As a smaller company you have to fight for talent, not only amid yourselves but also against large corporations. And in most cases you do not have the same resources (budget, people) to spend on employer branding and job adverts. Nor are you likely to have much experience in attracting talent.

But this is not an excuse! It is possible to find the right Talent and Executive Leaders for your company. There are many actions that you can undertake to make your company a winner in the ‘war for talent’.

Tips & tricks that may help:

  • Use your network to attract talent. Everybody, including you, has a network. This network does not only consist of professional contacts. On the contrary, in your private context you know many people as well. And each individual that you know also has a network, can introduce you and help expand your circle of acquaintances. Therefore, when looking for a candidate to reinforce your team I would advise you to ‘spread the word’ to this extended network.
  • Send out a clear and attractive message when talking to people. I understand that it takes some guts and that it isn’t easy to ask others to help promote you. The ones with more sales/marketing background have it easier but for the technical/analytical amongst us it can be more difficult to construct the right message and to approach their network spontaneously. I think that any business has to attract clients in order to grow, including yours, and since you are hiring people you must be doing ok on that front. Also realise that clients are advised by others to work with you because you have something good to offer. So here’s my answer: approach your network with the clear message that you have something good to offer to your future employees.
  • Make your Team your biggest ambassador. You probably have a number of employees in your team that are happy to work for your company (otherwise they would not stay). And each one has a personal network that certainly contains people with backgrounds similar to theirs (i.e. they met at school or at previous jobs). Their contacts might not know your company but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t be interested in working for you. In my Blogpost about being an attractive Bride I gave some tips on how to retain good personnel. By following these you create happy employees who can automatically become your biggest ambassadors. You should therefore share your recruitment needs with them from the start and involve them in the process, and I’m sure they’ll be happy to help you. Even more so, it will give them more motivation to work with their friends afterwards. You could even consider creating incentives for team members that bring new ones. But this will only work if you made sure that your employees are happy to work at your company!
  • Build a pool of reservists. In team sports and in performing arts there’s no ‘war for talent’, as they always count on reservists on the bench to take over if someone falls out. This seems a dream scenario for companies that only look for a replacement when someone actually leaves the company. However, I do believe that it’s possible to create a list of reservists. These are potentials that you and/or your team should regularly stay in touch with, so that when the crucial moment arrives you’ll have someone to fall back on. These ‘back-up’ candidates are not necessarily job searchers, but can be easily contacted and found through the relationship that you’ve built them.

This was the last of my tips for SMEs for now on how to recruit when the ‘war for talent’ is raving. Should none of these tips work for you and you’re running out of options, then do give us a call or contact us on, we are here to help you!

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