Recruiting in a SME: the challenges

That’s real life: recruiting in a SME is a challenge. Because is often done in a hurry after an employee departure or a lack of personnel due – for example – to a sudden business growth.

In these situations, the hiring manager is frequently led to look for a quick fix. Therefore he goes for a speedy hiring process. So she  risks to neglect the utilization of a solid and effective approach.

What to do for a solid and effective approach?

First of all, take some distance.

This is important. Because recruiting – especially of higher profiles – is a major decision. It’s an investment for the organization. Detaching appropriately from the situation allows the manager to address both the short-term need of a quick hiring, and the longer-term company needs.

Another way of looking at it.

What if it was a piece of equipment instead of an employee?

Look at the hiring process of a talent as the purchase of a piece of equipment. Even if budget is allocated and available – before buying – you would first consider the life span of the asset. You would also assess its compatibility with your other current equipment, the fit with the company strategy, the likelihood of utilization in 3-5 years, etc. Only then, you would finalize your decision on which equipment to buy.

What else can you do?

In parallel to the above – and to ensure the open position is filled as soon as possible – the hiring manager should allow himself the means to ensure a suitable and effective hiring. These are: time and support form Human Resources (HR) or an external professional. Yes, because:

  • You – the hiring manager – need to free up time from other day to day activities. This is to ensure you can focus on the hiring process (define the hiring strategy and needs, prepare the job description and the posting to publish, evaluate candidates, prepare and lead interviews, etc.).
  • The operational manager is not always experienced and skilled in hiring. Hence a colleague from HR should complement him.
  • In a SME there is not always a HR department. As such, it is often the owner/entrepreneur or his right arm that covers this role. But this is not necessarily his priority or his center of expertise.

In conclusion

The goal is to find and retain the rare pearl that will be the leader of today and of tomorrow. And this requires a solid and effective recruitment process. So, shift gears: make your SME’s recruitment approach an opportunity, not a challenge.