SMEs need to invest more time and money in recruitment and productivity

UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are being urged to invest more time and money in improving recruitment and workplace productivity, after a new study found that ‘underperforming employees’ are costing small businesses almost £40,000 a year.

The research, which featured in online recruitment magazine OnRec late last week, found that the average SME is losing approximately £39,500 each year as a direct result of underperforming employees and the so-called ‘skills crisis’.

It found that the vast majority (98 per cent) of small business owners felt that their existing staff had needed more supervision and training than they had originally expected when they hired them.

Furthermore, more than three quarters (79 per cent) of respondents said that they were finding it difficult to pinpoint the right job candidates with the correct qualifications and experience, while more than a quarter (28 per cent) said that their business was ‘desperately lacking’ technical staff.

Businesses also cited sales (14 per cent), marketing (13 per cent) and finance (also 13 per cent) as other areas where they felt their business was lacking skills and expertise.

One of the study’s authors suggested that SMEs needed to sharpen-up their recruitment skills and be ‘more savvy’ when it comes to hunting down and hiring the right job candidates.

Another added that reassessing their existing processes and systems and improving them where necessary could potentially have huge benefits for workplace productivity.