The current hiring processes is hurting SME business owners and making it challenging for them to compete with larger businesses and employ talent within a reasonable timeframe. But there are ways to streamline it. According to HR specialists Chandler Macleod, in Australia it takes on average 81 days and $15,000 to place a candidate in a new role. This is a huge cost to any business and it’s a fair bet that these figures are substantially higher for smaller organisations.
Time is the biggest recruitment challenge for SMEs, with many having jobs open for more than six months before finding the right candidate. Naturally, being able to hire the right people their businesses sooner would put them in a much stronger position to grow. For SMEs it’s also critical they employee the best candidate, as a wrong hire can cause damage to the culture of the organisation and have a far greater impact than it would do in a larger organisation with extensive HR processes.
SME business owners can help ease these recruitment pressures by becoming more active in the processes they use to hire new talent. For smaller organisations, it’s worth prioritising the HR improvements that will deliver the greatest return on investment, as it can be challenging for HR to develop processes that may not in fact warrant the effort.
For many businesses it’s worth starting with a staff incentive scheme that rewards existing employees for recommending or recruiting talent. This may seem like a simple step. but many businesses still don’t have such a policy in place.
It’s also worth engaging specialists within your business as they may hold key relationships with the incoming talent. So ask your employees to share the information about the position through their own network and broadcast the job ad on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Once SMEs have engaged their own networks, it may be worth considering the value recruiters can bring to the process. SMEs can often find it challenging to build brand awareness within the employment market about the roles and opportunities they have available. So it’s can be a good idea to engage a recruiter as already have an established reputation and network with relevant candidates.
To help get the best out of any recruiter you may engage, keep in mind that they bundle their services, so you can often pay for things you don’t require. Engage them just in the areas that you’re finding challenging. This might be a task as simple as asking them to provide you with 50 suitable CVs that you can then vet yourself, rather than paying a recruiter to do this for you.
To give you an example of a company that is only engaging recruiters in the key areas they want help in, Aussie software developer Atlassian has a policy whereby they only use recruiters that can successfully place one in three of the candidates that they recommend. This ensures the company is only working with recruiters who have the right networks and they’re not paying for recruiters to vet large pools of candidate data.
Regardless of how you fill that empty role in your business, the existing hiring model is often taking too long to deliver the right candidate to your door, and this could well be holding your business back from achieving goals and competing with larger businesses. Taking steps to actively evolve your HR processes in the ways mentioned above will make it easier for you to hire better candidates in shorter time.
Jamie Carlisle is CEO of The Search Party.