SMEs are losing job hunters to big businesses and their sexy benefits packages

Small businesses miss out on hiring top talent because their benefit packages can’t compete with those offered by bigger firms, new MetLife UK research reveals

SMEs are losing job hunters to big businesses and their sexy benefits packages

With employment rates standing at record-highs, SMEs struggle to source top talent. And given bigger fish can offer better benefits, it’s no wonder small-business owners often see great candidates go to bigger competitors. 

Studying businesses staffing between 50 and 300 employees, MetLife UK, the insurance company, concluded hiring is the second greatest challenge SMEs face. It even tops worries over increasing profits and cash flow. Still, staffing issues is only narrowly behind Brexit-related concerns. 

Specifically, 37% of respondents are kept up at night thanks to competitors stealing potential recruits from them. Unsurprising, considering 29% believe their benefits packages pale in comparison to the ones bigger businesses offer. It’s a particularly huge problem for really small businesses, with 35% of bosses employing 50 to 99 workers and 34% with 200 to 299 admit they miss talent due to it.

To remedy the issue, 55% of SME honchos would appreciate consultancy firms helping them bring in jobseekers. However, only 36% will look for such help in the following 12 months. The remaining 19% simply can’t afford to splash out for expert support.

Commenting on the findings, Adrian Matthews, employee benefits director at MetLife UK, said: “Well-designed benefits packages can play a major role in enhancing the value proposition for would-be employees but SME owners do need support in establishing which benefits to provide and then in ensuring employees value them as well as how to do so in a cost-effective manner. 

“It is encouraging that so many firms are considering investing in support but at the same time too many companies are put off asking for help because they do not believe they can afford it.” 

Great benefits packages are a luxury many SMEs don’t have the cash for. So there’s no shame in picking up the phone and getting help on how to sell the unique parts of your business to job hunters. 

Angus Shaw
Angus Shaw

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