10 ways to recruit big (whatever your size)


Big brands woo the best candidates and often don’t need to pay top whack for them. But if you don’t have the capital, attracting the best team can be tough. We reveal the 10 tips to recruit the right staff for your small business …

1. Speak to people who know them

“When joining an SME, personality and how someone will work alongside others is as important as any talent or skill,” says Ross Hutchins, director at digital design studio Ethos. “We get the inside track on a candidate; we’re well connected with universities and we have a good awareness of people throughout our industry. Social media is always a big resource once we’ve shortlisted, Twitter especially. You can understand a person’s personality, how they interact, and how proactive and passionate they are.”

2. Recruit on behaviours

“We recruit on behaviours that align with our company values,” Louise Dunne, head of HR and strategic projects at lettings software firm LetMC says. “We’ll be entering the Sunday Times Best 100 Companies at the end of the year, and our staff telling us we have a positive culture is essential to being on the list. You can teach skills, but if the behaviours aren’t right, that person will never thrive and be a successful member of your team.”

3. Get an expert opinion

“We trust our staff’s professional judgement if they have a friend or ex-colleague who they deem right for the role,” Lexie Newnham, senior talent specialist at global customer acquisition firm, MVF states. “So we have an internal employee referral scheme where staff can win £1,000 for each referral who passes probation. It’s been one of our most successful recruitment methods and massively contributed to our family-feel, award winning culture.”

4. Listen

“When we interview, we aim to build a good rapport at the beginning,” insists Kim Royle, HR manager at events company, The Eventa Group. “People are more honest when they’re relaxed. Silence is also powerful. By not immediately responding, they’ll usually give you more.”

5. Be as good as they are

“We know the best designers are already employed so it’s important they know we can offer them a new challenge,” adds Ross Hutchins at Ethos. “We look for people who are proactive in their development. They ask the right questions, mix with the right people, read the right books or forums and show an eagerness to be better. It’s important that we show candidates we do all these things, too.”

6. Beware individualists

“Being ‘one company’, is crucial to us, along with never being complacent, having staff and client interests at heart and having fun along the way, adds Louise Dunne at LetMC. “We look for people who put others first. It leads to a more supportive, harmonious and productive environment.”

7. Take the time

“Initially, we didn’t put interviewees through their paces enough, which resulted in a couple of wrong hires,” says Becky Campbell, managing director at digital marketing agency, Reflect Digital, winners at this year’s Drum Search Awards. “We now ask candidates to present to us on a subject, critique something or complete a very specific task, before inviting them to join us for a day in the office.  Staff turnover has dropped dramatically.”

8. Offer progression

“It isn’t money that drives good candidates,” Anndeep Sandhu at Enigma People recruitment. “It’s the opportunity to continue learning, develop their career and creating something wonderful with their skills. This is where smaller companies are unrivalled. Career progression can be achieved, learning opportunities are much greater and individual contributions can make a difference.”

 9. Own your small status

“To compete for talent, where the position allows, consider candidates who have proven transferable skills and have performed the function of the job, just in a different industry,” Phil Carden, senior consultant at Venquis recruitment. “Smaller suppliers should attract candidates by promoting a more dynamic, entrepreneurial environment where decisions are made quickly, with minimum red tape.”

 10. Invest in perks

“Our employee benefits include free breakfasts, fruit in the office, and group personal training sessions,” adds Henry O’Justus, also senior talent specialist at MVF. “It sets us aside from other employers, particularly in the tech start-up space which is highly competitive. It’s dramatically improved the quality and quantity of candidates applying.”

Related Articles

inspiration

8 Must watch TED talks for small business owners

Feeling a drop in motivation? TED talks never fail to fire us up. Here are some of our favourites......

Read More
lightbulb header image

Energy News 04/08/2017

Yes, the British Gas price hike is undoubtedly the story of the week, but it’s not all that’s been making ...

Read More
pylon header image

Will Energy Prices Ever Go Down?

British Gas has become the latest energy supplier to raise their prices, just weeks after the Government discu...

Read More
Excellent, 9.8 / 10

Arron Newton- Fantastic customer …

"Arron Newton- Fantastic customer service Arron Newton has been First Class with me when it came to helping us to get a great deal on our business electricity and gas. His advice has been invaluable and his contact details are now firmly saved on our business database. I would thoroughly recommend both Switchmybusiness.com and Arron , many Thanks Dave Jackson, The Catering Butcher -Stoke"

This review was posted by David Jackson on the 17th of August 2017

I spoke with Bhavni today who was very …

"I spoke with Bhavni today who was very helpful and friendly. The switch over from British Gas to Dual was so simple. I was given a template to send to British Gas to terminate the contract by email, all I had to do was fill in my account number. There really was no hassle! Thanks"

This review was posted by Will Halton on the 16th of August 2017

Very good service

"Very good service. Explanations from Arron Newton were clear and thorough, making the process easy and straightforward. I would certainly recommend Arron and this company. Excellent."

This review was posted by Dulik on the 16th of August 2017

Mark Weeks - Excellent Service

"Mark Weeks has helped me with selecting the most Competitive Electricity supplier for our Business needs. I would thoroughly recommend both Switchmybusiness.com and Mark Weeks, many Thanks"

This review was posted by Jason Davenport on the 16th of August 2017

All good as far as I can tell

"All good as far as I can tell. 24 hours from first enquiry to signed contract and a good deal as well. Mark Weeks made it all simple and was friendly and helpful. He even got a decent rate for my mum!"

This review was posted by Chris Gutsell on the 16th of August 2017