The SME CEO Peer Group

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Redefining Hiring: The Greatest Challenge In SMBs

Hiring is a tricky job. However, it’s the most important one as it is directly related to the growth of the organisation. All talent management programs are successful only if the right talent is hired in the first place! The impediments to a successful talent sourcing program are many. It is critical to keep few pointers in mind while framing a recruitment program.

 The missing HR piece

The biggest problem in an SMB is that they mostly don’t have an active Human Resource function. According to a survey conducted by CII, 20% of medium and 80% of the small sized businesses have no HR departments. This is because most SMBs are operating in tight budgets and HR is perceived to be an additional cost function with little predefined value. Most SMBs equate HR function to maintaining statutory compliances like rolling out of appointment letters and managing compensation and benefit activities. However, it is advisable to have a defined HR function so that recruitment, talent management and policies can be laid out. This prevents ambiguities in an employee’s mind, keeps him motivated and reduces attrition rates.


In today’s world there is fierce competition everywhere. The talent market is no different. It’s important for SMBs to brand themselves as employers of choice to gain a competitive edge in the market. Having a website, effective content marketing and social media presence makes a huge difference on how prospective employees view their future organisation. It’s important to have budgeted activities in the web and the social media space which is driving the youth today.


Usually recruiters, both in-house and outsourced are the first point of contact for the candidate. It’s important to have them trained and aligned with the cultural fitment and specific skill set requirements of the organization. If they cannot sell the company and the position then chances are slim that a potential candidate will be interested in the selection process. Recruitment is a highly skilled job, and it requires good networking and social recruiting skills. Effective recruitment programs include campus drives/career fairs, job boards, internships, social recruitment programs through LinkedIn, Twitter, exhibitions, seminars and employee referral programs.

Job Specification

To define a job role, every position needs to have a documented and defined job description sheet. Although from an employer perspective this seems irrelevant, this is by and large an important part of the communication sent to a prospective candidate. In the world of millennials, candidates are like customers and they have lot of queries regarding a job role and the future prospects in the organisation. This requires a long-term plan by the employer – to define how the person hired will work and grow in the organisation.

Selection Methods

Hiring only through traditional face-to-face interviews is passé. Also, it might not yield the right results. A prudent mix of test batteries, interviews, group discussions and psychological tests, customised according to the skills required for the role is imperative.

Data Management

One of the most important aspects of hiring is that it is an ongoing process. Even if there is no immediate requirement; it’s important to keep candidates ready for a particular position. Depending on the data sources, volume and the engagement levels with the candidates, SMEs may invest in readily Applicant Tracking System (ATS) or use another DBMS.

To sum up, great recruitment starts with a plan and an effective recruitment strategy. One must not rely only on guts while hiring, there are tools which can give your hiring plan the edge it needs.

Whether you are in Retail, ITES or Manufacturing, our customised Business Systems Management Program enables you to identify inefficiencies, improve business processes and meet the critical and strategic requirement for growth. To know more about our program, get in touch with us here.

Sushmita Dutta has over 17 years of experience in working with large conglomerates like The Times of India Group and also with banks like HDFC Bank and American Express. She has spent over 10 years in talent assessment & talent management for leading multinational and Indian Companies. An ardent reader gifted with an apparent perspective on everything, she is currently engaged in training and consulting assignments.


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