Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Own your SME status: Your secret weapon when recruiting!

By Sam Pardey - The HR Depts

Sometimes, you may look enviously at a large company: what it has achieved, its profits, sponsorship of major teams or events, thinking, “How can I possibly compete with that?”

But you just might have something they don’t have. In fact, when it comes to recruiting new staff, you may have several qualities that are very appealing compared to a corporation.

So, it is important to know how you can sell the benefits of being an SME in job interviews whilst recruiting. It is estimated that there are currently 5.5 million SMEs in the UK, which make up a whopping 99.9% of the private sector.

With small businesses on the rise, it is essential that you view yourself as a competitor rather than a second choice.

Responsibility, opportunity, community

Job interviews are a two-way process. While you are certainly interviewing candidates, they will also be sussing out whether they would like to work for you. It’s all about finding the right fit for both employer and prospective employee.

When they may also be being interviewed by bigger companies, make sure you emphasise the opportunity they will have to make their mark in your SME. The smaller workplace and workforce means that SMEs tend to offer more opportunities at an earlier stage, and afford more visibility and recognition of each individual’s achievements. This, in turn, may help employees gain more skills and experience in less time, helping them on their career journey.

SMEs often have a strong purpose

SMEs often sit distinctly in the marketplace because they were founded to solve a specific problem. Reflecting their founder’s passion, they may have a strong ethos around serving a particular demographic, or a quality like innovation, or a cause like reducing plastic waste.

Whatever your passion is, make sure it shines through in your recruitment, and it will help you hire people who are aligned with your vision.

The backbone of the economy

From big oil to big tech, it is FTSE 100 companies that normally steal the headlines in the news, but SMEs are the backbone of the global economy. It is a similar story here in the UK, where they are the engine room of the economy. They are often innovative, fast-growing and dynamic places to work.

So, far from being a sideshow, when people come to work for you, they are at the main event. Do you portray this with confidence?

Collaboration with other SMEs

Share that one of the most exciting parts of working for an SME is the opportunity to collaborate with other SMEs. Unlike much larger firms, SMEs tend to focus on what they do best and outsource non-core functions to the wider SME community. Not only can this produce innovative and efficient solutions, but it also exposes your staff to new industries and skill sets, and helps them expand their network.

These are really valuable benefits of working for an SME that shouldn’t be undersold when hiring. The alternative for a prospective employee may be to become trapped in a corporate bubble, unable to reach their full potential and connect with a broad base of people.