The infamous skills-gap is widening and SMEs in the UK are struggling to find the right people for their team. But if you think and strategise carefully, the right candidate might walk through your door soon.
There's two parts on the way to a successful business. First, as a startup, it all depends on the energy and talent of its founders. Then, as a growing business, it relies on new employees to fill pivotal roles.
The consequence? That hiring decisions of a fast-growing small business are absolutely essential.
It's crucial for any evolving business to plan a successful recruitment drive. You should take fifteen minutes from a frantic day to strategise before you begin. Here is our three-point guide to aid your thinking process:
1. Work out what it is you really need done, in order to define the role
Life might feel incredibly fast-paced, but dreams of an extra pair of hands to share the load won’t produce the most adequate employee.
Look at your diary and decide what you could delegate. In turn, look at your business model and highlight which areas are not currently targeted. Finally, think about the personalities in the office and jot down what traits are missing as well as the character traits you would do well to avoid.
2. Think laterally about what your perfect employee might watch and read, and where they might search for jobs
When selling a new product, any business would spend a lot of time assessing their target market. For a new job the process is just the same.
Try to understand the mindset of the candidate you need. Are you looking for a graduate who won't yet have exposure to trade magazines and is instead direct marketing from Milkround companies on campus? Are you looking for a social media expert with an outgoing personality who might be interested in a range of popular blogs? In order to find your perfect employee you need to market the role to them.
3. Think best about how to make a first impression with the right candidate
A Jobvite Survey proposed that 96 per cent of employers now consider using social media to recruit, but it's not always an appropriate strategy. Return to your sense of the target market for your role and consider what communication they’d respond to best.
Ask yourself whether they'd respond to forums, whether paid advertising might be the most effective approach for a traditional demographic, or whether contact via the blogs they read over Twitter would be most effective.
At the end of these key steps you’ll understand the target of your search and have a plan of action for the most effective way to reach them.
Felix Mitchell is a co-founder of Instant Impact Interns, where he unites fast-growing SMEs with students and graduates from the country’s top universities.