Life as an SME certainly has its challenges, and recruitment falls straight into this category without question.

They say that your first recruit is always the hardest, but if you’re beyond that stage, we’re pretty sure you’re experiencing similar difficulties with subsequent ones!

Let’s remember that as well as the financial impact, there’s also all of the training and devising a strategy to ensure that you keep the best talent.

Following the above, let’s now talk through some of the best ways to approach recruitment as an SME.

Define your ideal candidate

This seems like an obvious one, but it’s incredible how many businesses don’t actually do this.

You need to be clear on the skillset, qualifications and experience required and, just as importantly, what kind of person will fit in with your company culture.

If you’re not clear on this from the outset, you’ll likely find yourself hiring the wrong people, costing you time and money further down the line.

Use all available resources

There are plenty of recruitment agencies out there that will be more than happy to help you find the right candidate, but remember all the other resources available to you.

Social media, for example, is a great way to reach a wide range of people and is relatively low-cost.

There are also several online job boards that you can utilise and, if you’re really stuck, you could always ask your network of contacts if they know anyone that might be suitable.

Create a comprehensive job advert

Your job advert is your first opportunity to sell your company to potential candidates, so it’s important that you make it as comprehensive as possible.

As well as detailing the skills and experience you’re looking for, you should also include information about your company culture, what the role entails and the benefits.

Many SMEs make the mistake of skimming through this process with little thought. Just remember, this is the first glimpse a candidate has of your company, and if you’re looking to attract one that is as suitable as possible, you need to invest an appropriate amount of time into it.

Have a structured interview process

When it comes to the interview stage, it’s essential that you have a structured process in place.

Firstly, you should ask each candidate the same set of questions so you can compare them side-by-side.

It’s also a good idea to have a panel of interviewers so that you can get a well-rounded view of each candidate and, finally, make sure that you take the time to give feedback to each candidate regardless of whether you decide to offer them the role or not.

The latter is something that is often forgotten about or deemed unnecessary by business owners. However, it’s something that can help portray your company in the best possible light and ultimately fuel your hiring attempts at a later date.

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