5 hiring tips for SMEs

For small businesses in particular, hiring great talent can be a challenge. After all, each new employee has the potential to make a significant impact and influence – good or bad – on a company’s culture. Therefore, it’s essential to find employees who are engaged and committed team players, and who will help move your business forward.

Knowing how to effectively source and retain talent is entirely possible with the correct approach and some insider knowledge. Here’s our top 5 hiring tips for SME’s.

1. Create a candidate persona

A candidate persona can enhance your recruitment strategy by using a research-driven approach similar to a marketers buyer persona. But instead of new customers, you’re looking for an employee.

A candidate persona is a document which includes the ideal characteristics of an individual who would make a good fit for a role at your company – this could include their experience, ambitions, skills, value and motivations. There are a number of benefits for implementing a candidate persona, such as:

  • Improved recruitment ROI. Personas can help you find high quality candidates quickly, by reducing the need to sort through hundreds of applications from unsuitable candidates.
  • Improved job descriptions. A persona will help you focus on creating a job description which is targeted towards your perfect candidate.
  • Find candidates that truly ‘fit’. A focused candidate persona can help you find candidates who match your company culture and values.

2. Sell the benefits of working for your company

It’s an unfortunate perception that bigger companies offer higher salaries and better training than SME’s. That means you’ll really need to communicate the benefits of working for your company.

You might not be able to offer a huge salary, but what can you offer? Challenging work, a higher level of responsibility, great training prospects, or fast career progression?

Whatever it is that gives your company an edge, make sure to sell it to potential candidates.

3. Take candidates for a test drive

There’s one thing that’s more expensive than hiring someone – replacing someone. For that reason, it’s worth testing the waters with a new candidate.

For example, before you commit, have candidates complete a short contract, carry out a task or project, or even bring them on as a freelancer for a few weeks.

During this period, you can keep an eye on their attitude, work ethic and ability to work on a team – and most importantly, whether they’re a good match for your company.

4. Offer flexibility

Flexible working is the most sought after benefit among millennials, and that makes it a huge selling point.

Quality talent will appreciate the option to work from a coffee shop or at home every now and then. A little remote work here and there will significantly improve levels of employee happiness and shows a level of trust which will make them feel respected.

Ultimately, flexible working will help you to hire and more importantly, retain great employees.

5. Consider the graduate market and mature workers

It’s well worth targeting graduates who are determined to prove themselves and who are particularly versatile.

Universities such as Kent, Loughborough and Surrey have recently started teaming up with SME’s in the local area to help graduates explore the fast-track opportunities which smaller businesses can offer.

And what about mature workers? Well, if you don’t tend to consider older jobseekers, you’re making a mistake. Mature workers are extremely well suited to SME’s. Here’s why:

  • They’re less of a drain on the training budget;
  • They require minimal supervision;
  • They make excellent role models and mentors for younger employees;
  • They’re more likely to stay in the job long-term;
  • They often take a huge pride in their work.

Still unsure about hiring for yourself? 

We know how important it is to attract and hire the right people, quickly and with minimal disruption to your organisation. For that reason, S2 Recruitment offers a wide range of flexible solutions which enable us to effectively support all of your recruitment needs. Get in touch with the S2 team today.

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