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SME Recruitment Tips

As a small business owner, attracting and recruiting top talent can be one of the biggest challenges that you face. However, it can also be one of the most important. Ensuring you have the right people on board that believe in the business can be hugely beneficial for future success.

Recruitment can be particularly daunting when you’ve been the only employee of your business so far. When you’re going up against large corporations or well established businesses, how can you entice someone to take a leap and join you on the journey of your small business?

We’ve put together some top tips to help you in your small business recruitment.

Perfect the job description

The job description acts as your shop window for any potential new team members so it’s important to get it right. Be honest about the day to day responsibilities of the role so any potential applicants are able to see if the job is a good fit for their skills from the start. If there are any prerequisites for the role, such as qualifications or training, ensure that these are clear in the job advert.

The job description also provides the perfect opportunity for you to sell your business as a great place to work to any potential candidates. With smaller, less well known companies, this part can be crucial when trying to attract the top people for the job.

Network

One of the best ways to meet like-minded people who may be interested in your business is by networking. There are numerous small business networking events held all over the country, and these can be a great way to meet potential employees in a relaxed setting. Networking events also allow you to educate people about your business and what you do, which could result in candidates approaching you about job opportunities.

You can also utilise the network that you already have to aid you in your small business recruitment. Ask around to see if anybody has any recommendations of people who are looking for a role like the one you are recruiting for. They may know the perfect candidate for you.

Get online

As a small business owner, time can often be scarce so attending numerous networking events may not always be possible. This is where online networking channels and social media comes in useful. Websites such as LinkedIn can be a great resource for spreading the word about your business and attracting potential employees. You can also easily use the search functions on LinkedIn to find the candidates that match the skills criteria that you are looking for.

Some online networking channels also show any connections that you may have in common with potential candidates. You can then ask these connections to introduce you, so you’re starting off the conversation with some common ground.

Interview

Now that you’ve found some candidates for the position, it’s time to meet with them to find out whether they’re a good fit for the role. Everyone likes to approach the interview process differently, so think about what you want to find out about the person beforehand. Some companies set their interviewees tasks ahead of the interview to find out if they have the skills and knowledge needed to fulfil the role.

It’s important to remember that the interview process is as much about the candidate getting to know you and your business as it is about you getting to know them. Therefore it’s important for you to sell your business to them, and what makes it a great place to work.

Incentivise

Once you’ve found your perfect candidate, how do you entice them to leave their current company and join yours? This can be one of the most difficult parts of the hiring process. Salary expectations were most likely discussed during the interview; however this may not be enough to lure the candidate over. According to a survey by Perkbox, 46% of employees consider the benefits package prior to accepting a new role making that the second most important factor after salary1. Benefits packages vary from business to business, but common employee perks include:

  • Season ticket loans
  • Private medical insurance
  • Discounted gym memberships
  • Childcare vouchers
  • Wellness programmes
  • Pension schemes

The candidate may be coming from a business that offers a benefits package to their employees so they may be, understandably, reluctant to leave this behind. You could look to develop the benefits package that you have on offer to your team in order to entice potential high quality team members to join you. An enticing benefits package can also be a great way to retain your staff.

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