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1 in 2 SMEs in Australia settled for hiring someone who was “okay” versus “fantastic”, new survey claims

Finding, hiring and then retaining the right talent are among the biggest challenges facing small businesses in Australia, according to the latest study by global recruitment specialists Michael Page.

50% of SMEs surveyed said they settled for hiring someone who was “okay” versus someone who was “fantastic”. Attrition also emerged as a major concern for SMEs with 35% of those surveyed saying a new hire exited the company within six months.

hiring

These were among the biggest challenges around hiring cited by SMEs in Australia who took part in the Michael Page SME Hiring Challenges Survey 2016. All respondents owned or worked in small or medium-sized business in the last 12 months, employed between 15 and 100 staff, and had been involved in the hiring of at least one new staff member across director, manager and general staff level.

The key recruitment challenges for SMEs in Australia:

  • Hiring is expensive: 43% of SMEs consider the cost of hiring talent steep
  • A time-consuming hiring process: 47% thought the total average time of 35 hours spent to hire a new recruit was excessive
  • Attracting strong employees is difficult: 46% of SMEs agree that they struggle to find suitable jobseekers for their roles
  • Poor retention limits business growth: Over 35% of SMEs believe that their difficulty in attracting and hiring the best people is a barrier to business progression

Matthew Gribble, regional managing director, Page Group ANZ said: “Australia’s competitive hiring landscape makes it imperative to adopt a strategic approach to talent acquisition. In order to secure the top talent required to move the business forward, SMEs need to focus on proactive and targeted employee engagement. No company is too small to invest in building a strong employer brand underpinned by a clear employment value proposition.”

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