How to attract top talent to SME's (Part Two)

In a recent blog we focused on ways that you can promote your SME (Small/ Medium enterprise) business to attract the best top talent candidates for roles your company wishes to recruit for – see ‘how to attract top talent to SME’s (Part One). When you register with CY Partners, we promise at our end to source the very best top talent and prepare them to the best of our ability for every stage of your recruitment process – this blog focuses on how you can conduct recruitment most effectively from your end – shortlisting candidates, making the most of interviews and more….

1. Positive candidate experience is VITAL

You need to be delivering a 100% positive experience to candidates at all stages of the interview process. In our social media driven society a simple negative tweet can go viral in a matter of seconds that can really damage the reputation of your company. Websites such as Glassdoor can mean that jobseekers that have a bad experience at interview can really discourage top talent from applying to a company in the future.

Delivering a bad experience will very quickly give your business a bad name and make the game of attracting high calibre talent all the more difficult.

It goes without saying that a BIG BIG part of ensuring that every step of the recruitment process runs smoothly is communication. Communication has to go both ways, or in recruitment, three ways – between the hiring manager, candidate and recruiter. If any one of these channels breaks down, the process simply isn’t going to work. So if you know there’s going to be a delay at any stage, then make it a priority to communicate this to all relevant candidates and recruiters as soon as possible so everyone knows what’s happening.

2. Be flexible

Taking time out to interview can often be a catch 22. The recruitment process is (for obvious reasons) essential, yet requires the time, effort and resources that your SME might not necessarily have.

Unfortunately, there’s no simple solution to this problem, which is the reason many companies turn to specialist recruitment consultancies (like ourselves). In the long run, many SME’s find that it is better to spend a bit of extra money to take away some of the stress and ensure that you get the best possible new addition to your team.

3. Interviews are a two-way street

You might be sizing someone up to see if they fit your need and business, but they’re also looking at your business carefully, weighing up if you’re the kind of boss and organisation they want to work for. In this candidate-driven market place, top talent inevitably has the choice of which business is best for them – so you need to be on the top of your game.

You need to be sure people are right for your needs and the role you’re filling, but similarly applicants are thinking the same about your business and their career too. Is there a good match? And how can you guarantee that the impression they get is a positive one?

Recruiters are the first point of contact in many instances and can focus on getting the best candidates enthused and engaged with your position above all others they might be considering. It is part of every recruiter’s initial conversation with an applicant to find out what they like about their current position, what they dislike and would like to change, what they’re looking for, why and what their ideal next opportunity is.

You want to hire one of the sought-after candidates you have shortlisted so carry the enthusiasm and engagement on from your recruiter’s introduction to your business both pre and at interview – provide information, think about that actual welcome when they visit (or how you conduct an interview by video if that is a factor!)

Beyond this, ensure your offices are suited to meeting with prospective applicants. They’re not just looking at you when they walk in the door but are looking at the environment and others already working there, seeing if it’s the kind of place they would like to work.

4. Don’t delay on making a decision

We’ve already talked about the importance of communicating throughout the recruitment process and a key one is making the final decision on who you wish to hire. Unexplained delays to decision making could mean candidates asking themselves ‘if it takes them this long to make this simple yes/no decision, how long will it take to get any other decisions made? That is, of course, unless they have already accepted an offer from a company who do make decisions quickly to get that sought-after talent to join them.

If you are delaying because you have a reservation about some aspect of their suitability, the fairest thing to do is give the candidate an opportunity to respond to your reservation, allowing you to agree whether it is a deal breaker or not. In today’s market, if you interview a candidate and think they are right for what you’re looking for, move quickly, as the last thing you want to do is give them the impression you want to see other people to ‘benchmark’ individuals.

If you don’t move quickly to recruit, it’s likely you will lose out and need to wait for another person to be identified with similar niche experience. What’s that going to cost your business if you end up having critical skills missing for months because you weren’t agile enough at the start of the process?

If you’d like to discuss any point we’ve raised in more detail then please feel free to contact us: 0191 477 4733

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