Attention, attention: Do you stand out as a SME when recruiting digital and marketing talent?

Digital and marketing talent is in high demand.  We work with a range of SMEs who engage us to help them to attract the right digital talent and compete with large corporates.  So how can SMEs stand out from the crowd and attract digital talent?  Here we give some top tips.

Tip 1: Attract digital talent to your SME by being clear about who you are

Be clear about who you are and what you stand for.  You need to articulate clearly what it’s like to work for your organisation.  This is not just in a single recruitment process but always thinking about communicating your mission and values.  What is your employer value proposition for prospective and current employees?  Defining your business clearly early on in the recruitment process will attract the right talent that will ‘fit’ within your business from a cultural perspective as well having the right skills.

Tip 2: Create a supportive working culture

When you don’t have a well-known name or the best salaries out there, culture becomes even more important. But this is not something that can simply be stated in a job description.  It is a commitment to create an environment that actively promotes a positive and supportive working culture.  All employees working there must feel it.  It must be communicated externally and lived by all levels of management.

Tip 3: Identify other benefits that will attract digital talent

You may struggle to compete on salary against larger organisations but there are many broader benefits that candidates equally value. For example, one SME we work with gives employees the option to leave early on a Friday.  This might seem like a small gesture, but the impact is significant when attracting candidates to the business.  Flexible working is very attractive to candidates, whether it’s a reduction in working hours to enable parents to return to work and balance childcare or simply working from home a few days a week.  We have worked with a number of candidates who have chosen to move from higher paid roles offering no flexibility to a SME to achieve a better work-life balance and to work for an organisation with a modern outlook when it comes to flexible working.

Tip 4: Highlight the opportunities for digital talent in your SME

In a SME, the structure is typically less hierarchical enabling junior staff to engage with senior management and be closer to all elements of the business. This presents a fantastic opportunity for anyone looking to progress in their career and build a multitude of skills.  When promoting a role, be clear on the opportunities for progression and working across the business.  Jobs can often evolve in SMEs as the businesses grows.  If this is case, highlight the opportunity to shape the role.  This will be particularly attractive to millennials looking to make a name for themselves early on in their career.

Get the right digital talent for your SME

By articulating who you are as a business, what you represent and the wider benefits and culture of your organisation, you can attract talent even without offering the highest salary.

And if you think that being very transparent may reduce the number of candidates for the role, well yes it probably will but that’s ok as they aren’t right for you!  At Talent Gateway we would rather have 3 credible candidates than 20 candidates that will never fit into your business.