The great debate about hiring a recruiter

As an SME, is it a wise investment to engage the services of a recruiter to manage the hiring of new staff?

A recent story on the My Business site about bad ways to hire senior staff generated debate about the role of recruiters and their viability for cash-strapped business owners, particularly those on the smaller end of the SME scale.

Commenting on the engagement of a professional recruiter, one business owner said: “That all sounds great, however many SMEs do not have the resources to do this nor do they have the resources to fund the extremely high costs of using a recruiting company.”

However, Meyer Mussry of management consulting firm Savant Corporation replied that it is specifically because of the limited resources available to SMEs that they need to get the hiring process right the first time.Sketch of a large hook picking up a person from a crowd

“Knowing how limited the resources of SMEs usually are, it is doubly imperative that senior talent is selected and inducted properly,” he said.

“Senior types don't usually scan the want ads, they tend to work through agencies; this does impact SMEs negatively.”

Mr Mussry added: “I once heard the statement ‘There is never enough time to do it properly, but there is always enough time to rework’. Don't let this happen to your firm, especially when you hire. Put the time and preparation in to ensure you have the maximum likelihood of a successful outcome on the first go-around.”

Global recruiting firm Michael Page recently released in-house research that suggested half of Australian SMEs had settled for an employee who was only 'OK' rather than someone they deemed to be 'fantastic'. 

A major reason for this could be the amount of time that recruiting staff can take for busy business owners, with 35 hours per employee being the average amount of time business owners are forced to devote to the task – another reason why it may ultimately prove more economical in the long run to enlist a recruiter rather than manage the process yourself.

Regardless of whether you choose to engage the services of a recruiter or manage your hiring process internally, the one thing that stands true for all business owners is the importance of hiring the right people not just for the vacancy, but for your business.

With research by PwC in 2016 suggesting that almost one in four employees leaves a new job within the first 12 months, it is a costly mistake to take on the wrong person and have to repeat the process again shortly after.

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