Recruiting talented workers is the biggest challenge facing SMEs

Over a third of SMEs identify recruitment as the most challenging HR process, ahead of staff training, staff turnover and maintaining morale, research finds.

The study of 500 respondents by conference call provider Conference Genie covers the retail, health and fitness, technology, finance and travel industries.

It explores the numerous challenges that many start-ups have faced since the market crash of 2008, and at the conflicting factors affecting specific industries and how thriving SMEs are overcoming such issues.

Simon Prince, marketing manager at Conference Genie says, ‘During the initial start-up period, it is essential that those working for the business are passionate about the cause and have experience within the sector. Build the right team with complementary skills so you can all excel in your given areas; your business is a reflection of who you are.’

When asked about productivity within the business, SMEs identify staff morale as having the biggest impact, with 25 per cent noting social outings are the best way of keeping morale and motivation high.

Nearly a quarter of SMEs across the varying industries plan to invest the greatest amount of their budget for 2014 into HR/people management, in order to improve their business. Those in the finance sector also say the majority of their time would be spent improving their knowledge of these areas of their business.

Staff turnover is illustrated as a more pressing issue for industries such as retail, with the setting of realistic goals and workload being the most effective way of ensuring staff morale is high.

Some 23 per cent of SMEs say they would be investing the most amount of money for 2014 into HR/recruitment.

Almost a third (31 per cent) say that both staff turnover and recruiting talented workers are the biggest challenges regarding staffing in the retail industry.

Further reading on taking on employees

Ben Lobel

Delphine Hintz

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.