Mid to small and micro enterprises (MSMEs) are led by a simple structure and hence are designed to move fast. However, their progress is often halted by the absence of expertise. Top leaders of the enterprise are not supermen or superwomen and hence, operate with their limited expertise and insights, and take suboptimal decisions that hurt the organisation in the long run. Most often they are ambitious and self-driven; they must hire experts in every function at the right stage of the evolution of their organisation. Not only for increasing the depth in the organisation, but also for scaling the business volumes, they must hire talent. Hiring challenges galore for every organisation, especially for the MSMEs.
Most MSMEs recruit people for themselves by referrals from friends, family, and people in the near circle. Sometimes, existing employees refer candidates to the organisation. How sure can one be that the referred candidates are the best one could get?
Experience easily points to the fact that most candidates who reach an MSME through the referral route are the ones who are actively seeking job opportunities and are normally desperate to pick up anything that comes their way. They are not serious about matching their interests and skills with the demand of the job. Secondly, in most situations, MSMEs are in a hurry to fill up the position and hence, are willing to hire a candidate even if he or she is not the best fit.
There are a few other significant considerations such as the ability of an MSME to attract talent. When large organisations with a strong employer brand hire talent with skillsets similar to what an MSME is looking to recruit, a candidate is often drawn towards the larger company and as a result, the MSME loses the race for talent.
Similarly, MSMEs do not have the experts in-house to conduct the recruitment process efficiently. Hence, they often cannot select the right person for the vacant position in their organisation. Sometimes they hire someone who does not match their requirements or reject someone who fits their requirement well. These hiring mistakes must be avoided.
Value proposition for a prospective employee
A business may run successfully for some time because it has customers who like to buy its products or services. Over time, competition catches up, technologies change or other forces including the regulatory framework evolve; as a result, a business needs to transform itself, upskill its employees or acquire talent with new skill sets. In these scenarios, there has to be a compelling reason for a candidate, especially if he or she is not an active jobseeker, to consider an MSME as a potential employer. Someone has to build this proposition with the same level of rigour that goes into the preparation of marketing collaterals. Every employer, small or big, has its unique strengths that must be identified and articulated.
Secondly, the value proposition must be communicated to the potential candidates with consistency and passion. Does an MSME have the bandwidth to develop the value proposition and communicate it effectively? Often the top-level leaders take on the task of articulating the value proposition for an employee and have the responsibility of fulfilling the promise through their actions each day at work. However, the challenge is in communicating them effectively. If the top leaders do this, they ignore attending to something else they are uniquely placed to look after and thus, compromise the business results. We need to hire experts just to fill specific roles in the organisation as and when a role falls vacant.
Assessing them right and engaging them positively
Having an impactful sales pitch is not enough to attract the right talent. One must deliver the sales pitch to the right audience or pool of talent. And the next step is to choose the candidates who fit the requirements right. We must not choose candidates who are way too higher than what we are looking for; neither should we lower our hiring benchmarks. Mismatches on either side of the scale lead to frustration and dissonance after the hiring is done; sooner than later, we see attrition on our table. Hence, it is important to provide every candidate with a realistic preview of the role and the future opportunities the role offers within the organisation, to understand how well the candidate fits the job requirements and the organisation’s culture.
Job change is one of the most important events in one’s life. Every candidate goes through multiple questions, doubts, and anxieties all through the days leading to his or her joining the organisation. Hence, we need someone on behalf of the organisation to establish a relationship of trust and confidence with the candidate and engage proactively and meaningfully until the joining happens.
Experience through the recruitment process holds a significant stake in the future of the organisation because it is the talent that brings a difference and provides a competitive edge to the MSME in the marketplace of today as well as for the years ahead.