Small business managers consumed by HR functions

Business decision makers within SMEs are spending up to ten hours a week on hiring and related activities, on top of the demands of their own job role, research finds.


For half of those questioned in a study by Search Party, at least five of these hours must be clocked up outside of regular office hours.

The research reveals the frustrations that arise when general business decision makers find themselves in the driving seat of the hiring process. More than a third (39 per cent) of respondents believe that as a non-specialist, they do not have the right amount of time to dedicate to the recruitment process; 55 per cent believe that this can lead to the wrong hire being made.

Limited visibility of the process is noted as a frustration for over a fifth of respondents (21 per cent), while 41 per cent say that they find it hard to find a quality candidate amidst a high volume of ‘average’ candidates. As a result of these issues, 23 per cent of those questioned are frustrated that candidates very quickly don’t work out, meaning the hiring process needs to begin again.

However, it seems that an HR department is not always the solution to solve these issues. A quarter (25 per cent) say that frustrations arise because the HR department doesn’t always have an in-depth grasp of the roles that they are hiring for.

Ben Hutt, CEO of Search Party says that efficient and effective hiring lies at the heart of a business’s growth and success, and for the 34 per cent that didn’t expect to be involved in the recruitment process at all, this is clearly an unexpected, and perhaps unwelcome, task.

‘The cost of working directly with a recruitment agency can often be prohibitive for SMEs, while the ‘post and hope’ approach of a job board can be a time intensive process that doesn’t get great results,’ he adds.

‘The average time to hire via these traditional methods is 60+ days, which simply isn’t acceptable. To counteract the frustrations faced with hiring, smart businesses should look at smart and innovative ways to build their team, harnessing technology to help them hire faster and at less cost, without sacrificing quality.’

Further reading on hiring

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.

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