Essential tips for recruiting the right team for your SME

When you’re recruiting for your startup or SME, it’s essential to get it right. Hiring the wrong people can be the difference between success and failure.

However, it’s not an easy task, and it can be a very time-consuming and expensive process. Luckily, Innovate UK has some tips to help you hire that perfect team.

1. Be honest about what you can afford

Recruiting someone new is costly, so you need to make sure you have the finances to do so. It’s important to be aware that sometimes employing someone isn’t always the best option for a startup and it’s a huge commitment to take on.

Many startups are using freelancers for certain tasks to keep costs down, which comes with several benefits:

  • They will already have the experience and skills you require
  • You can utilise their skills without putting them on the payroll
  • You can adjust their level of involvement to meet demand

“Growth is not just about profit; bigger budgets allow us to use skilled freelancers, increasing the quality of their output” – Graeme McGowan, Creative Partner at Jamhot

2. Hire for the skills you really need

Don’t panic and rush into employing someone once your business starts to take off, there’s still a lot to think about.

So, take your time to answer these questions:

  • Where are the strengths and weaknesses in your existing team?
  • Are there gaps to be filled?
  • Does the potential hire fit with the culture and values of your business?
  • Can you offer them a career path and job satisfaction?

“Make key hires that can fill skill gaps and complement existing staff to help you reach the next level” – Zac Williams, Founder and Director of GradTouch.

3. Explore all recruitment channels

When it comes to finding candidates, the platform you use will have an impact on the types of people you attract, so you must choose wisely. Selecting a recruitment agency may be an obvious choice, but they can also be costly for a startup; it’s best to explore different channels that could prove more cost-efficient.

Online job boards are great – just be careful to find the ones that are best suited to your business needs. Larger boards tend to work well for major corporations, but can be costly for startups.

There are many niche job boards that are more suited for startups, though. They are much cheaper and the applications you get will be more relevant to the job you’re advertising, so it’ll be a quicker recruitment process.

Don’t forget to make use of your website and social media channels, too. These platforms are cost-effective and easy to build into your recruitment strategy. LinkedIn is an especially helpful tool, to both look at and attract potential candidates.

“Utilising specialist websites for your industry can give quicker access to appropriate skills” – Gary Cassey, MD of Cass Productions

4. Scrutinise your applicants

Before you consider bringing someone in for an interview, you must first decide what you’re looking for. It’s important to know exactly what traits you would prefer in an applicant.

If you’re unsure about this, research some advice from successful entrepreneurs, such as Richard Branson. He explains the three vital qualities he looks in a candidate:

  • People skills; how they treat and relate to others
  • Risk taker and determined
  • Optimistic; sees the positive side in situations

“99% of being successful is about having the right attitude. Those people can learn new skills” – James Vizor, CEO of RULE Recruitment

You need to consider not only who you want to bring into your business, but what you are communicating to them about your company

Having a strong employer brand helps you compete with other businesses for the best talent and to create credibility, so make sure it’s the priority in your recruitment drive.

If you’re interested in finding more essential business tips like this, subscribe to Innovate UK’s YouTube channel. You can also follow @InnovateUK on Twitter.