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How difficult is it to recruit right now?


SMEs continue to find  it challenging to recruit. The data shows us in our most recent SME Business Survey 2022/23, which was published earlier this year, that recruitment was in the top 3 of major challenges facing businesses. 50% of respondents also acknowledged that recruitment was one area of the business that they would consider outsourcing.

To understand if this position remains to be the case, we engaged with business owners and HR practitioners as part of our latest webinar and article series “why organisation’s need a different approach to recruitment” (which you can watch back on demand here). The several polls that we ran during the webinar provided the following insights:

  1. 80% said that they were struggling to recruit
  2. The biggest concern for business owners/HR practitioners was skill shortages (43%), followed by candidate shortage (24%), time to hire (15%), the rise of hybrid working (11%) and cost per hire (7%)
  3. 23% of respondents said that the inability to meet the wage demands of candidates was the reason for their organisation struggling to recruit
  4. We wanted to explore what systems or schemes organisation’s currently have in place to help support their recruitment processes, and we identified that:
      • 29% formal and informal training
      • 21% Appraisal process
      • 18% Apprenticeships
      • 17% secondments
      • 15% management development programmes
  5. 71% of respondents use technology to automate or streamline their recruitment processes
  6. Having an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) can positively impact an organisation’s ability to recruit. We asked whether their organisation had one:
      • 41% do have an EVP
      • 33% don’t have an EVP
      • 27% are unsure what an EVP is
  7. 49% of those businesses that said they had an EVP said that it had been reviewed in the last year, whilst 34% said it was between 1 and 2 years since it was last reviewed and 17% said it was more than 3 years ago
  8. Social media and own websites are still heavily used by business owners
      • 78% use LinkedIn
      • 58% own website
      • 23% Facebook
      • 19% Instagram
      • 11% Twitter
  9. We also asked attendees what they would consider introducing to help with overcoming the recruitment challenges. With the option of selecting multiple answers, the feedback received was:
      • 30% would consider introducing either a 4 day work week or hybrid working
      • 26% would consider reviewing and updating their people strategy
      • 22% would either introduce an EVP or review an existing one
      • 13% would look at recruiting from within their own business, known as ‘quiet hiring’
      • 8% would consider investing in technology.

We’re here to help

Our expert team support hundreds of clients with their recruitment, sourcing candidates with the right skills, experience and personality to fit with their organisations. We operate a fixed fee model for our recruitment – £850+VAT for each campaign, regardless of seniority or salary, and the price remains the same if you recruit multiple people for the same role. Find out more here.

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