How SMEs can Recruit Better

How Can Owner Operated Businesses Recruit Better?

Having been in recruitment for 20 years now, I have seen a lot of change – how companies recruit these days is widely different to 1999. In fact, it’s widely different to 2009. IN FACT, IT’S WIDELY DIFFERENT TO 2018 – only two years ago!

In truth, there has been a lot of reasons for this change in how companies now recruit their own staff, but probably the biggest change is that, truly, these days, a well organised, intelligent company should be able to recruit more than 80% of the staff it needs to hire direct, without needing to overly rely on external recruitment agencies to source staff. Any company, regardless of size, that is not already at 80% or actively targeting to get to that level, is out of sync with both the cost of hiring and the overall management of their recruitment process.

Don’t take my word for it, look at the following, all from the Recruiter In-House Awards:

  • PWC ‘s proactive in-house team has got so adept at hiring the right candidates that the company has seen a 68% increase in applications compared with the previous year; a projected 400% reduction in time-to-hire; over 5,000 hours of chargeable staff time saved. That’s some serious time and money saved!
  • BUPA’s new careers site has seen a huge spike in traffic with 15,667 applications post-launch (compared to 9,337 during the same period the previous year – a 40% increase). And year-on-year there’s been a 38% increase in new hires, with 2,500 accepted offers.
  • JCB’s in-house recruitment team ensured their UK workforce grew by more than 1,000 people in less than a year
  • The AA’s in-house recruitment team’s skills in hiring the right candidates has meant that staff turnover has decreased from 45% to 24%; offer to acceptance ratio is now 98% – it was 88%; turnaround time for candidate screening (from application) is now under two days – it averaged five and average time to offer is 26.4 days (it was 37).

These are impressive results and means these large companies are really making recruitment work

The rise in the in-house recruitment team amongst companies has been incredible and the data-led approach, coupled with phenomenal employer brand marketing strategies means that almost all large companies have cut their average cost-to-hire, cut their average time-to-hire and increased their staff retention rates. All of these means these companies are achieving their business goals and high-performing year on year.

That’s great, if you are a large corporate, with the need to hire a significant amount of people across your organisation each year. Then you can invest into effective in-house teams, an incredible in-house recruitment leader, an innovative employer brand, a slick candidate recruitment experience and many other benefits.

However, if you are like the 35,000 UK companies who currently employ between 50 and 250 staff, it’s likely all these creative in-house resources are far beyond your reach, your budget, your know-how and probably your time. However, with the UK’s average employee turnover rate is approximately 15% a year, that means these companies generally still need to hire between 8 and 38 people a year.


The average cost to SMEs to recruit a replacement member of staff is now circa £12,000 which means if you own your own business with about 50 staff, you may spend up to £100,000 each year just to stay the same size!

So what’s the solution if you are a director of one of these medium sized companies?

Do it all yourself? Take time out of your own day to day job to improve your company employer brand, proactively contact possible future employees, rally your own staff to make better referrals? What will that cost you in time and efficiency elsewhere?

What about rely on external recruitment agencies? A well-organised company should make use of effective recruitment consultancies who can source hard to fill jobs and work proactively on your companies behalf. This should make up less than 20% of your recruitment strategy.

Or get some outside help to shoulder the burden for considerably less than £12,000 per hire cost. Someone who can implement in-house processes like the AA, Bupa and JCB have. Someone who would seamlessly interact with your own team to build a long-term in-house recruitment model.

We are Sunblink: Rise and we are passionate about helping SME companies recruit better for themselves. We don’t charge fees based on number of hires, we work in partnership with our clients to ensure they have sustainable, long-term recruitment processes that are effective.

If your company is up to 250 people and needs help with speeding up your recruitment process or cutting your recruitment costs, then contact me today and we can provide a free ‘Recruitabilty’ report on your current recruitment processes.



Other Posts...

CSP Post Launch Interview

CSP Post Launch Interview

2nd October 2020
Read More
The Creativity of Ownership

The Creativity of Ownership

2nd September 2020
Read More
Career Crisis? What Career Crisis?

Career Crisis? What Career Crisis?

14th August 2020
Read More