Amid digital disruption and a prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, employees are getting more frustrated at work, fuelling a talent crunch and the great resignation wave. According to a Qualtrics report, this phenomenon is set to hit Singapore companies as 58% of employees plan to shift careers in 2022.
For many Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), this poses an existential challenge as succeeding in the modern economy requires access to talent with necessary industry skills. In this struggle for the best talent, SMEs often lose out to larger corporations that typically invest millions of dollars in their recruitment and retention campaigns.
To tackle this challenge, SMEs must quickly adapt to changes in employees’ expectations around work and work-life balance to retain employees. While SMEs might lack the resources and strong employer that multinational corporations (MNCs) possess, they can still attract and retain talent by focusing on what matters to entice new job entrants to join and keep existing staff motivated and happy.
Here are some tips on how SMEs can beat the labour crunch and hire employees that will stay for the long run:
Prioritise work culture
SMEs can foster a positive company culture to help them to stand out from the competition. SMEs have the advantage of agility and adaptability in their ways of working that can be very attractive to staff, in contrast to the hierarchical setup and bureaucracy at many MNCs.
Additionally, SMEs can often have a “flatter” organisation structure and could work alongside more senior employees easily. SMEs can thus nurture a positive internal culture by ensuring open communication and feedback, encouraging mentorship, and offering benefits such as remote working and flexible work hours. Other approaches which are gaining traction include offering a weekly treat such as a free meal, or monthly wellness programmes.
Invest in Career Development
Good career growth and learning opportunities are important priorities for Singapore professionals. Professional development is a benefit that many individuals want and expect from their employers. This is especially important as employees who are constantly upskilling are able to contribute effectively as SMEs navigate an ever evolving business environment.
Investing in employee development can, thus, increase the business’ attraction to potential employees and improve recruitment outcomes. Investing in employees also fosters loyalty as opportunities to expand their skills can encourage them to stay for longer. SMEs should also consider communicating these growth opportunities when building their brand online on their job posts and social media pages.
Hire for Potential
With intense competition for talent in all sectors, SMEs may not always be able to find the ideal candidate to fill their vacancies. They could thus consider looking towards candidates that may not have the requisite skills and experience yet but possess the right aptitude and attitude to grow in their roles with the proper training. This is because while processes and technical skills can be learned, it is much harder to teach skills like determination and self-motivation. The candidate pool can thus be expanded to include people like those that are looking to switch industries in the middle of their careers or those looking to return to the workforce.
SMEs can take advantage of the many training opportunities for individuals to upskill those from different backgrounds. For instance, SMEs can leverage place-and-train opportunities for their job roles through Workforce Singapore’s Professional Conversion Programme (PCP).
Jumpstarting your talent revamp
Keen on launching your expansion or updating your talent strategy? Consider Validus Working Capital Loans to obtain SME loans at attractive and low interest rates to fund your plans. Salary aside, recruitment costs such as job board platform fees and recruiter costs can add up.
Additionally, internal strategy changes like implementing new employee benefits, career development and training programmes will incur costs. There is no shortage of expenses that come with hiring new employees as an SME and a working capital loan can help with your cash flow – check out our smart financing options made affordable and possible in under 24 hours.