The art of talent acquisition: Strategies for SMEs


HR and recruitment challenges are common for small to medium sized businesses who are competing with large companies (with large recruiting budgets) in a difficult talent market. However, by using the right approaches, it is possible to overcome these challenges and attract and retain the right people to meet your growth goals and long-term business targets. 

Specialist recruitment advice, by people who understand the unique needs of a growing organisation, creative hiring methods, and access to a wider pool of candidates can all ensure that recruiting is efficient and effective.

In this article, we interview our EMEA sales leader, Scotty Morgan, who provides highly useful insights into best practices for SME recruitment and talent management.  

How do you find and recruit the best talent for your team? 

Tap in to existing professional networks to see if anyone you know is interested, as well as enquiring about referrals. Ensure your internal Talent Acquisition team is continually pipelining candidates and building out talent pools – especially for passive candidates (those who are not actively job searching but are a good fit for the business). Once in the recruitment process, shift your focus from selling the job to selling the organisation, be clear about what it’s like to work there, and what sets you apart. 

Why is it important to have the best people for an SME?

People are an organisation’s greatest asset. And this is even more true for emerging businesses that can’t rely on an established brand. It is imperative to build dynamic, passionate teams to drive not only business growth, but product development. Also, people buy from people, and a memorable customer experience will encourage repeat business and referrals. 

How can SME leaders get it right first time when it comes to recruitment, so they don’t waste money? 

Ensure you are not hiring in the image of yourself, always aim to remove as much bias from your thinking as possible and put rigorous assessments in place. Be proactive with your talent planning, anticipating the skills you’ll need before you need them. Lastly, as the ‘disruptive kid on the block’, SMEs have the edge when it comes to innovation by being at the forefront of development – a big plus point for talent attraction. Make sure you talk about this. 

How can SME leaders ensure they keep talent once they’ve found it? 

Get to know the individual. Ensure they feel like the business and you as the leader understand them and their uniqueness. This doesn’t mean expectations for delivery are any less, it just means transparency for all parties and a mutual psychological contract. Help them develop, be clear on how they can help shape the business, and proactively address rewards, like impromptu earned salary increases. 

RPO On-Demand is a flexible, subscription-based recruitment solution designed to support organisations experiencing spikes in their recruitment. Our bolt-on service increases your recruitment capacity and arms you with all the hiring expertise you need, without increasing headcount or long-term spend. To find out how RPO On-Demand can give you access to the best talent in the market, contact our team today. 

Ready to build, re-shape and optimise your workforce for better talent acquisition?

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