Myth-buster: You have to pay large commission costs to recruit people

In an industry where candidates rule the roost, and the skills gap just keeps getting larger and larger, it can often seem like a necessary evil that you need to budget for large recruitment costs to recruit good people as you grow.

But that doesn’t have to be the case.

In fact, with global goliaths such as Facebook, Google and Amazon taking an ever-growing interest in the UK talent pool, there’s little hope going forward that an SME can sustain the ever growing commission rates.

So how do you avoid them?

Well, it’s not easy. But nothing that’s worthwhile pursuing ever is, right? In the same way that you plan the development of new products and services, your recruitment of talent, in the short, medium and long term, should be planned also.

For short term ‘active’ recruitment:

Consider developing a plan A that scours the local market and utilises free jobs listing routes. And always make sure your careers page and employer value proposition (EVP) are up to date.

But always have a plan B and C too, and set some time limits.

Plan B could be adjustments to packages or some active direct connections (they’re always better from hiring managers as opposed to recruitment agencies).

Or think outside the box – shorter working days/weeks. Extra flexibility. Direct connections with universities. Two part time people rather than 1 full time person. There are loads of options when you get creative!

For medium term ‘passive’ recruitment:

This is your opportunity to get ahead of the curve.

If you’re anticipating growing your team by 5 people in the next 6 months, then start to throw out the feelers. ‘Interested in xxx opportunities and like what we do, then get in touch!’.

Make sure you have a digital and physical presence in the right arenas, such as social media and relevant events and meet ups. Encourage your existing team members to refer people and sell your business when they meet new connections themselves.

And always keep in touch with people who didn’t quite make the cut last time you were recruiting – you never know, in 6-months time, they might be awesome!

Nurturing people so that when a post comes along you have the perfect person already lined up is always going to be a great deal less effort and cost that reacting and throwing money at commission driven recruitment agencies.

For your long term ‘pipeline’:

Now it’s all about doing your bit with education and the wider tech community.

Identify universities and colleges who excel in the skills you’re after. Sponsor events. Offer placements and internships. Create a presence at recruitment fayres. Hold hackathons.

The reality is most of us have a business plan and we know what’s coming. Sometimes growth takes a little longer than planned, other times it comes more quickly. And unexpected hurdles have to be jumped. We should always have plan Bs and Cs anyway.

Just take that same logic and apply it to recruitment, and you’d be surprised at how big a saving you could make!