By Jamie Carlisle, Founder and CEO of Talent Party

Smaller businesses can struggle when it comes to sourcing key talent. Often, they rely on a combination of personal networks and recruiters to fill vacancies and even then, they’re only dealing with the candidates that are handed to them. This begs the question, when it comes to quality candidates, are SMEs getting the full picture?

Smaller businesses need to take back control of the hiring process by taking a more proactive approach to recruitment and expanding their talent pool, but the current recruitment process is proving to be problematic. In fact, our research shows that half of new recruits in the last two years have failed to fully meet the original job spec for the role and one in five didn’t meet it at all. This could be because the recruitment process simply takes too long. Almost half (46%) of line managers with hiring responsibility we spoke to said this was the case. Two-thirds of them said recruiting new staff is ‘a hassle’. It’s no wonder then that businesses are settling for candidates who don’t quite fit the bill, but this can have major implications further down the line.

A wrong hire can damage the culture of a small business and have a far greater impact than it would do in a larger organisation with established HR processes and support. A lot of the issues start at the outset of the recruitment process. It’s a familiar story - you have a vacancy, the team’s struggling to get through their workload and line managers are under pressure to find someone to fill the role.

SMEs can help ease a lot of recruitment pressures and frustrations by becoming more active in the processes they use to hire talent. After all, no one knows the skills and qualities needed for a role better than the existing team. If line managers take control of the initial candidate search they can set a clear blueprint for the candidate they’re after and recruiters and HRs can see exactly the kinds of candidates the search has found and that they are interested in. Once this is done, it’s easy to engage a recruitment expert in the rest of the process and use their expertise to build a relationship with the candidate.

In order for recruiters and businesses to work together effectively on the hiring process, they need to embrace new collaborative online platforms that can facilitate this. Technology has vastly changed the way that nearly every industry works, and while the rise of social networks and online jobs sites such as LinkedIn have created new ways to seek out potential employees, these tools have ultimately failed to have an impact on the fundamentals behind recruitment — the time, cost and quality of placing great talent.

For many businesses, the existing recruitment model is slowing down the hiring process, costing them too much and in many cases leaving them with unsuitable hires. Technology can help facilitate a smoother and quicker recruitment process by providing the best possible initial shortlist and giving businesses the best chance of making a good hire that is right for the role and for the organisation.

Jamie Carlisle, Founder and CEO of Talent Party