5 Ways for SMEs to Recruit a High Quality Workforce

SMEs are only as good as their employees, and to stand any chance of growing into a successful organisation, burgeoning businesses must have a solid team who have the talent and attitude to drive the company forward. But finding the perfect candidate that meets everything on the job description and has the right personality for your business can be tricky.

January is always a busy month in the recruitment world, and this is particularly true for Love Energy Savings. Following our £4.5 million investment from NVM Private Equity, we decided to put the funding to good use and invest in a ‘Business Growth Campaign’. Starting in 2016, this campaign is aimed at pushing the company further than ever and recruiting top quality staff to help achieve those goals.

If you’re looking to expand your business this year, then read on for our top five tips on how to find and recruit the best talent in your industry.

1) Make use of your internal network

Believe it or not those who are already working for you are actually your best resource for scoping out new talent, so don’t be afraid to widen the boundaries and utilise the network you have.

A great way to do this is through a referral scheme. As part of our new recruitment push, Love Energy Savings has introduced a ‘Refer a Friend’ scheme which pays current employees £250 if they bring a friend into the business and they work with us for three months. Not only that, but an additional £250 is paid once the referred employee completes one year of service.

By going through members of your team, those who already have the kind of personality and work ethic that you value, it is likely that they will know similar people who will fit in perfectly with the culture of your organisation. Plus, the idea of a cash incentive will encourage them to only put the very best candidates forward for consideration.

2) Get social with your search

Those who have worked in recruitment or HR for some time now may flinch at the thought of using social media to search for new staff, but in today’s world it is an avenue that should not be left unexplored. Social platforms such as LinkedIn and even Twitter and Facebook are where your top candidates will be spending a lot of their time, and are exceptional tools to have at your disposal when it comes to sourcing candidates.

Before dismissing the idea completely, consider the benefits of using social media, particularly channels such as LinkedIn where candidates create a virtual CV viewable to anyone. Not only is it faster and more cost-effective, it also puts you firmly in the driving seat and opens up your recruitment pool further than you ever thought possible. It also allows you to gain a clearer picture of a candidate’s personality before you invite them in for an interview. Of course, nothing can replace meeting someone face-to-face, but there is no denying the convenience and usefulness of social media in recruitment.

3) See beyond the CV

Part of why we advocate the use of social media when recruiting candidates is because no matter how much detail is included on a CV, it will never really tell you much about the person who wrote it. But this is what interviews were made for. If you like what you’ve read, your next step could be a phone interview, which in turn will lead to a face-to-face discussion.

Don’t be afraid to deviate from the standard set of questions that have now become the staple of interviews across the world. While you want to discover whether they could do the job well, also aim to discover more about your candidate’s personality. Ask questions about their hobbies outside of work and any extra-curricular activities they partake in to learn more about the person they are. Someone may tick all the boxes talent wise, have the perfect list of qualifications and skillset, but their personality may be completely wrong for your business. Take the additional time to get to know your candidates before you make the final decision.

4) Be worth working for

More often than not, organisations will focus so hard on questioning candidates that they forget that, in a way, they are also being interviewed. In today’s highly competitive job market, it is likely that you will have candidates lining up out of the door to fill the role, but if you’re aiming to bring in the best talent, then make sure you are a business that is worth working for.

Think about the employee perks and incentives that you have to offer. For example, Love Energy Savings will be launching an Employee Benefits Scheme on January 28th, which makes use of a huge network of Bolton-based businesses and national companies, who are offering a wide range of discounts.

The little things can matter a great deal, so why not explore the possibility of smaller incentives such as free fruit in the office, free car parking, a suggestions box or childcare vouchers? All of these smaller elements can really add up to a thoroughly enjoyable place to work, and something that you should shout about during the recruitment process.

It’s far easier to find the best candidates if you’ve already earned yourself a strong reputation as a great place to work.

5) Promise them a bright future

The highest quality candidates out there, the ones that are worth hiring and keeping, aren’t going to be looking for a job - they are going to be looking for a career; somewhere they can learn, grow and progress. Leading on from what we mentioned in point four about being a business worth working for, ensure that you demonstrate that they have a bright future with you.

Internal training and development is woven into the fabric of Love Energy Savings, as it ensures that our employees are constantly honing their skills and moving upwards in our business. Our New Starter Academy has now been running for three months and helps brand new recruits to get settled into the company. We also run a Team Leader Development Programme as well as a Rising Star Academy for those who are consistently achieving high standards. In March 2016, we will also be starting a BTEC Diploma Programme for our team of Line Managers.

The benefits of investing in internal training are profound. Not only does it help with staff retention, it enables your business to run more efficiently and it is an excellent tool for recruitment; particularly for those who are new to the job market.

For small businesses in particular, the process of recruiting and hiring new talent is one of the most important, but can also be one of the most challenging. The job market is changing, as is recruitment itself, and in order to find and retain the very best candidates, small businesses will have to adapt and change the way they hire. Follow the five tips we have mentioned above, and you should be well on your way to establishing a recruitment strategy that will bring you top quality hires for years to come.

As a growing business energy comparison specialist, Love Energy Savings is well aware of the challenges that SMEs can face when attempting to make waves in their marketplace. In addition to offering you advice on everything from productivity to marketing tips, we also pride ourselves on being able to save you money. If you need another load off your mind whilst you focus on recruitment, why not get in touch and let us help you switch your energy provider today?

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