Small businesses are prepared when it comes to hiring

Wednesday 15 June 2016

It's well-established that being organised is vital to running a successful business, but new research has highlighted just how important being prepared is for smaller firms.

The findings, published by ecommerce giant eBay, found that around a third of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are looking to hire within the next few months.

This is positive news for the UK economy as it shows that small firms, which provide a vital backbone to the jobs market, are feeling confident enough to look into expanding their offering further.

It also suggests that many SMEs are well prepared when it comes to making hires, with many planning months in advance before they bring fresh talent into their team.

The Employee Skills Index from eBay, released in partnership with YouGov, also indicates that many small companies are breaking the mould when it comes to the employees they desire the most.

It found that practical skills gained through hands-on experience are more important to people in charge of SMEs, with these qualities being more highly valued than academic achievement, which traditionally was more favourable.

According to the research, seven in ten SMEs saw having a degree as ‘unimportant' on an application, with soft skills being much more relevant.

The Index also revealed that most SME employers (56 per cent) don't see age as an issue when it comes to making new hires, with their top concern being the amount of experience a potential candidate has.

It also reflected the apparent shift in the jobs market, with nearly two-thirds of respondents (61 per cent) wanting people with a solid understanding of marketing and advertising, while digital skills were favoured by more than half (56 per cent).

In addition, just slightly fewer (51 per cent) considered the ability to use social media competently important when looking to make new hires.

Specialist digital capabilities like coding were found to be attractive to 41 per cent of SMEs, suggesting that many smaller firms are using new candidates to bring fresh skills to their company, allowing them to expand their offering.

Tanya Lawler, vice president at eBay UK, said: "The nature of business, especially online retail, is changing rapidly. Our business-savvy SME community is on the look-out for versatile talent, regardless of age, background or gender, with the personable skills and life experience to help them develop and grow."

Of course, it's like that so many small businesses plan to hire staff months in advance of actually taking them on because it a significant financial investment, especially if they are looking for a niche specialist.

Getting advice from professional accountancy services like Brookson can help your small business make the decision about when is the right time to take on new staff.

By Victoria McDonnell

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