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​​5 Recruitment Challenges - and Solutions - for Small Businesses


We say it over and over again: the most valuable asset of any business - large or small - is it’s people. Small and medium-sized business owners tend to run into some common recruitment challenges that can feel like a barrier to finding the best people to help your business grow. We’re here to help you identify what these are - and how to overcome them.


Challenge 1: Finding qualified culture-fit candidates




In a climate where each and every person’s contribution will have an impact, your people need to be right for your business, and believe in the work you do. Business owners (or many of the larger recruitment agencies they may turn to for help) don’t tend to invest time or know-how in testing candidates on a culture-fit basis, and this can make all the difference to the way your business runs on a day-to-day basis - from the atmosphere in the office to the efficiency of your teams to your actual bottom line. Because all of these things are connected.


Challenge 2: Getting candidates’ attention in the marketplace


Small businesses and their reputations are often built around word of mouth, and it may be that potential candidates do not even know a business exists unless somebody in their network has told them about it. So even if you’re advertising positions in all the right places, these positions may be overlooked and the ads may go unanswered by the most qualified candidates. To combat this, really think about different ways to expand your network - whether via platforms such as Linked In (where you should be active and visible), paid ads, or by engaging the services of a recruitment partner who really understands your needs and has the network to communicate them.


Challenge 3: Competing in today’s business environment


Bigger companies are often able to offer a wider variety of benefits and salary advantages than small businesses can. These big companies may also have a more established or reputable image in the industry, which may draw the kind of candidates you’re looking for more easily than you can. You need to find ways to combat this with different types of incentives. Perhaps performance bonuses, ownership options, team building events, the flexibility you offer, or the atmosphere in the office. If a candidate can envision enjoying coming to work for you every day, you’re most of the way there.


Challenge 4: Offering training and development programmes


While large companies with a workforce to match have the means to offer large-scale training programs, small businesses do not have this luxury. Candidates want to know how you intend to support them in training for the job, and also how they will be able to grow and develop over the next few years. Training your people is an important investment you need to be prepared to make in your business - this could mean putting aside budget to sign them up for courses you believe in, or simply being generous with your time and skills to ensure they feel supported in their own career development. Make sure you communicate this in a job spec and during the interview process.


Challenge 5: Needing to stray from the job description


In the current climate, small businesses need to be ready to meet challenging circumstances head-on. This may mean pivoting to put emphasis on different revenue streams, or asking employees to take on work that is outside the scope of their job description. This can lead to time management problems and, more worryingly, discontent in the workforce. However, this challenge can be managed. Invest in a recruitment partner who can help you find and screen candidates who can demonstrate diverse backgrounds, wide experience, and - above all - resilience - to be a good fit for your needs. Once these people are in place, ensure strong, clear and open communication so that they understand what is expected of them, and how much you value them.


Small businesses are the trailblazers of innovation and employment growth. Don’t let these challenges stand in the way of you finding the absolute best people for the job. At InstaPeople, your success story is our success story, and we’re here to help you every step of the way. Get in touch with Lindy and her team today so we can accompany you on your recruitment journey.



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