Posted by Julie Copperthwaite - Director, Life Sciences
SME talent
Posted on October 16th, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Business Critical Hiring for SMEs

The past twelve months have highlighted a real change in the ‘active’ recruitment marketplace, with fewer candidates directly applying for the vacancies being advertised on social media and job boards across many countries in Europe, increasing the ‘war for talent’. This has highly impacted organisations when trying to fill vacancies with niche skill-sets into their business critical and executive level roles.

Speaking with Hiring Managers and Human Resource Leaders, it’s apparent that this has become a key challenge for many SMEs who are keen to find a solution.  Sourcing for the best talent to fulfil these types of roles requires a more expert approach, including the building of talent communities and pipelining for future needs, as opposed to reactively sourcing for live and active vacancies. Community development is, quite simply, the next big thing in HR CRM – the fostering of groups of peers who share information and knowledge for mutual benefit, not just on a one off, but on a career-long basis.

To achieve this, talent acquisition functions, in collaboration with HR, need to work closely with their business leaders to understand the future strategy and support it in analysing the skills gaps, succession plans and areas of potential resourcing risks, to ensure they have the right resources to enable them to achieve their vision, objectives and goals.

With this knowledge, recruitment leaders are able to build attraction strategies and campaigns supporting the talent value proposition and employer brand, to attract the best and most sought after talent. For many SMEs whose brand may not be as strong as its larger competitors’, this will help put them ‘on the map’ as a destination of choice, especially for individuals looking for the opportunity to potentially broaden their current job remit and expand their scope of control, which many SMEs can offer. SMEs are also more capable of attracting great talent over the big brands, now more than ever before, thanks to the digital age and changing attitudes to work/life balance.

The key to success seems to be planning for recruitment needs, thinking ahead and building the relevant talent pipelines for future needs, rather than recruiting for the here and now. This does require a different approach and may seem too long term or require too much upfront investment for some.

So with the impact of not hiring quickly and the growing costs associated with reactive recruitment for business critical needs, can SMEs afford not to reconsider their current thinking?


  1. Matt says:

    Longer term talent planning is a vital consideration for modern small businesses, especially given that, as you said, they lack the employer brand awareness their larger competitors will have. One point I will mention that I feel is an important pre-requisite is that SME’s should spend time ensuring their current workplace values and EVP align with what the current and future talent demographic needs in their working environment, and of course, the employer branding efforts should be based on this. In doing so not only do you help ensure a low attrition rate of your current workforce but that of the workforce that emerges from the talent community in the future.

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts