For an SMME, recruiting quality staff has its own challenges, so they need to know how to do so effectively. According to recruitment company head Sasha Knott, SMMEs needed to realise that they could compete with big brands when it comes to recruitment processes, so long as they were smart and agile. According to Knott, recruitment costs were exceptionally high in a business and often had their own line item on a budget.
“Many SMEs cannot afford the high agency costs or recruitment technology platforms that charge a monthly subscription, which is why SMEs go out and hire on their own,” Knott said. “It’s important to find recruitment agency solutions that are specifically aimed at being affordable to the SME sector.” One of the tips that Knott offered was for the business to know what role the person they hired needed to fill, specifically for their business.
“Knowing what talent you want and need, engaging with potential candidates professionally, and making sound but quick decisions can win the talent battle,” she said. “The adage of ‘time is money is most true for entrepreneurs, and time invested in recruitment must be taken into consideration. “Time is critical in an SME business (because) business owners have to do the sales, admin, marketing, finance, strategy, HR and training.”
Knott also advised businesses to ensure that they did background checks before making an offer in writing to any candidate. “Always be clear in your mind, and then write down what success looks like for this role,” she explained. “When you are interviewing, articulate this exactly to your potential candidates,” Knott noted that often SMMEs did not have HR personnel, which meant that the owner and perhaps an administrative person was taking on the task of recruitment.
“Few SMEs develop talent pipelines,” she said. “This lack of recruitment skills can lead to wrong hires that have a serious impact on a fledgling company.” Solutions offered by recruitment-tech businesses such as Job Crystal, which Knott heads up, helped entrepreneurs to leapfrog this lack of in-house recruitment skills and enable them to follow a world-class, strategic recruitment process, she said. “In an era, where business is essentially marketing themselves to talent pools, this calibre of recruitment is essential for building a competitive employer brand.”