Small business employers settling for ‘OK’

The latest study by global recruitment specialists Michael Page reveals 50 per cent of surveyed SMEs said they settled for hiring someone who was ‘OK’ versus someone who was ‘fantastic’.

Attrition also emerged as a major concern for SMEs, with 35 per cent of those surveyed saying a new hire exited the company within six months.

These were among the biggest challenges around hiring cited by SME representatives in Australia taking part in the Michael Page ‘SME Hiring Challenges Survey 2016’. All respondents owned or worked in small or medium-sized business in the previous 12 months, employed between 15 and 100 staff, and had been involved in the hiring of at least one new staff member across director, manager and general staff level.

The survey also indicates:

  • Hiring is expensive – 43 per cent of surveyed SMEs considered the cost of hiring talent steep.
  • The hiring process is time consuming – 47 per cent thought the total average time of 35 hours spent to hire a new recruit was excessive.
  • Attracting strong employees is difficult – 46 per cent agreed that they struggled to find suitable job seekers for their roles.
  • Poor retention limits business growth – more than 35 per cent said they believed their difficulty in attracting and hiring the best people was a barrier to business progression.

“Top talent forms the core of every business,” Page Group ANZ Regional Managing Director Matthew Gribble said. “The feedback from our market survey has helped us identify the areas where SMEs in Australia are struggling to secure top talent.

“Our webinar series is designed to provide insights on how to address these key issues.

“Australia’s competitive hiring landscape makes it imperative to adopt a strategic approach to talent acquisition. In order to secure the top talent required to move the business forward, SMEs need to focus on proactive and targeted employee engagement. No company is too small to invest in building a strong employer brand underpinned by a clear employment value proposition.”

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