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SMEs Biggest Challenge: Human Capital


How does the humble SME with under developed training programs and limited career development attract the top crop? Check out these tips from Laimoon’s marketing guru Ramy Assaf on how to meet and secure top talent.

May 28, 2012 6:26 by

At the most recent Arabia 500, an event honoring a collection of the regions fastest growing SMEs the following question was asked: What is your biggest challenge? Managing directors and CEOs chimed in and though the answers were varied, the overwhelming response became clear. It may come as some surprise to some but the most prominent response was NOT access to financial capital, but rather, the most common challenge was acquiring top talent. We are not talking about just recruiting staff, no we are talking about hiring the type of talent that will help take their organizations to the next level.

It’s a tricky problem magnified by a few systematic issues. SMEs must be fast and agile, they’re looking to turnover and show growth. Some of them have HR operations and some don’t. They often don’t have training programs, or career development offerings, they just need to hire people that are ready to go. They don’t have the ability to recruit the old fashion and expensive way.

This problem is further intensified by the fact that quality job seekers don’t look for jobs at SMEs. Right?

Well not necessarily. The notion that good talent wants to work for big companies is a slowly eroding fact. In fact recent studies show an ever-growing rise in interest to work in smaller, more fast-paced organizations. The allure of a promising startup, the flexibility of less bureaucracy, and the exposure to more elements within an organization are all making the case for working at SMEs, well, kind of sexy.

So how does top talent and SMEs meet? Here are a few hints to help you find the best talent:

-Invest in a good website with a properly branded career section. Let traffic know what makes your company standout, and why people should work there.

-Don’t be cheap or cut corners. Offer competitive packages & stock options if possible.

-Do small things for company morale. Plan trips, special events, bring a pet to work, etc. Create stories to publicize and give a good impression of corporate culture.

-Post your job openings in the right places. Use niche sites or communities.

-Use PR wisely, companies can often impress. Speak to the media, and keep your company in the public conscious.


Ramy Assaf is the Marketing Manager for recently launched recruitment portal

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