As COVID-19 continues to take a toll on businesses, industries and entire economies, ensuring business continuity remains the top priority for many organizations, especially SMEs. To make it through this difficult time, you need to ensure you have the right talent and the right number of people in your workforce, but also that you're not wasting time and money on inefficient HR processes.

Partnering with an experienced HR services firm will help you acquire the talent you need and also achieve a high level of organizational flexibility, which is essential during times like these.

Here are some of the specific benefits you can gain through working with a specialist HR partner:  

getting your time back

For your business to succeed in the current environment (and indeed at any time), you must be able to make the right hiring decisions. That means dedicating time to key recruitment processes like creating a detailed job description of the profile you're looking for and thinking about the best platforms to engage with them. Writing engaging job offers, screening candidates, conducting interviews and checking references are also important. Executing these tasks to a high standard will help you find talent that could transform your business, while reducing the risk of bad hires.

In the SME world, it's common for managers to have a wide range of responsibilities and little to no time for recruitment activities such as:

  • Filtering and evaluating reams of applications
  • Managing and following up on the job advert
  • Handling refusals
  • Organizing interviews
  • Conducting tests
  • Proposing candidates internally to line managers

Handing over these responsibilities to an HR partner will give you and your team more time to focus on activities that generate immediate value for the business. You will always have the final say on who the company hires, meaning you can retain control over recruitment decisions without having to be involved at every stage of the process. When working with Randstad  you can be involved as much as you like, whether you want to take a back seat and let a recruiter look after your staffing needs, or to be more closely involved at every step of the journey.

securing skills

Skills gaps are a challenge for all employers, but can prove particularly problematic for smaller companies that don't have the financial resources to compete with large businesses searching for the same talent.

More than half (52%) of SME owners responding to the Q2 2019 CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey said it had become harder to find qualified staff in the year leading up to the study. This increased to 63% of firms with more than 50 employees.

The labor market has changed significantly in 2020, of course, with global unemployment increasing as a result of the pandemic. Consequently, many hiring managers are facing the challenge of dealing with high numbers of applications, rather than finding suitable candidates.

However, this doesn't mean you should take it for granted that the competencies you need will be easily available in the labor market, especially for highly technical roles. It's especially important to have a clear talent acquisition strategy if you operate in an industry that's expected to see worsening skills shortages in the coming years, such as engineering or manufacturing.

One of the most valuable benefits HR companies offer to their clients is access to a large network of vetted, trusted candidates who have already demonstrated their skills with other businesses facing similar challenges.

making the right pay decisions

Setting salaries for particular roles can be a difficult balancing act. Paying too much brings obvious financial disadvantages, but paying too little puts you at risk of missing out on talented workers who can find better offers elsewhere.

When you're competing for in-demand talent who can make a real difference to your business, you need to get this balance right. After all, pay remains the most important factor in people's decisions about who they want to work for. In Randstad's latest employer branding research, 57% of respondents cited attractive salary and benefits as their top reason to choose an employer.

Specialist recruitment agencies and HR service providers spend all of their time working in this field, so they can give you the most up-to-date information on pay rates and what you should offer to make sure you stay competitive.

Furthermore, a good partner will be able to keep you informed about trends and developments that relate to your hiring activities, such as shortages of talent with certain skills or experience. Arming yourself with this information puts you in a stronger position to make the right decisions on pay.

keeping up with trends and technologies

HR and recruitment is a fast-moving space, with new innovations emerging all the time. It's important to stay on the frontline of change, firstly to ensure you're benefiting from the most valuable methods and technologies - video interviewing and virtual onboarding, for example - but also to show potential employees that you're a modern, agile business.

Teaming up with an HR services provider will give you instant access to the latest information and insights on how the field is evolving. A specialist partner will also be able to advise you on the specific tools and tech that offer the greatest potential to optimize your staffing activities.

Another key advantage of outsourcing your recruitment is keeping up with the latest developments in what jobseekers want from businesses, which will help you build a powerful employer brand.

Randstad conducts annual employer branding research to identify the key factors that influence people's decisions to work for particular organizations.

If you are considering partnering with an HR partner, make sure you read our quick guide ‘5 questions to ask when choosing an HR partner’

about the author
SOFIE M

sofie maervoet

vp global concepts staffing

Sofie is one of the staffing leaders in Randstad with a track record in process optimization, training and coaching. She started her career as a staffing consultant in Randstad Belgium in 2002. Later, she joined the team in Randstad Switzerland as concept manager until she joined the global concept development team in 2018.