Part II – Are you taking advantage of current economic uncertainty to attract great talent?

Are you taking advantage of current economic uncertainty to attract great talent?

Thank you for the encouraging response to my previous article. As majority of you were interested in knowing about the techniques to attract great candidates especially in current turbulent economic environment, I am going to address this topic today.

Most SMEs offer a wider breadth of work opportunities and hence growth for professional employees coming in from bigger rivals or corporates. This is a huge point of attraction for great candidates. However, the sore points are pay, facilities and structured work processes.

One of the advantages of hiring in a turbulent economic environment such as now is that you don’t have to pay a fortune to attract great candidates or provide them exceptional work facilities. However, you must provide them an acceptable pay and work platform as well as a planned path to settle into in your company and perform.

In line with that thought, I am going to tell you 3 proven and tested strategies that will enable you as a SME to do just that. A few of these points might seem like common sense, however I am surprised by the number of times candidates refuse to join an otherwise good SME because one of these was not being taken care of.

1) Strengthen your company’s online presence immediately:  Most job seekers would have googled your company before the first time they speak with anyone in the company. In such a scenario, a business cannot really afford NOT to have latest company information available online.

Further, the fact that you are able to hire in an uncertain economy is a big attraction for candidates looking for stability. You can and should use all avenues especially the online medium to let potential hires know about this.

Among other benefits, online availability of such information will shift the conversation during the interview from facts about the company to more pertinent topics.

2) Provide clarity on position’s responsibility, reporting relationships and career prospect at the beginning of hiring process: This demonstrates to the candidate that company is well prepared for inducting him/her. Further, this will set appropriate expectations of a candidate and save time for both parties in case candidate has different expectations.

From my experience, this is the number one point that candidates have appreciated especially when done well before the interview. Just a few months back, one of the main points that helped convince a senior employee to join our client (a family-owned SME) was the clarity our client could provide about the position at the beginning of the hiring process.

3) Introduce tax friendly salary and benefits structure: Most SMEs keep their manpower under threshold limit of statutory compliance like Provident fund, ESIC and gratuity. But candidates who are working in bigger companies already enjoy these benefits and hence expect these benefits if they are to join your company.

Instead of convincing candidates to join without of such facilities, you should explore in ‘made for SMEs’ tax-friendly compensation structures available in the market especially since cost of adding such structures have come down drastically these days.

 To conclude, the current slowdown offers you an opportunity to hire great employees without paying through your nose. The strategies I have mentioned, if not implemented already, will have the biggest impact in making your company an attractive proposition for great candidates especially if they are coming in from bigger companies/corporates.

Please let me know your thoughts on this topic by commenting below.


  • We have lost a few good candidates because we were not able to provide them PF and other benefits that are provided by large companies. This article has reminded to tackle that issue on priority. Thank you.

    Pooja AgarwalSeptember 11, 2013
  • Sir….the information is very useful and tips are very practical and easy to implement specially first point in which getting best talent in industry at reasonable cost. Right time to implement HR revmp in case one needs to carry. Thanks for useful tips and information.


    Jayant PawarSeptember 11, 2013
  • I would like to know more about the structures that provide ESIC, PF & such other facilities with little overhead additions

    Great to see the set of points that hit the nail on the head for us SME owners!

    Also I would like to add an article of my own to spread awareness about MSMe Registration, its many benefits & another article about recovery of bad debts

    Manish TikleSeptember 11, 2013
  • Absolutely bang on. Today the scenario is such that every SME owner needs to “sell” his company to prospective employees & create a clear vision & growth path.

    Chetan Shah

    AnonymousSeptember 12, 2013
  • Dear Deepakji,

    Apologies for delayed response on the above article. I personally find this most relevant topic for our kind of organization. We come across this problem wherein candidate from bigger organization are bit reluctant to join even if opportunities are more with us. With the tips provided by u, I feel it will help us in overcoming this issue. Thanks.

    AnonymousSeptember 19, 2013

Leave a Reply