How SMEs can make the most of the recruitment process

In today’s competitive market, it is no surprise that any job ad generates dozens – if not hundreds! – of replies.

For a small business, such a strong response has pros and cons. On the plus side, it’s great to have a large pool of candidates to select from. Chances are, there will be several really great leads and of these, you might even have a few finalists who are perfect for the role.

But on the less positive side, having so many applicants can be overwhelming for small businesses – especially as most SMEs aren’t at a stage where they have separate HR departments to handle recruitment. This is why you need a solid system in place to separate the wheat from the chaff and find the best candidates for the role.

Here are some great ways to get started when it comes to recruitment:

Set up a system

Recruitment goes much more smoothly when you have a system in place. This system should clearly outline the criteria for the role – you can then sort CVs from prospective applicants based on how closely they tick all the boxes.

This strategy will also keep you honest and objective. While there is certainly something to be said about how the candidate performs in an interview – more on that in a minute – you need to start somewhere, and evaluating everyone against the same set of criteria will ensure the right people get through to the interview round.

Of course, your system should also set out your essential deadlines – when you will have made your first round of decisions, when you will invite people to come for interviews and when you need to reach your final decision of who to hire.

Do your homework

Do you remember the old saying about how prevention is better than the cure? The same can ring true for job interviews. By the time you are ready to see people at this stage of the recruitment process, a little bit of homework upfront can go a long way.

While first impressions are important, this type of preparation is a smart way for you to ensure your judgement doesn’t become clouded by a sparkling personality during an interview – you want to ensure your candidate has plenty of substance in addition to being personable.

You might also want to look beyond your candidate’s CV – for example, you may find that checking out their LinkedIn profile allows you to view feedback about the candidate’s previous work and get a better idea of the value they could bring to your organisation.

Incorporate technology

In the pre-technology age, recruitment used to be done face-to-face – but thanks to modern technology, you can cast your net even wider for prospective candidates. For example, if you like the look of a CV that has come from a candidate in another city – or even another country – you can use free a conference call service to connect and carry out your interview over the phone. is a great resource for conference calls – and best of all, you can even make calls for free! This type of technology can be used as part of the recruitment process as a sort of test – for example, you might like to see how a candidate for a sales role performs when they are put on the spot with a prospective ‘client’.

Every organisation is different – but these tips should get you well on your way to finding the best possible candidates for the job.


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This article was submitted by a guest author.  Guest blogging provides an avenue to share a variety of different points of view with a broad audience.  It is a good way to share cumulative knowledge as well as introducing readers to a new author.  Learn more about how to become a contributor for Riches Corner.

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