Data shows that the unemployment rate in the UK is on the rise. With so many people looking for jobs, businesses can struggle to find the right candidates. The strain can be especially strong on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). So, finding the main recruitment challenges businesses are facing is essential to help us overcome these challenges and fill those talent gaps.
Caroline Gleeson, CEO at Occupop, experts in recruitment and applicant tracking software, says: “Both businesses and applicants want positions to be filled, but there are many steps before hiring the right person that can cause a business a delay in filling their positions. By knowing what the common issues are and how to solve them, we can improve the efficiency of our hiring processes across the UK.”
Through a survey, Occupop reveals the top recruitment challenges facing SMEs this year – and gives you solutions for how to solve them.
High recruitment costs
According to Occupop’s survey, the highest recruitment challenge SMEs face – with 35% of respondents claiming this as their biggest issue – is high recruitment costs. Simply advertising a job position could cost businesses upwards of £3000.
Small businesses might also struggle to offer the pay grades that bigger businesses with higher revenue can offer their employees. This makes it difficult to hire someone with the right skill level to boost the business, as the funds aren’t there to support their pay expectations.
To combat high recruitment costs, you should utilise what you have available – such as social media and your website – to attract candidates. In fact, 1 in 10 employees find their roles through social media posts. This can be a cheap way of reaching out to people passionate about your business, ensuring that you’re finding the right people for your business.
Caroline says: “Other ways to cut down on recruitment costs could be to use local networking as an opportunity to meet new skilled workers, as well as using apprenticeships and intern programmes to find new skilled workers. This way, you can bring in young workers, graduates, or people looking to swap careers and who are actively developing their skills alongside their work with you.”
Attracting the right candidates
Another issue many SMEs are finding is attracting the right candidates (33%). Ensuring you have the right people on your payroll is essential for the efficiency and growth of your business, so you’re not spending more money on employees that don’t last.
Data shows that a bad hire could cost your business three times more than a misdirected salary. So, ensuring that you’re getting the right people into your workplace is essential for the financial health of your business.
Caroline says: “To attract the right candidates, you will want to make sure that your job descriptions are tailored to each new job role. By personalising your recruitment outreach, you can better attract people you want to work with, who have the skills you need in your team.”
You can also make your hiring process transparent to candidates, offering tailored feedback at all stages to ensure you’re not only getting the candidates you need but also offering constructive feedback to applicants – meaning that their next application can be better tailored to your company and values.
Recruitment process inefficiency
Recruitment process inefficiency was the third most common recruitment challenge for businesses, with 25% of respondents naming it. Process inefficiencies across a business can cause a loss of productivity, higher costs, and even employee frustration or burnout.
Caroline says: “If your business doesn’t have the right processes in place during the recruitment phase, you can suffer with longer recruitment times and higher workloads. This can put a strain on the whole business.
“Making sure you’re tracking your applications correctly can reduce the time wasted on interviewing candidates that don’t suit your company or the role. By using a system to narrow down the queue of applications, you only see the best candidates for you.”
The recruitment process can be challenging to navigate, especially for an SME when time and money are precious. Ensuring you have clear communication and the right systems to facilitate your recruitment is important to help save you valuable time.