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How SMEs can adapt to attract talent

Posted 14 days ago by Sally Sephton
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Despite a dip in growth during August, SMEs are generally optimistic around long-term economic recovery, with job cuts in SMEs starting to slow compared to larger companies and growth projected across key areas like IT, Tech, Manufacturing and Digital sectors.

Our market research highlighted digital and tech to be key sectors for growth during the latter phase of 2020, with 72% of UK tech businesses seeing a substantial growth in demand, implementing technologies which help to boost efficiency and productivity across the B2B and B2C market.

Whilst we do not anticipate the job market to magically rebound overnight, we are already starting to see some signs of recovery across the marketing and creative sector. From speaking to our clients this either presents its self in one of two ways for SMEs.

  • They have experienced a large increase in business and require a larger team to keep up with demand.
  • There is a significant skill shortage following making earlier redundancies.

What is different about attracting talent today for SMEs:

The candidate market is significantly different compared to six months ago.

Not only are there now significantly more candidates in the market, causing hiring processes to often take longer, but candidate needs and expectations of employers has shifted drastically.

We address some of these changes in our job seeker intentions report but to summarise some of our most impactful findings:

  • The volume of applications has increased substantially. We have seen anything between a 70% - 150% increase in applicants depending on the role.
  • Only 12.79% of candidates prefer to be interviewed fully in person.
  • Only 5% of candidates are not looking for flexible working benefits.
  • To save employers money candidates are happy to have reductions in their benefit package, with company days out, activities and healthcare plans the top options to be removed.

What makes SMEs unique?

SMEs are in a unique space in the market, due to their smaller team sizes they are often able to be more agile than larger organisations and therefore are able to innovate or bounce back at a faster pace - prompting an increase in recruitment demand in these sectors.

However because of their size, and prospective rapid growth, often conducting internal recruitment processes within these organisations can be a complex task - where knowing what your really require and having the time and technical resources to source staff can be difficult.

Providing you with access

Right now one of the biggest challenges SMEs have in adapting to the new market is access to digital resources like video platforms to conduct remote interviews and effective applicant tracking systems (ATS) to manage the influx of candidates.

Investing in these technologies for a (potential) one off or short-term run of hiring can often not be the most efficient use of financial resources. To help those businesses who may need some added help adapting to the modern market we have introduced a range of recruitment options for clients, which include standard recruitment practices all the way up to access to our video interviewing platform Pitch+.

Providing you with insight

We don’t like to consider ourselves to be the typical sales driven recruiter. Sales are of course important to us, but what is more vital is that we provide the right candidates for businesses, a failure to do this can not only cost you time but money also in seeking to replace an unsuitable candidate.

A key step in this process is getting to understand businesses and their short/long-term vision. To cut a long story short, if we feel like the proposed job title isn’t absolutely perfect for the business, we will let businesses know how they could potentially better position the role to attract the best candidates and meet their long-term objectives.

At Pitch we like to work in partnership with all of our clients, because we believe SME recruitment often requires a more personalised and consultative approach compared to larger organisations. If you are in a position where you are looking recruit, feel free to reach out to one of our consultants to find out how our partnership approach may benefit you in todays market and longer-term.


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