When a small to medium enterprise (SME) faces the welcome problem of increased demand for its products and services, it often leads to a bit of panic behind the scenes. Suddenly, you need to hire more staff, but you may not have the time or the resources to do so.
This problem is a global one. 99 percent of U.S. companies are small businesses, and in Australia, SMEs account for 57 percent of GDP. The numbers are similar in New Zealand, where SMEs make up 97 percent of the business scene, contributing 26 percent of GDP, as well as in the United Kingdom, where SMEs account for 56 percent of all employment.
Not surprisingly, this means a lot of hiring. In the United States alone, small businesses hire about 1.1 million new employees per year. With all this hiring, and with the importance of SMEs to global and national economies, small business owners must be able to identify the applicants who will be a good fit and help their enterprises to thrive.
All of this raises the question: Should you, as the owner of an SME, use a recruiter to fill those open spots? Is the acknowledged expense of a recruiter (between 10 and 30 percent of the employee’s annual salary) worth the time saved? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.
Recruiters can be of great value to SMEs, especially when you’re trying to fill a position that requires unique, hard-to-find skills or talents. Also consider using a recruiter under the following circumstances:
You’re not comfortable diving into the hiring process and are likely to spend too long trying to make up your mind.
- You don’t have a technical understanding of the requirements of the position you’re trying to fill.
- Your small business has to compete with far larger companies (that have greater resources) for specialists in a narrow talent pool.
- Your current staff and you are too overwhelmed with the demands of growing your business to add the additional tasks involved in recruiting and hiring.
- You’re not really sure where to look for the talent you need or how to attract the right individuals.
- If your small business had difficulty in the past filling similar type positions, possibly because you moved too slowly.
Maybe you’ve scouted a few recruiting agencies, and you’ve decided you’ll do your own recruiting. The agencies you’ve talked to seem to be charging exorbitant fees while providing little value. They’re just pushing resumes across your desk, they seem out of touch with what you need, and they keep suggesting people who are clearly not a good cultural fit with your company.
If you’re going to do your own recruiting, draw on the advantages you have. After all, no one knows your company as well as you do. Reach out through your personal and professional networks to find the right person for the spot you’re going to fill. You may look at fewer people, but you’re likely to look at more people who are a good fit.
Create a mini-recruiting agency within your own team. Assign appropriate people, to define the position and handle the internal side of the process. At the same time, deploy other people to reach out and seek candidates for the job. While you’re in the process, keep an eye on the people already on your team who show a flair for recruiting, so you can call on them again.
With the Whozwho recruitment toolkit, you bring the tools used by professional recruiters into your own workplace. The Whozwho hiring assistant helps you prioritize candidates, uses advanced behavioural science and your own selection criteria to sort your shortlists, and helps you make wise decisions. The whozwho talent intelligence toolkit provides you with a roadmap to recruiting and hiring so that you don’t waste time weeding through resumes from people that do not fit the role.
Because you’re able to make determinations of cultural fit quickly, you can feel confident that you’re bringing the right people to interview in turn, increasing the likelihood you will make the right hiring decision. In addition, the Whozwho toolkit lets you expand your outreach during recruiting by providing one-click posting across job boards and social media.
Anthony Goodwin is a founder, entrepreneur, consultant, data scientist and coach with 25+ years of experience in business management, recruitment, and human resources. He holds a bachelor of business management – human resource management and postgraduate qualifications in data science.