Four ways to supercharge your recruitment strategy
04 January 2018 -
Have you finalised your hiring plans for 2018? Investing in their staff is the top priority for SMEs, one study has revealed, with many admitting recruitment is their biggest business decision
At the beginning of a new year, growth is a fundamental objective for all businesses. This is especially true for smaller firms. A report from American Express and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) reveals small-and-medium-sized companies have pinpointed investing in their staff as a top priority for growing their business.
Recruitment is especially vital for employers, with more than one in five (23%) employers stating that after launching their business, hiring new staff has been their biggest business decision. By comparison, staff hiring ranked above choosing suppliers (20%) and investing in technology (19%).
In fact, the research shows SMEs hold staff investment to have such importance, that more than one in five (22%) say that if their revenue were to double, their first investment would be to increase their staff numbers.
However, the study found SMEs believe skills shortages and a lack of funding are significant challenges to recruiting the talent they need.
More than a third (35%) of small businesses report a shortage of necessary expertise among applicants as the main hurdle in hiring, while 27% are worried about how they will fund the hiring of new employees.
Medium-sized SMEs also reported greater difficulty finding new employees with the necessary expertise. While 35% of small firms said the biggest obstacle to hiring staff was short supply of expertise, this figure increases to 42% among medium-sized enterprises.
Apprenticeships may, therefore, be a very valid option for SMEs, with the opportunity to work with younger talented individuals and tailor training and recruitment for the skills that their business most requires.
Also, small firms are further incentivised by the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, which provides a substantial source of funds for companies of all sizes to develop and deliver high quality degree-level apprenticeships.
CMI, for example, has supported employers in the development of a Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship that awards apprentices with both a degree and Chartered Manager status upon graduation.
Investment in the training of staff is an essential means of developing current staff, and filling necessary skills gaps internally, particularly for managers.
The CMI’s past research has repeatedly found consistent and well-structured management training is incredibly valuable to small businesses as it empowers managers to get the best performance from their employees, to respond to issues quickly, improve internal and external communications with stakeholders and create the next generation of leaders.
To help growing SMEs with the costs of hiring staff, the study offers the following tips for bosses:
HOW TO MAKE HIRING COST-EFFECTIVE
Incorporate hiring into your overall growth strategy
Having a clear trajectory of how and when you will expand your staff will help you budget time as well as money, so that you can find new candidates and onboard new employees as efficiently as possible.
Re-evaluate your hiring budget
While the amount set aside to fund hiring new staff may be more or less fixed, as a business grows you can benefit from re-evaluating the hiring budget more frequently. This will help keep pace with planned expansion and make sure your expenditures are in the right proportion to support continued growth.
Work with a payment provider
When choosing a business payment card, consider a provider that can support your hiring and retention goals.
Positive cashflow is king
While every business will be focussed on the bottom line, it’s essential not to become complacent when it comes to managing your cashflow. It is crucial to do so in order to firstly pay your staff fairly and promptly but also have a longer-term view when it comes to hiring and retaining more employees.
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