SMEs & Hiring: 5 Tips

SMEs & Hiring: 5 Tips

Hiring can take hours – especially for SMEs. When you are trying to run your own business, send out invoices, chase money, think up the strategy and even find time to get a bite to eat – it can also be the one thing you give the least amount of attention. But we all know if you hire the right candidate then you can delegate one task, then hire another and delegate another task of yours – giving you time to work ON the business and not always IN it.

We know its critical to getting our businesses to grow but it can be frustrating, time-consuming and just plain irritating – probably the reason its often last on the list. So let me share some personal tips on hiring in an SME (why is it different? Cause often we don’t have the big systems or big HR department to help us):

Tip 1 – Start at the beginning, decide what you need

Only you know what the one time-consuming task is you know you need to delegate. Sit for 10 minutes and figure that one task and then write down what you need 1 person to do to take over this task successfully. And no – DO NOT copy from Google – you need to write down what that task entails. Often as entrepreneurs running our SMEs we believe one person can DO everything or all the administration. Believe me it often takes 15 people to do your one job so break it down for 1 person and put it in writing.

Tip 2 – Figure out the Job Title

In SMEs, it can be tempting to give job titles a “fun” spin. A clear job title is critical, however as people “do” what they are called. When I say a “Sales Assistant” you know clearly in your mind this person HELPS with sales. If I say “Receptionist”, you have a clear idea of what the job will entail. When I say “Chief of Stuff” or “Chief Handshaker” you have no clue! Make your life easier and call the job by something that is communally known on what that person will DO, unless you have time to read 489 applications.

Tip 3 – Advertise for free

You never know who knows who! Inform your personal network that you are hiring X [add job title here] and put it out on your social media. You will be amazed of who you did not think of for the role or who may be an option (bonus free advertising). One disadvantage of this you will get that referral of the one person you cannot work with and you will need to explain why you cannot hire them (gently).

Some Job Boards out there are free – or or (have a week free option). This is a great way to get some applications in and see who else is available out there. At times this can be time consuming so you could use an AI machine to do the work for you such as Crystal from Job Crystal (they charge per job and no subscription fee).

Tip 4 – Interview

Aim to at least interview 3 candidates! As SMEs, we often want to hire the first person we see (probably due to time constraints) but try to have at least 3 * 15 minute interviews and do 1 final one in person with your short list.

Tip 5 – Checks check checks

Probably the most important point – ensure you do background checks. I often say you can often hire on a reference alone. Make sure you check out the persons background. Do they have a criminal record (most people who have committed fraud don’t look like criminals)? Do they even have a drivers license (important if they will be delivering items for you)? What did their past employer say about them?

If you do not have time to do the checks use a range of tools such as Job Crystal Background Checks or MIE where they will complete your checks for you in no time. In summary, we hope these 5 tips will help you hire well and fast! Remember “hiring the best is your most important task” says Steve Jobs.