The agility of SMEs gives them a competitive edge when it comes to winning the war for talent, according to latest research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

The Labour Market Outlook Spring 2015 update found that 43% of those surveyed were planning to increase their workforce headcount. However, unlike previously where larger corporations had their pick of the graduate talent, now “small is beautiful”, giving SMEs the power attract high calibre staff.

Boosting the employer brand to graduates

According to Gemma Bullivant, HR Director at SME Bluefin Solutions, SMEs have the ability to tailor their offering to talented graduates a great deal more, as they can offer one-to-one negotiations that may not be possible at larger firms.

She argues that SMEs also have fewer “layers” meaning that the interview will often involve a director or senior member of staff, giving graduates the feeling of accessibility to understand the businesses vision and goals.

Boosting the employer brand is crucial in order for SMEs to appear attractive to talented individuals and Bullivant states it is important than employers can offer cutting-edge projects that they will be drawn towards.

The future of recruitment for SMEs

She explains that once the talented individual has been sought, it is important to retain them within the business. SMEs tend to have better communication strategies, which is key to retaining talented members of staff.

Bullivant advises that SMEs should gather all members of staff together for meetings on a regular basis, as it is a “clever tactic” that is proven to work.

With the future of recruitment seemingly going digital, she concludes that it is vital SMEs understand how they can compete in the war for talent. While Bullivant states that word of mouth is the “biggest influencing factor”, social media platforms such as LinkedIn “provide people with the opportunity to promote themselves” – something SMEs can benefit from.

Are you an SME looking to recruit the most talented graduates? Speak to Discovery Graduates today.