How to attract the best talent

James Caan gives us his top tips on how to attract the most talented individuals.

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I have long said that the recruitment sector is a good indicator of where our economy is heading. It is one of the first to suffer in a recession, as businesses cut down on hiring – and one of the first to pick up in a recovery. It is now predicted to surpass its pre-recession peak in terms of turnover, which is a clear indicator of how the job market is picking up.

For those small and medium sized enterprises which are the heartbeat of the economy, this is now a crucial time. Last week, Business Matters spoke about how SMEs can best retain their talent, as employees may be tempted to move jobs now that there is less uncertainty. But just as important as talent retention is talent attraction. A successful business is built on the passion and quality of the people within it, and getting the right people on board is the best way to drive a company forward.

What I often do at Hamilton Bradshaw is look for people rather than a specific job. When I find somebody who I believe has the ability and personality I am looking for, I create a role specifically for them. I do this several times a year and have found this to be the best way of taking my business to the next level.

A lot of SMEs worry that they will not be able to compete with the large corporates when it comes to hiring, but one of the biggest things a small business has going for it is the culture – by nature they are generally more flexible and entrepreneurial. If you can communicate this properly then you will be just as appealing to work for.

Word of mouth plays a key role here. If your current staff enjoy the working environment – which is often less bureaucratic than you’d find elsewhere – then you will find that their industry peers will sit up and take notice. Consider offering rewards for employee referrals. Not only does it encourage your current staff to network, which is always good practice, but it means people who come into the business will have a clear picture of exactly what it’s like to work for you.

To read the rest of what James Caan had to say read here.

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