Practical new guide simplifies hiring and retention for SMEs


By Mariam Dadabhay, People & Management Specialist, Enterprise Ireland


Ask any employer what their biggest challenge is today, and most will point to the skills shortage. The Great Resignation has been in full swing and two thirds of Enterprise Ireland’s clients say they are short-staffed this year.

That’s why figuring out how best to attract, recruit and retain key talent is top of mind for business and HR leaders, especially as we continue to adjust to hybrid working in many sectors.

While the pandemic caused huge upheaval, employers must also ensure they meet new standards of diversity, equality and inclusion, such as by having a gender balanced workforce, for example. Likewise, they need to understand the needs of different demographics within the workforce.

While the world of work has changed irrevocably in the past few years, there are emerging best practice approaches to identify, recruit and keep the talent you need to build your business.

To support business owners and leaders in Ireland, Enterprise Ireland has published a detailed new guide in partnership with recruitment technology specialists Occupop – Attracting and retaining talent: How to identify, source and recruit staff for your business.

The advice it contains draws on Enterprise Ireland’s deep expertise and knowledge of recruitment and resourcing best practices as well as the latest trends and business theories.

This is a practical guide, with simple, straightforward guidance on every step of the recruitment and retention process, from defining a role to deciding on recognition and rewards systems. It sets out a streamline and efficient way to recruit, onboard and retain people, with step-by-step instructions to guide employers and offers plenty of tips for getting it right.

While the guide will be useful for any business, it has been specifically written for an SME audience, taking into account the challenges they face and how they recruit new staff.

The first step is creating a recruitment strategy, which is vital to make sure that investment in this area pays off. According to the Harvard Business Review, 80% of employee turnover can be attributed to poor hiring decisions. A sound recruitment strategy will reflect and map to the overall business strategy.

The guide not only covers how to define a role, how to advertise it to attract candidates (including specifications for different channels) and how to create a candidate shortlist, but it also explains to employers how they can develop their Employee Value Proposition, which is a core pillar of any recruitment strategy.

Another area that can prove challenging for SMEs is managing the candidate assessment process. The new guide offers useful how-to sections around interviews, psychometric testing and more.         It also outlines how best to onboard new employees with both short-term and long-term induction plans.

Once you’ve successfully hired new talent, it’s important to remember that is only the beginning. The guide also offers tips how to retain your best people. This includes guidance on building and evolving your company culture, supporting diversity and inclusion, offering training and mentoring, investing in employee wellness and planning for the future.

While workplaces and work patterns are changing, with recruitment changing too, Attracting and retaining talent: How to identify, source and recruit staff for your business gives SME owners and HR leaders invaluable tactics, techniques and processes for facilitating and evolving their HR practices, and thriving in a turbulent time for recruitment and retention.

Enterprise Ireland also offers one-to-one guidance from our people and management specialists, access to external HR consultants, eLearning solutions and Leadership and Management Development Programmes. To find out more, please speak with your Enterprise Ireland Development Advisor.


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