How can SME's compete to recruit and retain the best talent?

How can SME's compete to recruit and retain the best talent?

This is the latest article in this month’s series on the advantages of using a recruitment agency. The full series can be found at monarc­hper­sonnel.­com.

If you believe your business is a small fish in a big pond, it’s possible that you are creating your own barriers to recruiting the best candidates. At Monarch Personnel we advocate recruiting on mindset. Mindset underpins culture and values and if you believe your business is too small to recruit the best candidates, that’s one huge self-fulfilling prophecy that candidates will pick up on in an instant.

Instead, throughout the recruitment process, you should focus on outlining the benefits of joining a smaller organisation that has ambition and invests wisely in its people. This begins with the job specification and advertisement and continues through to the onboarding process.

“Bringing great people onto your team is about demonstrating that size really doesn’t matter – people do.” Jess Campbell, HR professional.

The benefits of working for a smaller company

These are the points you need to get across about your business to candidates:

  • In your organisation each employee is always a person rather than a number
  • There won’t be a need to specialise. Instead employees get involved in more areas of the business
  • Responsibility comes sooner in your company which increases and broadens an employee’s entire skillset
  • With a ‘one team’ approach that is typical of successful smaller organisations, your management style is to keep that team motivated, engaged and always progressing
  • Employees in your company can expect a personal management approach.

Myth busting about working in a smaller organisation

As well as outlining the benefits of working for a smaller organisation, it is also important that you bust some commonly believed myths.

Particularly for candidates that are fresh out of college, the stereotype of working in office towers and constantly having a trendy coffee cup in hand can make them believe that working for a large organisation is what success looks like. Not necessarily so.

Here are a couple of myths that you need to dispel when meeting new candidates:

You need to work harder in a smaller organisation

Firstly, to point out the obvious, if your candidate is worried about hard work perhaps they’re not for you anyway!

Regardless, it should be made clear to candidates that rather than being expected to work ridiculously long hours and cover many roles in one, smaller organisations actually have a greater understanding and acceptance of flexibility. In SMEs there is a more personal approach to mindfulness and wellbeing, and pulling together as a small team. Employees are also encouraged to speak up and don’t have a minefield of bureaucracy to navigate if they need help.

Promotion is easier in a larger organisation

There may well be a more diverse range of opportunities for progression in a larger organisation, but the skills learned within a smaller business can potentially enhance an employee’s career development more quickly.

By working more closely with senior managers and experienced employees it is easier for employees of SMEs to learn more on the job. An employee that gets their hands dirty by getting ‘stuck in’ will be able to demonstrate far more experience and business acumen than someone who must follow the rigid promotion procedures typically found in large organisations.

Can we help?

The Monarch Personnel team can be contacted by emailing

If you would like to learn more about Monarch Personnel, you can read our latest articles by signing up for our newsletter. You can also follow us on our social media channels: LinkedInTwitter & Facebook, or visit our website www.­monarc­hper­sonnel.­com.

Posted in Help & advice and tagged #SME #SmallOrganisation #Hiring on