recruiting?

Appointing someone can be a big investment, so it’s important to decide exactly what function they’d play, and what value they’re expected to deliver.

Recruiting someone can incur considerable costs – from training and infrastructure to national insurance payments and salaries – it all adds up. So make sure to keep costs at the forefront of your mind.

Where to start?

So you’ve sat down and decided what position you’re recruiting for, looked into competitive salaries and decided how to manage the role’s performance. Your next decision then is to decide whether to outsource your recruitment or manage it in-house.

Traditional recruitment methods are great in finding good candidates fast, but their services come at a price. Whilst their pricing can have a big effect on your bottom-line, they are specialists with a database full of candidates and the resources to manage all responses. This can free up a lot of time.

Bringing the process in house, on the other hand, offers the chance to really immerse you in the process. Yet knowing what resources to use, how often to use them, and what tools are needed to create responsive recruitment advertising can take a considerable amount of time and know-how.

Luckily, the emergence of new recruitment channels has worked to the SME owner’s advantage. With increased competition within the staffing industry comes lower prices, more original advertising and service guarantees.

In fact, resources and services such as job boards, mobile applications and social networking have all proved instrumental in providing the SME owner with a new stage. They have a new platform to complete with the big brands (with large recruitment budgets) for the talent available. If you’re keeping an eye on lowering costs, I’d recommend spending some time finding out if these options are more suited for your business.�


Given current unemployment levels, your vacancy will most probably have a good response – providing you with ample applications to look through. Use the high volume of CVs to your advantage. Look at candidates who are looking to re-locate, willing to cross-train or have approached you in an original way.

If you’re not a confident interviewer, invite another member of staff – perhaps the person who’s role the new recruit will impact the most – to provide the applicant with the best opportunity possible.

Common sense will tell you to opt for the most experienced candidate – the applicant that ticks all the criteria. But, if you can afford to spare the time for one last interview – pick a wild card. Someone, who, on paper doesn’t necessarily fit into the role, but may have the potential to contribute something special to your team down the line.

It’s crucial to remember that the candidate in front of you is most probably being pursued by your competitors. So use the interview as a stage to really sell your company. Tell them about awards the company has collected, promote the environment and describe incentives and training. Make your business the only option for them.

This article was written by Lucy Heskins, webrecruit, and featured in The Market magazine.

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