Posted on October 27, 2020

The 3 most listed challenges to the Nigerian SME across research sources are access to finance, poor infrastructure and capacity/competence of employees. Whilst business owners are somewhat incapacitated on the first two, they however have better control on the latter, and yet they also most times do not put their best foot forward.

When dealing with business owners, you often hear them say “I want a team that I can always rely on… a team that shares my vision… a team that takes ownership… a team that thinks outside the box… a team that is diligent, dedicated, innovative, result-oriented, self-driven”, and the likes, but somehow, they always end up “stocking” their businesses with their neighbours’ nephew, their 3rd cousin, their church member’s daughter, all because they are trying to avoid paying fees for a professional recruitment exercise. Unfortunately, dear business owner, you often will not get it both ways.

Recruitment is a skill, requires intentionally designed assessment centres and evaluation questions per role, and if an organisation is to attract a fit-for-purpose and effective workforce, its recruitment should be handled by professionals. Don’t take our word for it, let’s share our reasons and you be the judge.
Effective recruitment is pivotal to business success and would affect the whole organisation’s operations.

The fact remains that the most valuable asset in any organisation is its workforce – employees, every other resource – finance, infrastructure – cannot work in isolation. So, you have hired your 3rd cousin as your administration officer and it turns out she can neither conceptualise nor deliver on an office report. But she’s your cousin so it is a bit difficult to fire her without inducing a family meeting and your business is at such a critical time you cannot really afford to give her 3 months to upskill and add value. You end up with a redundant staff you’re searching for mundane tasks to occupy and you engage someone else on the team with more work or end up hiring someone else – yes, maybe your church member’s kid, another cost centre with perhaps no value add or you might come up lucky.

The point is, as Business Owners, we often make sentimental rather practical decisions in our recruitment choices when we try to handle them ourselves! The COVID-19 pandemic however poses an even deeper challenge; how can SMEs ramp up their recruitment skills at these times? SMEs have to start embracing news methods of recruitment, online assessment tests, virtual interviews and even remote work.

If there is anything the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, it is that anything can work with the right strategy and embracing the right tools. SMEs now need to elevate their recruitment processes to suit the new normal in line with best practices. With technology and the internet, a brand has the ability to be out there faster and easier than ever.

SMEs can take advantage of online job boards and social networks like LinkedIn to help reach thousands of potential candidates for open positions. But just as your organisation can reach more prospective employees, those prospects can also see more job listings. You’re fishing in a bigger pond, but you’re also competing with more fishermen. Below is a step by step recruitment process SMEs owners can follow to understand the importance of recruitment by an internal HR or external HR company.

+ Understand your Business goals: Goals present a clearer picture of the resource gaps and current needs for your SME, Perhaps your recruitment goals are clear, but most employee performance related issues occur because the role was not properly defined or communicated in the first place.

+ Finding the Best Employees: To find the best candidate for each role, you have to be able to define the expectations from that role through an appropriate job description (JD) to draw in applications.

+ Recruit and attract Talents: The JD which can be advertised and posted on appropriate platforms is intended to attract the ideal candidate but several others would apply. Hence the shortlisting and evaluation process needs to be deliberate to sieve through unqualified applications.

+ Hire: Close the role with successful candidates.

It is important to make the recruitment process a good experience for candidates as that is the first impression they have of a potential employer. Remember, the candidate is assessing the employer as well, and it is imperative that each hire is a good fit for both parties.
Professional recruitment is the process of engaging the right candidate for the right job at the right time. Since your organisation is only as good as the people you employ, recruitment practices and or outcomes can literally make or break a company, hence recruitment is such a crucial activity for an organisation’s growth.

Has your company engaged in a recruitment process recently? How did it go? We trust you found the tips helpful, we would like to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!
For enquiries on how we can help with your Company’s recruitment needs – we have an SME friendly package – send us an email at

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