Getting great employees for your SME

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

The limiting factor in the growth and success of any small business is its staff.  The right staff can take on responsibility, innovate, sell, keep customers happy and make your life as the business owner much easier.  The wrong staff can drain you and the rest of your employees of energy and time.

SMEs often struggle to recruit good staff.  There is a shortage of good people whatever the size and reputation of an employer – it is a buyers’ market.  There are also some real or perceived reasons that small businesses may struggle in comparison to bigger employers:

  • Paying below market rate
  • Missing benefits such as healthcare, pension or childcare
  • Unattractive working environment
  • Limited career path and scope for personal or technical development
  • Less job security
  • Not an impressive addition to the CV for future potential employers

On the other hand there are some real benefits of working for a smaller company:

  •  Individuals matter and can make an impact on the whole business from day one
  •  The right people can progress to a senior position quickly
  • Decisions are taken quickly and small businesses are fast-paced
  • Employees in small businesses get opportunities to be involved in all parts of the business

You are in a market for the best employees – so treat it as a marketing exercise.  It is as important for your business to win and keep great employees as it is to win and keep great customers so go about marketing in the same way:

  • Identify your niche employees and your unique employee proposition
  • Develop your brand or reputation and position it so that it attracts the kind of employees you want
  • Build a portfolio of possible future recruits and market to them – don’t just go to market under pressure if someone leaves
  • Develop a sales (recruitment) process that works
  • Walk the talk – your proposition for recruits should be the reality for existing employees. They are your best recruiters
  • Take on the six barriers to recruitment listed above and find ways to remove them in your business
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