50 per cent of small businesses with over 5 staff plan to recruit more workers over the next two years, however finding skilled staff is said to be the biggest challenge to growth according to new research.
The study by Albion Ventures highlights marketing skills, new technology experience and expertise in business planning as the roles most difficult to fill. It states that small firms in London will be hit the hardest by the skills shortage followed by those in the South East and North West.
What’s the best way of recruiting skilled staff? Here are our tips…
Don’t get hung up on experience
Whilst there’s no doubt that experience counts for an awful lot and can be reassuring when taking on a new-recruit you should also give workers the chance to prove themselves. If a candidate has the specialist skill you require then don’t rule them out just because they’re a recent graduate or haven’t worked in your particular sector before. Remember many skills are transferrable.
Consider flexible working
Family commitments and childcare costs have meant that some professionals have ruled themselves out of full time employment. However, if you’re prepared to take a flexible approach you can capitalise on the skills they can offer either by encouraging a job share or reduced hours.
Confidence doesn’t always equal competence
Unless you’re looking for an employee who will regularly pitch, present or network for your business the absence of an abundance of confidence and charisma is unlikely to affect their ability to utilise the skills you need to grow. Don’t be dazzled at interview and then regret not pursuing crucial abilities needed for the role.
Any small business owner would tell you that every member of staff is incredibly valuable however, if you create a job advert which is more of a wish-list, you will put people off applying. It’s less intimidating to prioritise the essential skills you are looking for and add a column for desirable competencies.
Invest in your staff
Before you invest in recruitment consider whether any of your existing staff have the potential to learn the specific skills you require and set about replacing their current position. Not only will they gain the skills you need but you will be appreciated as a progressive employer.