Small businesses recruiting but finding the right employees remains a challenge

The majority of small companies have recruited staff this year but two thirds struggle to find candidates with the required skills, research finds.

Some 86 per cent of small businesses have hired new staff so far in 2015, up from 77 per cent questioned in August 2014.

However, 65 per cent of businesses polled say they find it difficult to hire people with the right skills for the job, according to a study by employment law consultancy Peninsula.

Two thirds (66 per cent) of small business owner managers admit that they have regretted hiring someone for a job.

Alan Price, employment law director of Peninsula says, ‘There is a genuine optimism among small businesses that we have not seen in a while; they are enthusiastic about the future, they believe we have turned the corner and are eager to recruit.

‘I’d advise businesses that while we have turned a corner it may be a good idea to appraise the staff you have in place at the moment and ensure they are being utilised in the best way.’

Price adds that business owners should look at the skillset of their employees to ensure that the right resources are in place.

He also advises to implement key performance indicators (KPIs) across a business and introduce targets for employees that tie in with a company’s KPIs.

Price continues, ‘If you’re struggling to hire the right people for the job then plan ahead. Save time and money and get the right people in, know what you are interviewing for, set out the objectives of the role prior to advertising.

‘Have clear objectives in mind of the person that you want to hire, however be careful to ensure that you do not discriminate. Take advantage of various recruitment channels including social media to advertise the position.’

Sometimes recruiting the wrong person can have a negative impact on your business, so spending time to get it right is the best way forward, ensuring you have the processes right and deciding what skills you need for the job is vital.

Price advises businesses to look at alternative employment options, for example approaching a local university to enquire about the possibility of employing graduates, which can be an excellent way to tap into the skills and talent of new graduates, plus it will be more cost effective to small businesses.

‘Graduates want the opportunity to build their industry knowledge and put their mark on the business world, in turn they provide small businesses with the opportunity to gain loyal long-term employees who are motivated to help the business grow.

‘Fresh talent including graduates brings new ideas and innovative ways of approaching a project or task that could make the workplace more efficient.’

Further reading on employing staff

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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