How SMEs can tempt talent away from ‘big tech’ firms

New research from Robert Half UK has found that 75% of CIOs believe that SMES are losing out to larger technology companies when it comes to attracting talented candidates.

The CIOs included in the report, entitled ‘Recruiting for the future: The challenges for UK SMEs’, said that many candidates for tech roles prefer to work for larger companies. Around a third said that talent attraction was one of their biggest challenges, with an enormous 88% agreeing that they find it more challenging to find professionals with the right tech skills and qualifications in 2019 than they did five years ago.

So, do smaller firms have any chance against tech giants with seemingly limitless recruitment budgets? The good news is that there are things that SMEs can offer that their larger, multi-national rivals can’t, such as

  • An improved, quicker recruitment journey

Larger firms are often hampered by their size when it comes to recruitment processes. Candidates are put through multi-stage applications, assessments and interviews, and they often have to wait a long time while the hundreds of other applicants receive the same treatment. As an SME, you can bypass the bureaucracy and streamline the process. Make it quick, effective and provide a great experience for the candidate, and you could stand out as a proactive ‘get things done’ kind of company to work for.


  • An irresistible package of benefits

If you can’t match the salaries offered by your big tech rivals, why not put together a bumper benefits package? Many people would happily take flexible working over a couple of extra thousand a year. Work-life balance is so important, but it’s something that larger companies still struggle to prioritise.


  • A unique, attractive company identity

What is it really like to work at your company? What do you do best, that no one else can? If you can communicate your USP to potential hires and persuade them that your business is a better fit with their goals, ethics and personality, you stand a better chance against your rivals. Not everyone is motivated by money – some people would prefer to have a happier working life somewhere they feel they are challenged, valued and fit in.


Also, remember that bigger isn’t always better when it comes to joining a new company. Some candidates make like the idea of joining a smaller team where they have a chance to really shine, rather than being another faceless member of a 10,000-strong multi-national corporation.

Investing in your existing team

Working alongside improvements to recruitment strategies, SMEs should also think seriously about training and upskilling the talent they do have. If you can nurture the talent you need in-house, you don’t need to go looking for it and come up against bigger rivals and their extensive resources. Training and development can also help with staff retention, meaning that you spend less time and resources on recruitment – plus your employees will grow and adapt with the needs of the business.

For expert help to recruit the talent you need to drive your business forward, get in touch with the specialist team at SOLOS Recruitment Consultants. We’re perfectly placed to help organisations of all sizes with efficient, effective talent sourcing. 



photo courtesy of Phil_Bird @

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