Wow, in a recent survey of SME businesses, a tremendous 54% declared that they are struggling to fill critical roles that will enable their growth and success.

There is certainly a distinct lack of talent available to fill all the current reported vacancies but what can you, as a small business owner or leader, do?

Recruitment practices have certainly changed during the last decade. Ten years ago, businesses would write a job description for their vacancy, advertise the role and then work their way through the responding candidates in a tick box exercise before inviting a lucky few to interview before successfully making an appointment. Unfortunately, those days have long gone, both from where you can communicate your vacancy, but also in that you are facing fierce competition to tick every box in your job description.

Recruitment for SMEs these days is all about innovation and compromise. 

  • Innovation in terms of the communication strategy you need to develop to create an enticing employer brand that candidates will be drawn to and the plethora of methods you can invest in to identify suitable individuals. Social media, 'word of mouth', employee referrals and good recruitment partners all have a key role to play to cast your net as wide as possible.
  • Compromise is going to be critical if you are going to successfully fill your vacancy. Write a job description by all means; however, you can't expect to find a candidate that ticks every box. Keep your mind open to candidates who have the right behaviours, attitudes and values to join your business and have some of the "on the job" experience you want. This applies equally to senior leaders as those more junior level roles. It is more than likely that you will have to support their development to tick all your boxes in time.

We work consultatively with our SME clients to cast their net wide, attract a broad range of candidates and give them the choice of individuals that will add real value to their businesses now and in the future.

An open mindset to recruitment is critical and you will be one of the 54% if you insist on ticking all the boxes.