The Candidate was delighted to be invited to speak at the Smarter Business Tech LIVE expo held at the Manchester Central Convention Complex on the 15th and16th November 2017. 

The convention featured a variety of vendors which were there to offer advice and solutions to SME’s and Mid-Size businesses. Our eCommerce Recruitment Director, Laura Walters, provided visitors with a mini-masterclass based on effectively addressing the recruitment challenges that SMEs face when hiring marketing talent.

  1. Top 5 Marketing Recruitment Challenges for SME’s
  • Marketing sector skills shortage
  • Lack of marketing experience at Board Level 
  • The Pace
  • Cultural Fit
  • Budget

Before recruiting a new marketing professional, these factors need to be considered in order to ensure that the business is making the right choice!

  1. Developing a Brief

Laura’s advice to SME’s is to ensure that you are selling the role as there is always a sales pitch to be done from any business! Also, make sure that you open the brief so that the pool of candidates that you are attracting is not too narrow at this initial stage.

It’s also important to have a strong understanding of your department in order to establish where this person will fit into the team, who they will report to and whether or not they’ll be hands-on or strategic.  This will determine the level of person that you are looking for. In order to engage the right candidates, the job specification should provide the reader with a little information on the business, detail the role, and state the progression opportunities along with the day-to-day responsibilities.

Determine the correct salary by benchmarking again the current marketplace and the current team structure which you have in place. Businesses need to be realistic when it comes to interviewing candidates, always see someone slightly over the salary range, someone slightly under and then a few within the set range.

Finally, it’s vital that the process it planned before the job advert goes live, company’s need to think about how the role will be advertised and the costs associated, along with establishing who will conduct the interview in order to ensure that the process is as smooth as possible.

  1. The Interview Stage

Once you have the brief in place and the advert is live, it’s time to focus on the interview process! Laura’s advice is to ensure that you invite at least four candidates for a first interview, always allow for one to drop out. The first interview is the perfect opportunity for the candidate to find out about the business whilst you discover more about them, therefore, it’s advisable to ‘sell yourself’ and allow them the opportunity to ask questions.

When you finally progress to the third stages interviews, this is the time where you’ll need to consider whether or not to ask the candidate to complete a task and also identify the candidates notice periods. Ultimately, Laura recommends that the whole process, from first stage interview to offer should be within a two-week time frame, otherwise there is the risk that they could receive a counter offer or they find the process to slow.

  1. The Selection and Acceptance

Once you have chosen the person who you wish to hire, it vital that you establish if they have any other counter offers. If they do, then you need to consider carefully what changes you are able to make in order to secure them, for example; increase their salary or change their job title. After they accepted the job, you will need to cover the formalities by getting it in writing in order to make it official!

Once the formalities have been covered, it’s important for them to receive acceptance from your existing team. Lastly, Laura’s suggests inviting both the team and the candidate for a coffee so that they can all meet each other in a more comfortable environment as it’s a great opportunity for them both to get to know each other, prior the candidate first day.

  1. Aftercare and Retention

It’s important to look after the candidate, even after they have started working for you. Companies should ensure that they are delivering their promises to candidate, objectives have been set and KPI’s are regularly being reviewed as this will offer the candidate the support they need when transitioning into a new job. Last of all, when the candidate has passed their probation, this needs to be officially put in writing.

  1. How to Find the Right Recruitment Agency

If you want to bring in help, in order to find the right candidate, it’s important that you do your research before committing to a recruitment agency. Laura’s recommends that you ensure they have a good reputation by reading their testimonials and case studies. Also, ensure that the agency has relevant industry knowledge along with local knowledge, as this will ensure that they are searching for the right people. Finally, schedule a face to face meeting with them in order to discuss the brief, fees and the rebate terms as this will help to eliminate any confusion further down the line!

The Smarter Business Tech Live 2017 event was insightful and great fun, and it was also a great platform for us to be able to offer advice to various SME’s on how to make the most of out of their recruitment! 

Read our latest blogs here.

Read our Digital Marketing Recruitment Guide here.

Read our Event of the Week blogs here.

Read Laura Walter's views on Executive Level Recruitment here.




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