Wednesday Insight: Attracting talent as an SMME

From the crucial early months of life as a small business through to continuing growth once established, attracting top talent is essential in order to ensure sustainable business development. In this article, we look at some of the challenges that small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) face when recruiting and how they can be overcome.

Promoting roles and themselves

Whilst large firms can rely on their brand’s reputation (not only as a company, but as an employer) to guarantee a healthy stream of applications for vacancies, the same cannot be said of most SMMEs. As a remedy to this, a focus on the positioning of your company is essential, through increasing brand awareness and developing an effective marketing strategy.

Even where a business hasn’t yet succeeded in doing this, SMMEs should think about using a variety of different channels to promote new vacancies where they arise; advertising positions on social media can significantly increase the reach of notices and the number of applicants. HR managers should also consider doing research into recruitment portals or publications that specialise in their industries. The advertising of a position should not just be widespread, but also very targeted.

Clear culture

As many small businesses do not have the resources to offer a highly competitive salary or comprehensive benefits package, having a clearly-communicated and positive working culture is all the more important – and it seems that this can often be more important than financial considerations. A survey by TruPath has shown that company culture can be the deciding factor for candidates; indeed, only 12% of employees surveyed said that they have left their job for more money elsewhere.

SMMEs therefore need to work harder to communicate the less quantifiable perks of working for them. A useful starting point is developing your internal culture and to demonstrate how you ensure that your business is a good place to work at for your employees. Even without a large marketing budget, you can develop a reputation which rivals much larger companies.

Targeted approach

When recruiting for positions, it is important that SMMEs have a clear job description, not only for that role, but for that company. The role that a business development manager would play in a small, specialist company is very different to that played by their counterpart in a large firm, and the recruitment process should reflect this. Be clear about your requirements of a candidate from the outset, and you will likely be more satisfied with the talent on offer.

If you have any questions or would like further information about the range of support on offer in the Building Legacies Programme, please contact Danny Hackett on info@buildinglegacies.co.uk or call the office on 020 7537 6480.