SMES struggling to recruit top talent

A talent shortage is the top challenge British small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face when trying to recruit new staff, research has found.

According to a new study carried out by American Express and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), almost a quarter of British SME managers feel that selecting their staff at the start-up stage was the biggest business decision they have had to make to date.

This was followed closely by choosing suppliers (deemed most important by 20 per cent) and investing in new technology (19 per cent).

When hiring new members of staff, more than a third (35 per cent) of firms said that they had difficulties finding talented candidates fit for the job, claiming that Britain suffered from a shortage of skilled expertise in their industry or field.

Commenting on the research, Jose Carvalho, Senior Vice President at American Express, said: “There are many hurdles on the path to business growth and securing top talent is key priority for ambitious SMEs.

“Whether expanding at home or globally, business owners are looking for partners that can help them attract and retain staff,” he said.

The report also revealed that a significant number of SMEs deem ongoing investment in new staff to be important to their business as it grows.

22 per cent of respondents told the survey that if their revenue were to double, their first investment would be to recruit new talent for their business.  

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