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Challenges in recruitment and selection faced by SMEs today (and how to solve them)

As the owner of a small or medium enterprise, you've probably experienced your fair share of challenges in recruitment and selection.

No wonder more than a third of businesspeople in your position identify recruitment as a big issue.

We take a closer look at the biggest challenges in recruitment and selection faced by SMEs today, and suggest some straightforward solutions.

Problem: Finding the best place to recruit

This is a perennial problem for businesses like yours, simply because you’re less likely than the big players to be swamped by a tidal wave of recent graduates looking for opportunities. And heck, you may not even be looking for graduates anyway.

Solution: There’s not a lot of data about which recruitment website or headhunting agency is actually the best in your sector. So you need to start collecting your own.

Every time you advertise for new talent, keep records of how many applications come from which source, and make notes about their quality. Next time you’ll know where to spend your advertising budget.

Problem: Selecting the right candidate from many applications

Needle in a haystack, anyone? Yes, indeed.

With the UK featuring among the top 3 countries for job hunting in 2016, when you place an advertisement you’re quite likely to find yourself sifting through a lot of CVs from well qualified applicants.

You know that skills are only the tip of the iceberg, though, and this adds to your stress.

How on earth are you to find qualified applicants who’ll be the best fit for your organisational values and culture?

Solution: Take advantage of what the top investment banks and financial services companies have known for years, and use testing.

Well-designed tests not only verify existing skills, but give you a valuable insight into the attitudes and aptitudes of candidates.

Problem: Competing with bigger companies to hire the best talent

It’s not unusual for SMEs to go through the entire recruitment process only to find the best candidates poached from under their nose by bigger companies.

This represents a major waste of time and effort, especially when your company doesn’t have a dedicated HR department.

Solution: Communication is key. Give timely feedback to applicants at every stage of the recruitment process, and aim to build a rapport with the most promising.

Problem: Developing a proactive HR strategy

Don’t imagine for a minute that this is a luxury only the big boys can afford.

Yes, you’ve got your hands full running your company, but you need to keep one eye on the future.

A 2014 report from the CIPD highlights the value of considering not only the talent your company needs now, but what you’ll need to power future growth.

Solution: Hire young people with potential, and nurture the right skills and attributes to drive your company forward.

Overcoming challenges in recruitment and selection - easier said than done?

We know what you’re thinking because we’ve been where you are. You probably like these ideas, but are wondering how to make them happen.

Rest assured it is possible, even for SMEs like yours.

If you're grappling with challenges in recruitment and selection, you need to find out more about Top Five Percent. ‘Nuff said.