Finding and attracting the right people is one of the biggest challenges for members of the SFA and the wider small business community right now. Small businesses worry that they cannot compete against larger companies for staff in terms of pay and benefits. The employment market is almost at full capacity where according to the CSO, unemployment is at 5.3%. Wages have been steadily increasing since 2016 in relation to the National Minimum Wage and in general. The Ibec HR Update on pay indicates that the average pay rise across all sectors for 2019 will be 2.5%. Small businesses are experiencing growth but are constrained by rising costs and increased competitiveness.

These factors make recruitment challenging for small businesses as they need to rapidly expand but are often time poor to quickly source new hires. The extreme of this challenge is that small businesses cannot grow as they lack the needed people to scale up and meet customer demands. In response to this recruitment crisis, the SFA developed the Grow, Scale, Succeed campaign to equip small businesses with the resources to quickly find and keep the right people.

Our first step was to survey our members and the wider small business community on how they recruit, where they source new staff, what are the challenges they face and what recruitment platform works best for them. We received a fantastic response and below we share our insights on how small businesses recruit. The results from the survey enabled us to create content to help small small businesses successfully find the right people which includes case studies, recruitment strategies by video and podcasts and a range of downloadable guidelines for your recruitment needs.