Turn on the TV any weekday at 7.30 and during the next half hour’s soap you’ll almost certainly see someone either looking for work or starting a new job, or a small business looking for staff.
Have you ever seen anyone in Weatherfield or Albert Square register with a recruitment agency or scour a CV database? No...they recruit by asking around.
Who do you know who can do this?
Who do you know who’s hiring?
My old school friend’s moving up here – are there any jobs going at the factory?
Its good old fashioned community recruitment, you recruit who you know or who your employees know. It’s always been that way for small local businesses, hasn’t changed for generations.
Ah but that’s not real life you’ll tell me.
But it is.
Presenting the Evenbase quarterly recruitment review to conference attendees recently, this graph of the route to market for different sized businesses stood out…
For SoHos – Small office, Home office; businesses of up to 50 staff – personal, social and business networks are the main recruitment channels. Was ever thus!
With cost, technology and time pressures it’s probably no surprise that small businesses continue to recruit in this way. It also helps with on-boarding and integration if a new member of staff already has connections within the business.
I can’t help feel that recruitment agencies have missed a trick over the years. By not focusing on a service for small businesses that makes it easier for them, that takes into account their limited time and budgets, they have lost out on a potentially lucrative market – after all, these are the businesses that are supposed to be at the forefront of job creation and the Evenbase research I referred to earlier also shows that this is the size of business that is seeing an uplift in recruitment.
I haven’t yet seen Carla’s factory set up a Facebook page, nor Lucy Beale’s café tweet out the specials of the day – but there’s little doubt that anything that enhances and widens the extended personal networks of a small business will only further strengthen the community aspect of the way they recruit.