Investing in your People as an Asset

Finding good talent to boost your company’s growth can be a headache for any SME director and especially the smaller outfits. Producing an attractive job description, the cost to advertise and the time sifting through a raft of applications for just one position can consume weeks of time!  

According to the Federation of Small Businesses, UK SMEs create 60% of all jobs in the private sector but the task of finding the right person who shares the company’s values and best suit the role can be the hardest part of running a small firm. A recent report from Aldermore Future Attitudes revealed that 67% SMEs struggle to find appropriately qualified hires and retain their existing pool of talent. 

In this post we will cover a copy of ways we believe SMEs can stand out from the crowd and attract talent while being authentic to who they are.

Culture & Flexibility  

Depressingly enough (or not!) we spend a significant portion of our lives working. So it’s no surprise that culture and the working environment are at the top of the list when it comes to what employees value most about their job. Flexibility lists highly; the International Workplace Group recently conducted a survey which found that 80% of employees prioritise flexible-working jobs. Fostering a trusting workplace culture can help attract potential recruits and in turn be a boost to your Glassdoor reviews!  

The flip side of course is the importance of having people on the ground. Company culture is a buzzword that has become increasingly thrown around. But it’s importance mustn’t be forgotten. Building a positive and inclusive company culture as a recruitment strategy is only going to become ever more critical as candidates increasingly choose companies that best reflect their values and makes significant efforts to keep their employees happy. 

While we believe it’s critical to help your employees to cultivate a good work life balance, we also recognise that companies are driven by profit and deadlines, and flexibility can come at a cost that can’t always be accounted for.

Responsibility & Development  

When bringing in someone new, it’s important to build an ongoing professional growth strategy from the outset. An understanding of that person’s needs combined with an insight into what they want to achieve in the future will help deliver the support and guidance they need to thrive. Development plans are a win-win for employer and employee; the employee gets dedicated support to improve their skill set, while the employer gains an engaged workforce and credibility as a supportive employer.  

Additionally, employees benefit from feeling able to voice their ideas and opinions. The more impact they feel they have in a business, the more connection to the role they’ll have. 

Looking after the whole you  

Last month’s Mental Health Awareness week really brought home how far we have come in the fight to de-stigmatize mental health both in society and the workplace. Some may brush it off as ‘the fluffy stuff’ but wellness and it’s role in creating a happy and balanced work environment where stress and pressure are seen to be things to combat rather than wear as a badge of importance has turned a corner. It’s impact on productivity and it’s contribution to a lower churn rate are highly valued.  

Measures as simple as a telephone support line can give support to people who are struggling. All measures help improve employer brand while supporting employees. 

Looking ahead, it’s incumbent on senior management to develop a workforce that is happy, flexible and diverse in nature to flourish. 

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