SME Adviser Series: Recruiting the right people for your business

“Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” ~ Jim Collins

A business is only as good as the people who work in it. When you are making a recruitment decision you are taking on responsibility for the cohesiveness of the staff and diversity in your workplace, in addition to choosing the kind of talent that can help to drive your business forward.

It pays to plan ahead if you want to attract the best candidates, especially in difficult economic times.

Claire McCartney at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development explains: “Even if you are not hiring right now, take the long-term view and use part of your marketing budget to build your brand as an employer. Recruitment isn’t something only to consider when you are looking to hire.”

– Build relationships with recruitment agencies you feel are well-matched to your business
– Use social networks such as LinkedIn which can be a very useful tool when recruiting or looking to create brand awareness amongst target hires
– Consider alternative ways to bring in the skills and expertise you need for your business. Is it often cheaper to outsource than recruit somebody full-time or can you hire an external consultant.

Here are a few mistakes to avoid and tips to consider when recruiting the right people for your SME business:

Rushing the process
Making good choices about the people who will represent your business and drive its future should not be rushed. Taking the time to contemplate the fit of a new hire can spare you a great deal of heartache and having to redo the whole process six months down the line road because of incompatibility. Having adequate software such as an applicant tracking system, or a good external recruiter, can help save you time by narrowing down individuals who meet the needs of the company. Your discerning eye can do the rest.

Choosing talent over personality
It can be a big mistake to hire on the basis of talent alone. Some large global businesses like Google don’t pay too much attention to hiring graduates with MBAs or other heavyweight qualifications. They have come to realise that people that make it without college or University qualifications are often the most exceptional. Of course, it’s important to choose applicants that can meet the professional or creative requirements of the job, but their skill-set shouldn’t be the only characteristic you vet them for.
An applicant’s personality also determines how well they will work with others, how they problem-solve, and their likelihood to abandon the company should they be offered a bigger salary by a competitor. Aim for applicants that meet the talent quota but also deliver a personality that will work well with others.

Complement, don’t duplicate
When hiring new staff, choose individuals with skills and experience that will complement your current team, rather than duplicate what you already have. Make sure any new recruits are team players and understand and believe in your business goals and aspirations.

Failing to forecast
This hiring mistake can piggyback off the previously mentioned pitfall of rushing in: not anticipating company needs may cause you to make impulsive and hasty recruiting decisions. Understanding where the organisation currently is and where it’s headed can add value to your recruitment selections. Before recruiting new members to your team, consider not only how applicants may meet existing needs, but also their potential for fulfilling future needs. Otherwise, you could end up having to recruit double the staff over the long term.

Gut feeling
Finally, learn to trust your gut feeling. If you have been in business for a long time, you will have a good idea of what your business needs in terms of its people. Let your instincts guide you – if a candidate feels right, then they probably are right.

If you would like a second opinion why not ask your usual Beavis Morgan partner, as we spend plenty of time meeting and assessing people in our professional lives.

Cut red tape and outsource your finance function
The world we live in today is changing at a faster rate than at any time previously experienced, with new and exciting challenges constantly arising. You need to be out there competing in the market place, rather than being tied down with red tape and compliance issues.

All businesses are faced with many burdensome compliance issues together with the effort involved in running a finance function such as filing VAT returns, invoicing, paying creditors, producing management accounts for your bankers, finding the right staff, and so on. This, coupled with increased legislation, the minefield of compliance, and the associated costs with employing staff can be a strain on resources.

So why not outsource this side of your business to our experienced team at Beavis Morgan who will deal with these tasks on a daily basis. We provide a bespoke service, from incorporating and registering a start-up business, right up to providing internal financial controllers. By outsourcing part or all or your finance function to us you will not only save time, but also money spent on trying to find the right staff, paying for expensive software and training, and not having to arrange cover for holidays and sickness. You will also have the benefit of knowing that your finance function is in safe hands.

For further information about how we can help you achieve your goals and ambitions for your SME business, contact your usual Beavis Morgan Partner or email